Experience the work of the United Nations at their European Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland
UNi-TE Opportunities is delighted to be able to offer students a unique opportunity to gain firsthand experience of the work of the United Nations and associated human rights organisations. This is a one-off chance for students from school sixth forms, colleges and universities to develop their knowledge of topical and political issues affecting the lives of millions of people across the globe.
Since 1998 Bob Willey has organised and accompanied groups of students of all nationalities on study visits to the United Nations in Geneva. His role in helping to highlight the plight of slavery in the world today has given him a unique insignt into the work of the United Nations. His background in teaching enables hime to help others benefit from his experience.
After discussions with UN staff in Geneva I have reluctantly been forced to cancel the August programme. While things in Geneva are returning to some sort of normality the UN itself has not re-opened and is not scheduled to do so for some time yet. When they do they have not established any rules for meetings and how to manage social distancing; many scheduled meetings are already being cancelled because of room space difficulties.
IF YOU WANT A REFUND OF THE MONEY YOU HAVE PAID ME FOR THE AUGUST TRIP PLEASE EMAIL ME YOUR SORT CODE AND BANK ACCOUNT DETAILS .
This year's October programme at the UN has had to be cancelled I'm afraid. I have held on as late as I can but, after conversations with UN staff at a number of agencies, I can see no consistent view of what the situation will be going forward. Some agencies are not even open yet and others are restricting groups to a maximum of 8 while others will accept up to 20. It is too risky to allow people to arrive in Geneva and then find that circumstances will not allow us to follow the programme or only part of it. I will email each person who has booked for October with the options open to you.
These visits will be managed by UNi-TE Opportunities. If you are interested in taking part in one of these visits you should contact Bob Willey by email: [email protected] for further information and an application form.
Student testimonial from Joseph Seed
(A student from Hymers College in Hull)
I recently gained admission at UCL to study Politics and International Relations, a highly competitive new course that I am excited to embark on. I am writing to thank you for providing the opportunity to visit the UN agencies last summer, the experience not only allowed me to settle on the career I wish to pursue, it also played a central role in my personal statement.
Ever since, I have felt extremely lucky to have visited the UN in Geneva. I sincerely hope that this opportunity continues to be open to students as it was both a great experience and an incredible insight into the work of the United Nations. .
They will have the opportunity to ask questions of diplomats, ambassadors, advisors, specialists etc. As well as factual knowledge, the students will acquire resources from the various agencies.
They will be given special access passes, which will enable them to carry out research in the libraries and publications departments.
Students describe this experience as ‘life changing’. The combination of knowledge and personal development gained from this project helps to improve self-esteem and confidence and has proved useful in clarifying university choice and courses and is of course a most valuable entry on UCAS forms.
Case Study – Student helps to drive UN debate
On one trip Vicky Cooke of Archway School Stroud, was concerned that a country was not represented at a session while being accused of condoning honour killings. She interviewed the speaker and then prepared a newsletter on the subject as her project. The next day she distributed the newsletter amongst the delegates. To her amazement the Ambassador from the country turned up and tried to justify the government’s actions and dismiss the newsletter. The UN diplomat chairing the session held up the newsletter as an accurate account that needed to be answered and called on the particular government to acknowledge the problem of honour killing.
The itinerary for each visit is of necessity different depending on ‘who is in town’ but recent visits have included:
Study Visits take place up to four times a year and are open to 6th form students. The cost of a 5 night study visit to Geneva is £405 per student, which includes bed and breakfast accommodation at the International Youth Hostel, all transport within Geneva, payment of UN fees, security clearance and the services of our expert facilitator.
In addition, students will have to pay flight costs, lunch and dinner. (The cost of meals is likely to be around £10-£15 per day although by buying at local supermarkets this can be reduced).
17 year-old Georgie reveals how she's bagged herself an impressive work experience stint at the UN and what her time in Geneva was like. What can you learn from her story?
This detailed blog post by Gabaija Barkute gives a great insight into the programme