This past February, Dr. Chris Day’s Model African Union class participated in the 2017 National Model African Union Conference at Howard University in Washington, DC. Senior political science major Jacob Docalavich reflected on his experience.
Model African Union, as well as Model UN (United Nations), Model ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations), and other similar models have been among the most useful classes I’ve taken since coming to College of Charleston, as well as one of the most enjoyable. The skills I learned through navigating the often-chaotic world of African politics are skills that I can use throughout my entire lifetime. Conflict management, negotiation, debate, compromise, etc. are all packed into each model. As a student studying international politics, it’s clear that I am in the best position to benefit from a class like Model AU, but anybody wishing to enter the professional world would appreciate the class and what it has to offer.
On top of all you can learn from the regular class meetings, there’s also plenty to do when the class travels as a group to the nation’s capital. My class traveled to Washington DC to do our model, and when we weren’t working, we were out exploring the city’s landmarks, food, and culture. Our delegation, representing the nation of Sudan, was even invited to visit the Sudanese embassy, talked directly with diplomats. Meeting with the diplomats of the country I was representing, knowing that I was in a way working with them to help further awareness for issues they currently face, was honestly one of the most humbling experiences I’ve had during my college career.
I would happily recommend to anyone at CofC that they should sign up for a Model African Union, or other similar courses. The friends and connections I made while participating will not only help to further my professional career, but improve my life in general. I will remember the time I spent in Washington with high regard, even long after I graduate from college. Ask your academic advisor to see if you are eligible to enroll, as sometimes there’s a waiting list to get into a Model course. While you may have to make time to travel in order to attend, the investment is well worth it in the end.