For my Go Abroad-trip, I travelled to Brno, Czech Republic to participate in the 14th ESSE (European Society for the Study of English) conference which was hosted by the English and American Studies Department of the Masaryk University. This international five-day-conference was composed of dozens of panels. I presented my paper in the panel Ethics and Violence in Contemporary Literatures in English.
I was anxious before my trip about presenting in such a big conference as I had not done that before. I was also worried that the other attendees of the conference would have more advanced careers than I since instead of participating in the conference’s doctoral symposium, I was presenting a seminar paper as a part of the professional panels. In the end, this turned out to be exactly the case; the other participants of my panel were distinguished professors. Nevertheless, I managed to present my paper successfully and people seemed fascinated by my project. Out of all the panelists, I was offered the most questions and all the comments I received were positive. I also succeeded in answering all the questions in a satisfactory manner.
Presenting at the conference was an excellent learning experience for me. Being able to present my paper in a big international conference among distinguished colleagues showed me that I am ready to begin my career and be a part of the academic community. It was very useful to hear what other scholars in my area are currently working on and I learned a lot from the presentations of other panelists. The conference also gave me an opportunity to network with colleagues who work in similar fields.
Additionally, visiting the Czech Republic again gave me an opportunity to brush up on my Czech language. I was happy to notice that my language skills were still good enough to have everyday conversations. Furthermore, I was glad to connect with people from the department which organized the conference since I used to study and work there and would like to possibly work there again in the future.