Presenting at UNICEF

Anna P. is currently a junior at SYA Italy and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. She comes to SYA from Exeter High School in New Hampshire.

Last week I took a huge step out of my comfort zone that has allowed me to feel more confident in my language abilities. I’m now able to say that I’ve delivered a presentation to an Italian audience, only speaking in Italian! 

Firstly, SYA Italy continues to be a proud partner of UNICEF, and each year we “renew” our relationship by sending students to speak at their conference. Despite the fact that I am not very confident in my speaking skills, I was persuaded into being apart of it. We were given five minutes to present on an event that our school does, that stands out from the rest. The week long trip to the island of Cyprus was what my friends and I chose to discuss. Splitting the work evenly, we each chose an important part to talk about. We began the presentation with a quick overview of what School Year Abroad is, and the fact that this program strives for learning through language immersion and experiential opportunities. 

Then, we went into describing a part of the immensely complicated history of the island, including the long conflict that continues to divide Cyprus to this day. In partnership with Marinos Papaioakeim who works at Nicosia University in the capital of Cyprus, SYA students prepare for this project for six months and then take a week long trip to the island in March. Once in Cyprus, students get to interview locals from both the south and north side, obtaining a global perspective that this entire experience is intended to give you. Some examples of themes that students have chosen to study in Cyprus are education, journalism, identity, religion, and art.

As my friends and I presented all of this in front of the UNICEF panel, I felt very self conscious about if they were even able to understand my Italian. Even though I was extremely nervous the entire time, we made it through the presentation smoothly and without any mishaps. The speaker of the panel even said that our school was a very important partnership to UNICEF because the way in which our students are taught is so unique and beneficial. Not only did this presentation go really well, but I came out of it with more confidence in both my language and public speaking skills, as well as an experience that I would not have had without SYA Italy.

  • Campus Reporters
  • SYA Italy
A New Normal

Annika compares her new normal to her life in Rennes in her last blog.


Luke recalls a recent memory that encapsulates the lessons he learned from SYA.