Thursday, 12 January 2012

Study Visit Seminar

A few weeks ago I blogged about being accepted on a study visit to Poland. Today, I attended a briefing seminar where necessary practical information was disseminated. I don’t feel as apprehensive now that I know what the next stages of the process will be*.

There are over 100 Transversal/Ecorys study visits this year with thousands of participants throughout the EU. Whilst at the UK briefing today, I was hoping to meet someone going on the same visit, my plan being to attach myself to them from now pretty much up until we reach the hotel. Out of the 144 UK participants, I am the only one attending the librarian visit. I know that makes me very lucky, but it also make me very scared. I’m an inexperienced flyer and it would have been comforting to have a companion. I have from now until May to lose this fear and embrace the challenge of being an international solo traveller.

Previous participants shared hints and tips with us, which I was quite grateful for, particularly as the following ones would probably have never occurred to me:
  • Take appreciation gifts for the host, other participants and any organisations you visit
  • Take business cards
  • Prepare an ‘elevator pitch’ in advance
I don’t have an elevator pitch and I don’t have business cards. I don’t even have a firm handshake. And as for confidence? I could do with finding some of that before I go too. There is lots of preparation to do but the visit isn’t until May so there’s plenty of time. Which is just as well, I think I’ll spend most of it trawling the shops trying to find suitable appreciation gifts. Living near the Birmingham border, I’m initially thinking Cadburys chocolate. Whaddya reckon folks? Help me out here… pretty please?

*Sign contract, funds transfer, email from host organisation regarding schedule, delegate list & accommodation, book flights & accommodation, make contact with other participants, then finally… go, go, go!

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