International Affairs with Model UN | Ages 15-18

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International Affairs and World Leadership Programs

Learning Leadership Through Model UN 

If you’re just getting interested in world relations or are already a student of global politics, our pre-college program will increase your experience, knowledge and skills for future leadership. 50% of our students are international to provide a diverse world perspective. Our real-world approach blends:

  • world history & culture

  • global studies 

  • world relations

  • current events

  • mock Model United Nations (MUN) simulations

  • international affairs

  • politics

  • public speaking & debate

  • leadership training

  • international relations

  • field trips

  • guest speakers

The program features debate, public speaking and research workshops, realistic UN simulations, and guest speakers — including international dignitaries, members of foreign embassies and authorities in the field. Additionally, you will enjoy field trips to the United Nations in New York City and Embassy Row in Washington, DC. Plus, experience culture through cuisine in Philadelphia. 

Essential experience for future leaders

You and your fellow delegates will represent the world’s nations in realistic Model UN simulations where you debate the most urgent issues facing our world today. You’ll prepare for the sessions by exploring the current political situation, leadership positions, voting patterns and alliances of the country you represent.

Never participated in a Model UN? Don’t worry. The program is designed to accommodate both new and experienced students.

Become Politically Empowered to Act Locally and Globally

International Leadership with Model UN addresses relevant political topics and builds leadership abilities. It develops the critical thinking needed to understand globalization, current events and multilateral diplomacy. And you'll work on the practical skills — debate, research, presentation and public speaking — required to lead.

During workshops, simulations and teamwork, you will be thoughtfully engaged to apply critical analysis, knowledge and global awareness in practical real-world scenarios.

Your challenges

  • Act as a UN delegate and participate in Model UN debates that highlight the United Nations Millennium Development Goals

  • Address global security issues by acting as government officials asked to resolve exciting crisis scenarios

  • Campaign for political power in a collaborative and competitive setting that forces one to answer the question, “How do I lead a country in turmoil?”

  • Serve in an international court as both a lawyer fighting to defend one country and as a judge protecting the credibility of international law

  • Work to create an effective non-governmental organization, building global awareness throughout the entire Penn campus and actually competing with other groups for funding

Your opportunities

  • Hear from experts in the field of international relations and politics

  • Take trips to New York City to visit the United Nations and to Washington, D.C. to visit the Organization of American States and the Holocaust Museum.

  • Experience world cultures by visiting embassies, eating ethnic foods and hearing from representatives of foreign countries

An unforgettable summer experience with advisors from collegiate Model UN teams

This pre-college summer program will develop the talents you need to be an effective diplomat. Tutorials will help you feel comfortable in the situations you might encounter as a global leader.

Our program is run by, Adam Gold, a high school social studies teacher. During the school year, Mr. Gold teaches American history and economics. After working in government, in marketing, and in the non-profit sector as a director of development, Mr. Gold decided to take his passion for education into the classroom full-time. He has also been active in Model United Nations for a number of years as an organizer for the Institute for International Affairs, helping run Model UN and Model Congress conferences.

Summertime Living at Penn

7:45 A.M. — Wake-up. You’ll be living in the famous Quadrangle dorm on the Penn campus.

8:15 — Breakfast. Use your Summer Penn Card for breakfast on campus at 1920 Commons, Starbucks, Einstein Bagels or 3C.

8:00 — Morning Workshops.
Attend workshops on world politics, current events and international relations theory.

12:00 — Lunch. Join your fellow students at one of Penn’s dining facilities.

1:30 — Afternoon Workshops, Research, Interactive Sessions and Guest Speakers. Opportunities to work in groups to prepare for your Model UN simulations, meet with prestigious guest speakers on international relations topics,and learn public speaking, debating and negotiating skills.

4:30 — Afternoon Activities. Your choice of activities. Play Frisbee in the Quad. Catch some rays. Email friends. Hit the gym. Visit the bookstore and area shops.

6:00 — Dinner. Most evenings we eat together in the dining hall.

7:00 — Evening Activities. Scheduled activities on campus or in town.

Evening activities on and off campus

These places are all within walking distance of Penn.

Shops & entertainment

  • Penn Bookstore
  • Ann Taylor Loft
  • Eastern Mountain Sports
  • The Gap
  • American Apparel
  • Urban Outfitters
  • Bridge Cinema
  • Strikes Bowling
  • Concerts
  • World Cafe Live

Food & restaurants

  • Cosi
  • Starbucks
  • Pod
  • White Dog Cafe
  • La Terrasse
  • Saladworks
  • Beijing
  • Penne
  • Fresh Grocer
  • Cereality
  • Tony Lukes
  • Gia Pronto
  • Marathon Grill

Optional activities, Sunday trips and sports

Activities & trips

  • Museums
  • Baseball games
  • South Street and Historic Attractions
  • Concerts
  • Philadelphia Zoo
  • Penn’s Landing


  • Tennis lessons from the Julian Krinsky School of Tennis
  • Golf lessons from the Julian Krinsky School of Golf
  • Swimming
  • Bowling

Your choice of Saturday trips

Two trips are offered each Saturday. You chose one. We leave after breakfast and return in the evening. See Weekend Trips and Destinations for this summer’s schedule, subject to change.


Dates & Tuition

July 6 – August 2

Tuition: $6,295 

Application Fee: $100 for residential students.

How to Apply

Apply Now! - please return via email to [email protected]