Conferences constitute an essential part of academic life, but the stress of presenting or giving talks, sometimes makes students regard it as an overwhelming or even scary experience. This, however, should not discourage them as there are countless good reasons to attend a conference!
Soft skills are important for every career. The students’ skills in presentation and communication are particularly important in academics and research. Fortunately, conferences give students the chance to practice these skills. Rehearsing and giving a talk or poster a presentation will make students more comfortable in front of an audience and will get familiar with the required talk speed during a speech as well as with the amount of detail required to be given in their explanations. Answering questions after their presentations and chatting with other attendees will help them improve their communication skills. Furthermore, listening to and participating in lively discussions at conferences can enrich them with new ideas, help refine their existing concepts, and may even change their mind regarding various key issues in their field.
On the other hand, it should not be overlooked that attending a conference is good fun! Even though a conference is regarded as a work event rather than a leisure one, it can still be enjoyable. Travelling to a new place constitutes a big part of the appeal of a conference since you travel to another city, eat new food, and visit some local landmarks or tourist attractions. You may even try out learning a little bit of a new language.
Students may also have the opportunity to attend social functions as part of a conference, such as dinners, trips, or parties. Sometimes these events can be formal or dull, but very often they are relaxing and friendly affairs. Moreover, they are given the chance to meet other students with similar interests, enjoy their company and probably develop lifelong friendships.
American Academy students have the opportunity to participate in a number of conferences such as:
• Brotherhood Conference
• Model United Nations (MUN)
• Euromath Conference