During the trip, the biggest challenge for me is to communicate with the Tibetan locals and students there because of the difference in culture and language. Moreover, I would feel nervous and inferior when I am facing new and unfamiliar people. Therefore, it is quite challenging for me to interact with Tibetans there smoothly.
When I was exchanging with Tibet University students there, the challenge began. Students there looked mature and professional and this gave me more pressure. I started to ask some questions about environmental protection in their school. As I felt nervous and I was using Putonghua which was not the language I was familiar with, I stuttered quite often when I was speaking and even forgot what I was going to ask.
However, the students were very nice and kind, they did not laugh at me and they answered my questions seriously which provided us some very useful information. Furthermore, my teammates kept supporting me that I could did it well. I began to believe in myself and confidence appeared in my body gradually. I could speak more smoothly and felt more relaxing when communicating with students there, just like chatting. When they understood what I said and I understood what they replied, plus we started to share some interesting things in our own regions, I had a feeling that I could have much to share and felt more and more confident. At last, I forgot the fear I had at the beginning until the end of the exchange session.
After this exchange, I learnt that confidence is very effective in overcoming fear. When I believe in myself and relax, I could communicate with unfamiliar people like university students just like daily chats. Moreover, confidence could be built by more practices on what I have to say and ask. When I know what I am going to say, I will not be frightened.
Afterwards, when communicating with other Tibetan locals and having TED talk in the university, I was not as afraid as before and I had more confidence which gave me more power to overcome this challenge.