Two USP students Annina Zhang (Economics + USP, Class of 2021) and Isabella Tan (Law + USP, Class of 2021) were commended for their outstanding performances with Honorable Mentions at this year’s Princeton Diplomatic Invitational (PDI) at Princeton University, USA.

Held from 9-11 Feb 2018, ten USP students participated in PDI, a flagship programme of the International Relations Council at Princeton University. The programme simulates real world diplomatic interactions and student delegates from top universities around the world work closely to influence and make policy decisions. The programme takes its idea from the crisis simulation session commonly found in Model United Nations activities, and its conferences are highly interactive, competitive and innovative.

Annina received the Honorable Mention for having a clear purpose when she spoke and for picking up on details often missed by other committee members. She credits this to her USP seniors who organised comprehensive training sessions to prepare the new delegates for the programme. She shared, “These sessions really gave us a good sensing of what to expect and equipped us with the skills necessary for PDI. The primer session hosted by Dr Quek Ser Hwee also gave us a good contextual background which proved really useful the conference itself. The USP team [USP delegates] were also very encouraging towards one another. It is really through the support of various parties that something which seemed so new and intimidating turned out to be an exciting and rewarding experience.”

For Isabella, PDI was a truly novel experience for her. “It's not like any run-of-the-mill MUN [Model United Nations] you might have attended. Its distinctive flavour of creativity sets you up for more than just a revision of your history syllabus or a debate. At its core, PDI is a game of chess – beating the challenge is all about strategy (and acting to impress or intimidate),” she expressed.

We are proud of Annina and Isabella, as well as the entire USP team that represented Singapore and NUS.


PDI 2018