In 2015, I was lucky enough to be sent overseas by Elevate to present to school students in South Africa and New York. Not only was this a chance to challenge myself as a presenter in new and exciting school environments, but there was plenty of time for sight seeing and adventures aswell!
Stop 1: South Africa
In South Africa, I presented for three weeks in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town. The students over there love Australians, so the cricket and rugby banter was rife! I got to present in all different kinds of schools – newly built campuses with fresh-faced students that were beginning their first year at the senior school in year 7, all the way through to ancient Hogwarts-esque quads where students strictly call you “sir” and tip their hats at you as you walk by!
But it wasn’t all work and no play. South Africa is home to some of the world’s most attractive sights. With some afternoons, evenings and weekends free, I was spoilt for choice trapsing up Table Mountain, frolicking in botanic gardens, bunji jumping off the Soweto towers, visiting Nelson Mandela’s home, going on Safari in the wilderness, or sun-baking on world famous Camp’s Bay beaches!
Stop 2: New York City
Presenting in New York brought a whole fresh set of challenges and rewards. Here, the workload steadily increased, with a busy schedule presenting to some disenfranchised students. But these challenges gave birth to some of the most rewarding seminars I have ever been a part of. The feeling of getting through to that uninspired, unmotivated student who previously saw no point to their schooling, or being personally thanked for giving a student a simple skill to make their busy life a little simpler, is a reward that you’ll struggle to find in any other job.
And of course, what would a trip to New York be without the chance to get along to NBA games at Madison Square Garden, catch a Broadway musical, get lost inside the MET, eat all the pretzels and donuts you can stomach and get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the city that never sleeps!
Without a doubt these international experiences have not only taught me how to be a better presenter, but have given me the confidence to tackle new challenges with an open-mind and persistence. These trips will push your comfort zone and test your skills – the rewards are well worth it!