From England to Belgium and back, or how to become a public speaker

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Kimberley comes from England and studies literature at the university. She moved to Belgium for nearly a year thanks to the Erasmus+ programme and absolutely loved the experience!

 

My name is Kimberley, I am an undergraduate from the South East of England, who moved to the South to study literature and then headed to Belgium to both study and work. As a person, I can come across as slightly awkward despite being highly extroverted. When I am not with people, you will usually find me with my nose in a book, in a museum or rushing off to somewhere important. I have three jobs, I am a volunteer for Erasmus+ and I love being a representative for things that I am passionate about. I enjoy travelling, photography, art, culture, and learning lots of new things in general.

 

 

Back from Erasmus exchange

Sitting opposite the computer screen, I was hesitant. It was September. I had just returned to University after a long ten months break but still my memories of my Erasmus experience were fervent in mind.

The Stand Out in a Global Market campaign was being advertised in Birmingham for October and I was keen to share my experience.

Erasmus had done wonders for me, I loved my time away and I wanted (and still want) others to have the same opportunity as I did.

The only problem was the public speaking…

 

Stand Out in a Global Market

Firstly… that dreaded presentation. Now, I’m a talker. I love to talk. Taking in a group? I’m the biggest fan! But presenting to people is a one-way mirror, and to say I was nervous was an understatement of the century. But that didn’t stop me.

I’d lived in another country. Alone. I tried to learn Dutch! After that, everything else seemed achievable.

I wanted to get people enthused about experiences outside their home life, and better yet… I wanted to show off all the cool pictures I took.

So I did it, I got talking. Only the first and third word in my first sentence was audible and my throat became dryer than a Scotsman’s sense of humour but I stuck with it… and embarrassingly... once I got over the squeak of my voice, I genuinely enjoyed it.

The presentation was not the b-all and end-all of my experiences (and neither was learning to navigate PowerPoint with a clicker). I went to Birmingham! After returning home from my year away, one thing became abundantly clear to me… I hadn’t been to many British cities and I was just as excited to go to a new environment within my country, as I was outside of it.

The city itself is MASSIVE, the train station is awesome, the accents are brilliant and I’m gutted I didn’t have more time to go off and explore. Luckily for me, Stand Out in a Global Market provided me with some great contacts and some lovely friends and I can’t wait to return to the city and get an extended local tour.

 

What you can do to get involved?

After that enthusiastic explosion, you’re probably fed up of reading about me and want to know what you can do instead. Well you are totally right!

Erasmus has done wonders for me. Not just for skills such as confidence, goal orientation, patience and self-reflection, it also continues to let me do what I love the most. Get to know new people.

So for you to experience your own adventure, the only thing you need to do is a bit a research. The term sounds scary, I know, but it’s nothing. Research is heading over to the Erasmus+ website. Research is talking to those experts. Research is asking questions and finding the answers.

And that’s where your journey begins!

portrait of Kim

 

Kimberley Bonham – Higher Education Erasmus+ Ambassador

 

Would you like to have a life changing experience like Kim's? Visit our study abroad webpage to learn how to go about organising your Erasmus+ exchange or, better yet, start your studies in a whole new country!