Earlier this year I received an email about the IRSAE summer school 2015. Even though I was an IRSAE member, I had never met any of the other members so going to a summer school and spending a week with a number of strangers sounded terrifying and exciting at the same time!
I registered myself, booked my tickets and the time came to fly to Sweden. After a couple of bus changes and equal number of polite bus drivers who were willing to answer my questions I made it to Syninge kursgård were the school was held. On my way to the venue I noticed that a girl was following me so I asked her if she was there for the summer school and just like that I met the first IRSAE fellow member! The rest of our day was spent eating delicious food, meeting people, introducing our projects and anticipating about the following days.
On our first day we were welcomed to the classroom by the smiley faces of our course instructors who were introducing themselves and were asking us individually about our projects and the reason we were taking this course. Each of them was passionate about what they were doing and this was passed on their sessions as they were using all their energy and knowledge to help us understand why communication matters and what are the communication channels that would help us in our professional and daily life.
The days went by very quickly and I have come to realise that Communication in Science is much more important than I thought; a whole new concept that opens so many doors to my future interactions in the academia as a researcher and my personal life.
Our instructors used various techniques to demonstrate their points, some required group work and specific topic discussions, others to work on individual tasks such as a short presentation of our PhD projects. All targeting two things; how to master the science of communication and how to get confident talking/presenting our research to others.
All in all, the 6th Summer IRSAE School was a total success and personally the best experience I have ever had so far in my PhD! I got to meet so many people who are not only top researchers but also interesting people, I got to be more confident and communicative in science and also, I got to visit the beautiful Archipelagos on our field trip day. Our instructors were able to mix knowledge, humour and brainstorming in one class and captivated our minds with arguments in order to make us understand various concepts-we were all very lucky to have them there! Sweden is a lovely country which I cannot see the time to visit again. By the end of the course not only had I met the rest of the IRSAE members but I also made research friends who are willing to help me anytime I am in need or in the future.
Thanks for everything!