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Tips to overcome the fear of speaking in class

Class participation is highly required for successfully development of MIBAL subjects. However, we are aware of the fact that for some of you speaking in public may not be an easy task, even more when using a language which is not your mother language. Here you will find some small tips for encouraging and improving your participation in class.

  1. Do it!

Do not consider speaking in class as a risk, but an opportunity for improving. Avoiding speaking may let you think that you lack of confidence to face the situation, which in turn will create you feelings of frustration. Every day you delay it, you will feel worse.

  1. Repeat it!

You are not going to get away from your fear of speaking in public just doing it once. You have to take every chance to keep doing it. It is not a secret that, as it happens with other skills, speaking in public improves with practice.

  1. Keep it positive!

It is important to focus on the positive outcomes of the intervention (for example, in terms of self-improvement, achieving better marks…) than on the negative ones. If you can not stop thinking about how badly are you going to do it, be sure of one thing: you will do it wrong.

  1. Focus on the content!

While speaking, do not start wondering if people in the classroom are noticing your blushing cheeks, shaking hands or whatever. What they are really interested in is on what you are saying, so instead of concentrating on such insignificant things, focus on your explanation!

  1. Be clear and concise!

That will make it easier to understand you. Do not unnecessarily repeat arguments, give priority to easy explanations and use accurate and appropriate vocabulary.

  1. Teachers and classmates are not foes!

Teachers are really willing to listen to what the students have to say. That makes classes more interesting and funnier for everyone. Classmates will appreciate your courage and they will be more eager to participate if the rest of the class is participating as well.

  1. Take critics with grace!

Obviously, personal opinions are open to criticism. In addition, teachers may be looking for debate creation, so do not take critics to your comments as something personal. Try to learn from them and do not stop speaking just because you made a mistake or someone criticized your opinion!

 Classes will start next Monday!! So today we want to dedicate some lines to explain some things about the University of Almería which may be of your interest.

 1. How to get there:

 The University is not close to the city center, so unless you do not mind walking for hours everyday, you will need a better mean of transport. Here you have the location on Google maps:

 https://maps.google.es/maps?q=universidad+de+almeria&ie=UTF-8&ei=wlhlUrCvB8zH7AbxuIDoAQ&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAg

 If you do not have a car, the best option is to get the bus. The lines that go to university are 11, 12 and 18. A one trip ticket costs 1,05 €. However, if you plan to assist to all your classes (as you are expected to do) our advice is to get a bus pass. In that case, you should go the Surbus Kiosk, which is located in the corner of Avenida Federico García Lorca with Gregorio Marañón (in front of La Salle). The prices of the bus passes can be consulted at http://www.surbus.com/tarifas.aspx

In the case that you prefer a healthiest option you can also go by bike: buy a second hand one, hire it or try to get one of the 100 that the university lends to students http://cms.ual.es/UAL/universidad/serviciosgenerales/deportes/Pagina/PRESTAMO_BICI_UAL (note, the deadline for the first semester is over, but you can try in February).

Of course, you can also share a car with your classmates or other people.

 

2. Once at the University:

 The university is divided in different kind of buildings (https://maps.google.es/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=es&msa=0&msid=104365174170302963425.00000111df827111a11a8&t=h&om=1&z=17&ll=36.829176,-2.404847&spn=0.005986,0.009978). Faculties are the buildings where usually teachers have their offices in. “Aulario” (ranging from 1 to 4) and CITTE III (classes with computers) are buildings where classes are held. You should be aware of the building and class where the master will take place. Other buildings of interest for you may be the Library, the Sport Center and of course, the “Edificio Central”, where the secretary “Araties” is placed.

 

3. Where to eat at the University

 There are four cafes that serve food during all the day; moreover some of them offer special menus at midday: Faculty of Humanity’s Cafetería (https://twitter.com/Comehumanidades), Central Building’s Cafetería (https://twitter.com/CC_UAL), CIDU’s Cafetería and Bar Romera. “El Comedor” (https://twitter.com/comedor_ual)only opens to serve food at midday with menus of 5 €. If you want to save money or you just prefer your own food, you can bring it from home and heat it in a microwave in “El Comedor”.

This post has the purpose to help every newcomer to Almería for attending the master. We will tell you how to arrive here, what to bring, where to live, how to go to university… We hope you will find it useful.

Before coming to Almeria you need to know about…

…the weather:

Almeria is known for its good climate, that is to say, the sun. It is the European city with more hours of sun during the year and you can easily check it walking around the beach as we have got Erasmus students in them 10 of the 12 months of the year. Of course, it is normal for winter to be cooler (15-9 degrees) but… do not think that you will need too many winter clothes. Every foreigner loves this city because of its few rains and its absence of snow but some of them hate the wind, which is almost constant. A typical saying from Almería is “the city only has two seasons”: winter, which starts after the Fair (the third week of August) and summer, which starts after “Semana Santa” (March or April).

… the transport:

If you had already arrived to Almeria you can congratulate yourself because it is not an easy task. Almeria has got a train station, a bus station and an airport. In addition it has got a highway network that links the city with the Mediterranean area and the rest of Andalucía. But all these infrastructures are not useful without good means of transport. And this is the problem that every Almeria citizen as well as tourists has to face.

The airport is placed 10 minutes by car from the capital and there is a bus line that goes there each hour, the number 20. Here you have got the airport web:

http://www.aena-aeropuertos.es/csee/ContentServer/Aeropuerto-Almeria/es/

If you do not find the flights you need or want, we recommend you to look at Malaga’s or Alicante’s airport, they have more destinies and cheaper flights. Then you can come to Almería by bus. These are the webs of both airports:

http://www.aena-aeropuertos.es/csee/Satellite/Aeropuerto-Alicante/es/

http://www.aena-aeropuertos.es/csee/ContentServer/Aeropuerto-Malaga/es/

The bus station is in Almeria city, next to the train station. It is quite central so from it you can go walking almost everywhere. However, if you have luggage or you just prefer to arrive faster to your destiny, in front of the bus station there are always taxis. There is  also a bus stop near, where many different buses pass by during the whole day with a frequency of half an hour. This is its location:

https://maps.google.es/maps?q=estacion+autobuses+almeria&ie=UTF-8&ei=OiJkUtSXE6nm7AaVjIH4AQ&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAg

The bus company that links Almería with the rest of Spain is called Alsa so if you need to use this mean of transport you must visit its web page where all the destinies and time tables appear. At the same time you can buy online the tickets. If you are under 26 years old and you have the youth card, show it at the time of buying the tickets and you could get a little discount.

http://www.alsa.es/

The train station is next the bus station, so they have the same address. The same as with the buses, if you are under 26 years old and you have the youth card you could benefit from a little discount. You can see the little number of trains that depart from or arrive to Almeria visiting the following link.

http://www.renfe.com/

At last we have to tell you about different bus lines that are working in Almeria during all the day, linking each one of its districts, the university and the airport. Depending on your destiny you will have different frequency of buses, but usually you will have a bus every 20 minutes and it is not normal them to be late. The only problem is to get the university line in the morning rush hour because you can feel packed in like sardines. Here you have got the web of the bus company where you can look all the buses:

http://www.surbus.com/

So now, you know the basic things in order to get to Almería. In our next post (which will be published before the classes begin) we will give you some useful information about the university.  We are really looking forward to see you soon!