Imagine this: You arrive at Seton Hall University for breakfast bright and early on a Monday morning. School of Diplomacy Senior Associate Dean and UN scholar, Dr. Courtney Smith, introduces you to a cohort of professionals, graduate and advanced undergraduate students, who will become your colleagues over the next five days. You board your private bus to New York City for a briefing by Dean Smith on the day's action packed agenda. After a welcome and introduction from the Executive Director of the United Nations Association of the USA, you will be ushered straight into the UN Security Council Chamber for your first exclusive meeting. Before you know it, the bus pulls up at UN Headquarters. As you step out in your best blazer, you can't help but be captivated by the 193 member nation flags standing tall around the perimeter. You pinch yourself as you realize, this is just the beginning.
For the last 19 years, The UN Intensive Summer Study Program has immersed a select group of participants from around the world in the political dynamics of the United Nations. Through a series of seminars led by UN officials and representatives of governments and civil society, the program familiarizes students with the inner workings of the UN by bringing them together with distinguished practitioners working in the field of multilateral diplomacy.
A typical program day begins and ends at Seton Hall where participants get to know their diverse peers over a meal. The delegation attends official sessions at UN Headquarters together as well as briefings at the United Nations Association of the USA and the United Nations Foundation. Students actively participate in dialogue and discussion with guest speakers and peers alike. Past key topics have included peacekeeping and disarmament, human rights and refugees, the status of women and children, member state policies towards the UN, the role of civil society and the private sector in the UN, UN reform, the environment, and sustainable development. Outside of their UN scheduled activities, participants have the opportunity to enjoy cultural activities in New York City.
Faculty and students alike praise the program's ability to provide a space to engage with pressing global concerns and with each other, creating a model for what global interactions should look like. Dean Andrea Bartoli of the School of Diplomacy notes that, "There is only one place in the world where everybody can speak with everybody else. For the students to be here, it is an invitation to change the world." Before they get there, past participant Luis Rafael Sosa Santiago, B.S. '15 suggests that the program offers a front row seat to critically examine global cooperation, "It's great to experience how delegates interact with one another and how they come together to reach consensus on decisions that affect the entire planet."
Senior Associate Dean, Dr. Courtney Smith, who has been facilitating this program since its inception, is enthusiastically preparing for this summer's 20th cohort. He says, "The UN Summer Program is a wonderful example of the many active learning opportunities the students have at the School of Diplomacy. The opportunity to go out and actually experience diplomacy while you're studying it."
Interested professionals, graduate students and advanced undergraduate stuents are encouraged to visit the program site for more information about tuition and application requirements. Applications for the program are now open and will be accepted until April 1st. Candidates will be notified of their status by April 15th. Get a glimpse of what your summer at the UN could look.
Categories: Nation and World