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14-yr-old Ho Chi Minh City student organizes City’s first Model United Nations

Friday, August 26, 2016, 19:09 GMT+7

A Vietnamese student is responsible for undertaking the massive, yet rewarding, task of founding the first International Vietnam Model United Nations (IVMUN) in the southern metropolis.

Hoang Ngoc Xuan Mai had just graduated eighth grade at the Tran Dai Nghia High School for the Gifted, when she founded the Ho Chi Minh City chapter of the program.

This 14-year-old girl ranked first in her school’s entrance exam and has always been an active member of various extracurricular activities.

Founder of IVMUN in Ho Chi Minh City

Mai’s passion for sharing was the fuel behind her organization of the International Vietnam Model United Nations (IVMUN) for over 120 students representing a number of schools in Ho Chi Minh City.

IVMUN is an academic activity that simulates United Nations' Conferences and Committees.  During meetings, students role-play as representatives of their assigned countries.

The program aims at providing delegates with exciting and stimulating experiences that focus on practical knowledge concerning diplomacy, researching, debating, leadership, and teamwork.

Before organizing the program in Ho Chi Minh City, Mai flew to Hanoi to attend their version of program and learn from their program’s organizers.

The IVMUN was held in Hanoi for the first time last year, attracting the interest of students and local media.

After two months of hard work, Mai successfully gathered a team of students who shared her vision of organizing IVMUN in Ho Chi Minh City and were willing to take on the enormous workload of organizing the three-day event.

A proactive, dynamic student

At the age of 11, Xuan Mai’s IELTS score was already an 8.0.

One year later, she was among the two outstanding students who won the first prize at the 2014 TOEFL Junior Challenge, an English proficiency contest tailored directly towards Secondary school students.

The contest, organized by IIG Vietnam, crowned Xuan Mai as champion for her impressive 900/900 score in the Toefl Junior exam and 115/120 on the Toefl Practice online test.

During her 8th grade year, she achieved a 2260 SAT score and was awarded an  80% tuition scholarship to study at Phillips Exeter, a school for students between from 9th to 12th grade in the U.S.

Last year, Xuan Mai was selected to represent Tran Dai Nghia School to participate in The World Scholar’s Cup, a contest held at Yale University, where she eventually placed third in the individual prize category.

Mai is also a graduate of the Yale Young Global Scholars Singapore program, a summer course offered to international high school students by the Connecticut-based academy.

She has established a website to summarize classical English literature and guide less-experienced English readers on how to read the stories.  She has operated her site for over a year, attracting 1,000 members and more than 3,000 views from over 30 countries around the world.

Mai shared that she is happy being able to share her academic knowledge to both Vietnamese students and international friends.

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