I am planning to attend an international conference and present my work there at the end of this year. However, I am really anxious because I have never traveled abroad before. What would be some things to keep in mind before I go?
Attending a conference is a good thing for your research career. It will help you increase your awareness about the latest developments in your field. It will give you a chance to present your research to your peers and get constructive feedback from them. It also serves as a good networking opportunity, especially for early career researchers.
Travelling abroad for the first time can seem daunting. However, if you plan well, you will have a pleasant and enjoyable experience. I would advise you to start planning ahead of time. Keep your passport ready and find out about the visa procedures for the conference location. Most of the times the conference organizers themselves will help you make arrangements for your stay and travel.
With regards to the funding for your visit, if you already have a sponsor then great. If not, find out about the travel grants awarded by the conference organizers or other funding agencies and apply for the most suitable grant.
Once all the logistics have been sorted out, you could use the following points to plan for the conference-
- Go through the conference program in advance and make a note of sessions that you have to attend. Strategically plan this so that you can use this opportunity to meet the right set of peers and potential collaborators.
- Take your CV along with you. You could use these to approach researchers for suitable positions in their laboratories, especially if you are a PhD student who is nearing completion.
- Ensure that you dress professionally.
- Prepare yourself for the networking at social events. Think of how you would introduce yourself and your work to people. Carry visiting cards if possible.
- Most importantly prepare yourself well for your presentation. You could subscribe to our Enago Learn course How to Present at International Conferences to ensure that you deliver an engaging and impactful presentation. This course will help you with the following information-Guidelines on selecting a relevant conference, Principles behind writing abstracts for conferences, Planning and collating the content of the presentation, Brief overview of how slides should be designed and Advice regarding answering questions at the end of the presentation.