In July 2017, three BIS Abu Dhabi students Lina, Zain and Daniela joined fellow Nord Anglia students in New York for the United Nations Global Goals Student Summit. The four day conference was a unique opportunity to contribute to the discussion and influence policy at the highest level.
Lina writes about her experience:
What did you expect to get from the trip, how did you feel prior to the visit?
Before the trip I was very excited about being able to go to the UNICEF Global Summit only from hearing that we were going to UNICEF, as this is somewhere I wish to work someday. After we received the program for the week, I was even more delighted to see that we were going to have a tour around the United Nations (UN), and attend Model United Nations (MUN). We were given what country and committee we were representing, mine being the UK, and the topics to research prior to the trip. I did my research and preparations in the holiday before the trip. I knew that it was going to an amazing experience as this was my first time in the USA, and knowing we were going to meet students from all over the world to discuss the sustainable development goals of the UN, and politics in general at the MUN conference.
Was the trip what you expected, what did you do whilst you were there, and what were your highlights?
The trip was what I expected it to be, and even exceeded my expectations about how valuable it was for my personal experience. We had our MUN conference for two days in the Nord Anglia school in New York, we attended the High Level Political Forum in the UNICEF building listening to the President of the General Assembly, the Executive Director of UNICEF among other important public figures, we had a guided tour around the United Nations, learning about its history, development, achievements and goals for the future.
We were even lucky enough to watch Miss Saigon at Broadway, and throughout the whole week eat at a range of different and famous New York restaurants.
We also discussed, brainstormed and presented our ideas on the sustainable development goals. On the last day we had a gala dinner, which along with the UN tour, were the highlights of the trip for me. Before this dinner I was extremely lucky to be chosen from the 87 students from Nord Anglia schools all over the world to speak at the gala dinner.
At the gala dinner people from the UN attended along with ambassadors, people who sponsor Nord Anglia such as important figures from banks, and Nord Anglia's CEO himself. I was to speak in front of 150 people including these big, influential and important people. The 5 students and I chosen to present were to talk about the past week, and I spoke last, concluding our presentation and talked about what we must do in the future.
I was very happy and honoured that I got to write what I was saying on my own, so everything I said was coming from me instead of a script written by someone else, and of course speaking at the UN hotel, just outside the UN's main building. I spoke and concluded and we received a heartwarming applause. After our speech I was delighted to meet and shake hands with many important figures, and even received a business card from the managing director at Goldman Sachs telling me he could not wait to see me work for him soon, which is a funny little detail I will remember. To top of that evening, and the whole trip, at our MUN prize ceremony I received the Honourable Delegate diploma along with a UN bottle. I was overjoyed and proud of our accomplishments that week.
What did you take away from the trip, has the trip changed you – if it has, what are your aspirations for the future?
From this trip I have taken away even more enthusiasm and determination to work hard and do the best I can to influence the world in a positive and meaningful way.
Before this trip I knew I wanted to become a doctor, specifically a pediatrician to help children, and this trip has renewed that energy and effort in me, making sure this is what I want to be. I want to work with UNICEF one day in the future to travel the world to places where people need medical attention the most, and make a difference, even if it is only a few people. This is something I want to do because I firmly believe that if one helps, especially children, to make sure they are healthy, they can go to school and be motivated, have an education, and follow their dreams and contribute to their area, country and the world to make itbetter.
Doing this through teaching them the sustainable development goals which include everything to make the world a good and pleasant world to live in, can change many people's lives. A big and important thing from this trip that I have taken with me is the importance of communication. Whether it be with people personally discussing and suggesting new ideas, or whether it be presenting them in front of many people, communication and discussion is what takes us forward. Trying new things, and daring to do something new is what leads to development.