Eight University of Wollongong students will head to Brisbane this weekend to be delegates at one of the largest regional Model United Nations conferences in the world.
UOW's inaugural involvement in the Asia-Pacific Model United Nations Conference (AMUNC) will be the beginning of a significant development in the university's international studies program.
As a part of a simulated United Nations conference, students will draft resolutions for real UN agenda items and formally present them.
Anna Garnock, UOW Malaysia delegate, said the conference was an invaluable opportunity to start a career in foreign affairs.
"I'm attending to network and to comprehend and appreciate the functionality, importance and challenges of establishing peaceful conflict resolutions within the UN," she said.
The Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs Society at UOW made the push for funding to take part in this year's conference. Next year a Model United Nations subject is set to start, with plans to attend AMUNC annually.
Dr Susan Engel, international studies convener and lecturer at UOW, said she designed the class to provide students with much-needed experiential learning.
"Students will get background training on the UN system and how to write a policy paper in diplomacy and negotiations," she said. "[The class will] present them with contemporary issues in politics and a chance to think practically through how to develop a resolution for difficult global problems.
"The combination is useful for building resumes and career opportunities."
Dr Engel believes that UOW is the only university in Australia to take the Model UN and turn it into a university class.
Ms Garnock, also an international studies student, said the class would raise the standard of the program.
"It gives our uni more credit, participating in such a widely acknowledged and valued forum," she said.
The students will represent Malaysia, Chad and Greece.