Thirteen students from Santa Margarita Catholic High School’s Model United Nations (MUN) program traveled to the 22nd Annual Beijing Model United Nations Conference (BEIMUN) earlier this month, where they were the only school from the U.S. in attendance. Caroline Guirgis, Madison Selby, Madelyn Gehrich, Nisha Goddard, Lillian Lustig, Nedda Bozorgmehri, Aashi Patel, Santino Labate, Devin Costello, Rachel Hershorin, Amanda Madden, Taylor Poehlman, and John Tanner all made the trip to Beijing.

The BEIMUN conference hosted students from 32 international schools from Bangladesh to Sweden. The students from the SMCHS MUN program represented the countries of Spain and Singapore. The students debated a wide variety of issues, such as arms control, sustainable development, and human rights issues.  Students Lillian Lustig, Rachel Hershorin, Amanda Madden, and John Tanner all won the award of Best Delegate in their committees.

The 10-day trip gave the students a new prospective on China, and the world we live in. The students said they all believe that they grew intellectually, socially, and spiritually as a result of their experiences on this trip.

“This experience has equipped me with the skills necessary to be a better global citizen and partake in world affairs,” said senior Madelyn Gehrich. “I got to meet students from so many different countries and make a lot of new friends.”

Along with the conference, the students had the opportunity to visit Xian to see the Terracotta Warriors and to Chengdu to visit the pandas at the Panda Research Station. The students also visited the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall of China, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, and the Lama Temple.