Study Abroad Series: 19 First time

Studying in Italy gave me many “first time” things such as living alone for the first time, traveling alone for the first time, studying in English language for the first time, and, the most nervous thing, giving presentations in front of the classroom in English language for the first time.

But, everything has its first time.

Actually I had worked with foreigner before, had conference meetings in English, but this time was different. This time after giving a presentation, teacher and classmates would ask questions, and criticized how we presented. Criticized? OMG!?!?

This presentation was a part of the Technical and Scientific Communication course. The course that we learned how to communicate what we know to the others by both writing and speaking.

For writing, the teacher taught us the basic concept and gave us examples of scientific paper. Then, we had to write 3 to 5 pages about software engineering or computer science as an assignment. The teacher would give us the comments. For speaking, same as writing, the teacher taught us the basic concept. Then, we had to prepare and give presentation for 20 minutes.


For me, I was less worried for writing. But for the presentation, I was nervous. The teacher told my friends to record the video, so we could see how we presented and improve ourselves. It looked serious and that made me even more nervous.

I practiced A LOT. While presenting, I was a little bit nervous in the beginning. Then, it was getting better. The feedback from the teacher and friends was not that bad. After the presentation, my friend sent me a video file of my presentation. I could not watch it more than 15 seconds because I laughed myself… haha

In the class, some students did very well, while others not. After this presentation, I still had other presentations in other courses. Before finishing my first year in Italy, I gave presentations and also had oral exams. From nervous, I started getting used to it.

I did not know when it happened, but one day I did not feel nervous anymore. I knew I did not do it well; my presentation skill still needed a lot of improvement, but I just did my best. I guessed because of the experience that taught me to do my best, and try to convey what I want to the audiences. Just that…worry helped nothing.

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