Located in Hamilton County, Mount Notre Dame High School offers a variety of extracurricular activities for students to join, from the athletic to the scholarly. One of the organizations at the all-girl school gives the young women the opportunity to not only travel internationally but to also represent the United States. 

For the past six years, the MND girls in the Model United Nations program have been attending the International Model United Nations Conference that is held at a different international location each year. The students chosen to participate have traveled to Berlin, Rome, Leiden, Genoa, Haarlem and Lisbon to discuss diverse and pressing international issues.

“Most of the time, we are the only American school in attendance,” says Susan Magnus, moderator of the Model United Nations program and economic and history teacher. “International students often have preconceived ideas about Americans. I always enjoy observing my students gain a global perspective from their meetings with teenagers from other places as well as leaving them with a wonderful impression of American values.” 

This past year students in the Model United Nations program traveled to Lisbon, Portugal, for a week. For the first few days they participated in international conferences, which attract around 20 schools from around the world, and were able to spend the remainder of their trip touring and sightseeing throughout Lisbon, Porto and Sintra.

“The students are able to look at the world in a global perspective,” says Magnus. “Often times students from other countries are well versed in American policies but Americans don’t always know what other countries policies are. It opens up their eyes on how the world views us.” 

Not only do the students gain a once-in-a-lifetime experience by attending these conferences but, also, many times it opens up doors of opportunity in the future. Magnus says how many of her students find their way back to Europe one way or another through programs such as internships abroad or Doctors Without Boarders. 

One student that participated in the International Model United Nations Conference through MND’s program was selected for an internship at Ohio State University due to her international interest and experience and was impressively initiated by the governor. 

Before Magnus became moderator in 2002, the students in the Model United Nations program were only attending one conference in Dayton each year; since then she has expanded the program to additionally include the international conference as well as a Chicago conference. 

MND will also hosts its 10th conference for junior high students this fall to encourage and help prepare them to become a part of the strong international high school program. 

The Model United Nations program at MND looks forward to once again represent the United States next year at the International Model United National Conference that will be hosted in Genoa.