Our History


The Boston University International Affairs Association has a rich organizational history defined by its members. As early as 1973, the organization began as a Model United Nations Association, but the last decade has redefined us. From a small, dedicated group of  internationally minded individuals wanting to debate current issues, our membership has reached to over 200 students.

The Association began hosting BosMUN, our high school conference, as a joint venture with MIT in 2001 and the conferences have grown immensely. Now solely executed by Boston University, BosMUN is now one of the world’s premier conferences for high school delegates even attracting schools from China, Panama, Canada, India, Bhutan, Saudi Arabia, and Hungary.

The BUIAA held its inaugural collegiate conference, the BarMUN Simulation, for college delegates in 2007. After receiving outstanding reviews, the Association continued to build the conference. In 2008, BarMUN I was the first four-day conference that BUIAA (then the BU Model UN Association) had ever hosted solo.  Now, five years later, plans for BarMUN VI are well underway and members continue to dedicate countless hours to make it a leading conference on the circuit.

Other BUIAA ventures have started in the past few years. In 2008, the IAA became a charter member of the WEMUN Expo conference in Beijing, China alongside UC Berkeley, Harvard, U Penn, U Chicago, and Georgetown. The WEMUN Expo conference is now the largest Model UN conference in Asia, and attracts top high school competitors from all corners of the globe. The IR Review, an undergraduate student publication focusing on contemporary international issues and affairs, was started by BUIAA in 2009. The publication has grown quickly and is now a top undergraduate journal at BU with a large, dedicated editorial staff. In 2010, the IAA introduced Global Village, an event that brings together internationally-minded student groups on campus for a night of performances, cultural info booths, ethnic food, and camaraderie.

For a video history of the organization, visit our Facebook page.