January 21, 2021

Students in the ELI Professional English Program (PEP) Take Virtual Tour of the United Nations

By Philip Herter

Students in the “Keys to Successful Negotiation” course of the ELI’s Professional English Program (PEP) participated in a special interactive virtual tour of the United Nations Secretariat, the official headquarters and one of the principal organs of the Organization. 

Paola Vides, a student in the “Keys to Successful Negotiation” course said, “The UN tour was one of the biggest surprises from NYU; I could almost breath the air of the Security Council meeting center and appreciate the art of the murals through my screen.”

This special session included both an interactive virtual tour of the United Nations Secretariat led by Ms. Rabeea Khalid followed by a one-on-one briefing session with Senior Political Affairs Officer Mr. Nikolai Galkin, who serves on the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA). Both aspects enhanced students' understanding of the various inner workings of the United Nations and provided deeper insight into the sensitive nature of negotiations and diplomacy on the global stage. 

Another tour participant from the class, Angel Minga, called the experience “terrific, starting with Ms. Rabeea Khalid’s explanation of how the UN was founded and the importance of dealing with major peacekeeping issues worldwide.”

The course, which is part of a new Certificate in Executive Business English and Global Communications, that gives students and professionals the opportunity to gain essential integrative skills and build more confidence in speaking, writing, and critical thinking. Students learn to organize negotiation tactics in group work and carry out effective negotiations in various professional and authentic contexts using both in-class exercises and online virtual simulations.

According to the instructor of the course, Professor Daniel Bullock, who is also a language and communication training specialist within the United Nations Secretariat, said the UN virtual tour experience “provided an interactive element that highlighted the history of the United Nations  while elaborating on the current work of the Organization and detailing notable negotiations pertinent to today’s global challenges of peace, development, and human rights.”

The live Q & A featured questions with both experts and provided students an opportunity to learn more about historical and current negotiations, such as the Paris Climate Agreement and the Syrian Refugee Crisis, in addition to insights about the unique roles and decisions of the representatives who sit on the UN Security Council, one of the six major organs where crucial negotiations are made for world issues.

Paola, one of the student attendees continued, “The discussion with Mr. Nikolai Galkin gives me the feeling of being at the UN, like he did, working for many years and creating a career in order to positively impact the world.” 

Students of the class were also invited to contribute to the mission of the UN by becoming involved in the Internship and Young Professionals Programs

The Program Coordinator of the Professional English and Corporate Education Program at NYU’s ELI, Clinical Assistant Professor Raul Sanchez, said “It is a pleasure for us to offer this opportunity for our students. Along with global networking events and professional development workshops outside of class, these unique extracurricular experiences allow us to extend lessons from the classroom into real-world applications.”

The “Keys to Successful Negotiation” course is a core offering within the new “Certificate in Executive Business English and Global Education” in the ELI’s Professional English Program. This credential gives international professionals insight into cutting-edge global business practices and the effective written and oral communication skills necessary to succeed in today’s globalized marketplace. 

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