I wasn’t sure what to expect as I travelled from London to Copenhagen for my second course in Scandinavia

This time was different as it was my first instructing gig. I arrived at the hotel on Wednesday afternoon after seamlessly travelling from Copenhagen to Malmö, Sweden – if you’re a fan of clean airports and easy transitions between countries then Scandinavia is the one for you. The air was fresh and the people seemed to take everything a little slower than London, a refreshing start to the course.

As was expected the Scandinavian grads gave us the most kind of welcomes. I expected nothing less as the grads I met last year were amazing.

I started Thursday morning with the grads trying to ensure everyone spoke to someone they didn’t know during lunch. By the end of the 4 days some lifelong friendships have been made. I can’t wait to see everyone again.

Speaking culture: The Scandinavians are calm and composed and it forced a majority of the UK grads to follow their lead and work on their pauses and assertive first sound – me included. When speaking to coaches and grads they were really happy to have ‘UK style sessions’ as it was so different to what they are used to. I think we can all learn something from each other. Letting go and having fun doesn’t mean we lose our discipline.

Contacts: In Oslo last year I found that everyone I spoke to had time to listen what I had to say. It was scary for the first 5 mins and after my first ‘excuse me’ all that fear went away. Malmö was no different for all the grads who travelled overseas. Most of whom challenged themselves to try a few in Swedish – which the public really loved. You always speak better with a smile and the poor attempts at Swedish made everyone smile!

Oversea graduate comments:

¤ Will Goodwin – ‘I found the course an eye opener to how my speech could be and it has allowed me to figure out my goals to get there.’

¤ Georgia Scott –  ‘It was an honour to meet so many amazing people and I feel like I’ve achieved something I can be proud of forever.’

¤ Denise Admiraal – ‘I really liked the Scandinavian region, who are all very disciplined, honest and speak amazing English.’

¤ Rashid Mahmood – ‘I immediately felt welcomed and supported by a group of strangers that I’ve never met before.’

¤ Jessie Stride – ‘This course helped me not only improve my speech but to find myself as a person, and for that I am forever grateful to every amazing grad who attended the course.’

If you have the chance to go aboard for a course you will not regret it, I promise you! Many thanks to Easyjet, SAS, Lufthansa, Aer Lingus and even Ryanair for making these trips achievable without breaking the bank. Turns out flights are cheaper than trains to UK courses.  Push out your comfort zones and take a trip this year.

Michael Hutchinson