Elena Pandeva, George Simpson and Jasmine Blackwell, represented the University of Bath as part of the BISA/FCDO Model NATO 2024 event in London last month (March 2024).

The trio, who are all students in our Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies, gained an insight into how NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) runs and the world of international relations and diplomacy.

The event saw students from different UK universities take on the role of various NATO member countries in responding to a mock international crisis.

The Bath team, who represented Bulgaria, were provided with a set of briefing materials on their nation’s capabilities and policies, as well as basic information on NATO’s mission and organisation.

Once at the event, all teams received a joint crisis alert and were asked to work together to form a response to it with guidance from advisers from the FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office). They then presented this to a panel of experts at the end of the day.

Jasmine, who studies BA (Hons) International Politics and Modern Languages, said:

As someone who wants to pursue a career in international security, I found the event to be a great insight into the work of NATO and the FCDO.

I thoroughly enjoyed discussing diplomatic strategies and negotiations with fellow delegates, and it was a great opportunity to network with other students as well as members of various institutions including the FCDO, Ministry of Defence and German embassy.

Elena, who studies BSc (Hons) Politics and International Relations, said:

I found the event particularly interesting and inspiring for me, as a person who wants to pursue a career in diplomacy and international security. Moreover, the fact that University of Bath was representing my home country, Bulgaria, added a lot of value to my experience at the event.

Being part of NATO's North Atlantic Council was an enriching experience, offering active involvement in negotiations and diplomatic strategy. The event provided an excellent networking opportunity with fellow students from leading British universities.

George, a BSc (Hons) Politics with Economics student, said:

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to grips with the workings of NATO. The event was a fantastic insight into the strategies and negotiations tactics of international diplomacy. It highlighted the importance of security and deterrence in a volatile world and has inspired me to develop my knowledge of NATO.

The Model NATO event is organised annually by BISA (the British International Studies Association) and the FCDO.

It’s designed to help students learn about how NATO works and the significance of the Alliance for UK and European defence. This gives participants valuable insights into careers and projects in diplomacy, government, non-governmental organisations and the military, and the opportunity to apply classroom learning in a different environment.