Dr Niamh Lenahan, Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, took part in two Erasmus+ Staff Mobility workshops this summer, in the Czech Republic and Romania:
During the summer 2019, I travelled to two countries to attend academic workshops. In June I went to Brno, Czech Republic and in July I travelled to Timisoara in Romania.
In Brno, I attended a workshop on Academic Presentations. The workshop looked at presentation techniques in areas such as delivery, communication and visual aids. The workshop took place at the University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Studies located near the city centre and participants from Hungary, Poland and Ireland were housed on campus.
Brno is located in the South Moravian Region and with a population of 400,000 is the second largest city in Czech Republic. Brno is also an important centre of higher education, with 13 institutes of higher learning with a vibrant student population of approximately 89,000 students. As a group, we were also able to explore the historic city and experience Czech culture every evening that included attending modern dance in the Janacek Theatre and visiting the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul.
In July, I travelled to Timisoara, Romania to attend a workshop on Academic Leadership. The workshop covered themes such as coaching skills, conflict in the workplace and explored leadership styles. The workshop was attended by participants from Spain, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Portugal, France, Romania and Ireland. It was a really dynamic group and we worked really well together on the various projects that we had to undertake. Our workshop took place in a hotel only minutes from the city centre.
Timisoara has a population of 300,000 is located in the west of the country. Known for its impressive architectural structures, the central square is surrounded by baroque buildings and the Metropolitan Orthodox Cathedral dominates the square. After a very busy day, we enjoyed exploring the city as a group and visited museums, churches, and enjoyed walks by the Bega river.
Both of these workshops, which were delivered over one week, allowed me to meet and network with university faculty and staff from other European countries. I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the organisers from the training company Dare to Succeed, who put a lot of work into the coursework as well as ensuring that all participants were looked after during their time in each country.
Both locations were difficult to get to as there were no direct flights available to either location from Ireland, but it was worth the effort. My travel was funded through the Erasmus+ Staff Mobility (STT). Thanks to Ivanna D’Arcy from the International Office in UL for assisting me with the application process. I would highly recommend both workshops and look forward to attending more of these in the future.