Personal Development

ESS Course thumbnail for Personal Development

Being self-confident, self-aware, open-minded and flexible is very important in today's world. This course is designed to help you improve these qualities and to gain insight regarding your talents and skills, as well as, using them effectively to achieve your goals.

Acquired skills

  • Become a more self-aware and flexible person and professional
  • Learn how to communicate in a more effective way, which will improve results, performance and career
  • Become aware of your personal and professional skills, and therefore more confident
  • Be present and focused
  • Become a better listener and a more curious person

General information

Course term: 227.07. - 07.08.

Free seats: 9

Price: 800 €

Category: Personal Development & Communication Skills

Status: Available

Deadline: 30.04.2020


The Personal and Professional Development course aims to give you an insight of your talents, passions, creative and critical thinking skills, in order to become a better professional, a more tolerant and understanding person, who is aware of and has a reflective attitude towards an ever changing world and a fast paced and multicultural work place (or study context). The Personal and Professional Development course aims to contribute to the “Bildung” of the participants, by focusing on self-reflection and discovery in a multicultural world, on the impact of that discovery and the development of the self on career choices and positioning as a professional, and the development of presentation skills, through self awareness. The work forms will include debates, reflective writing, presentations, interactive workshops, personal coaching and peer group inter-vision.

Each day will focus on a different theme and will alternate presentations and interactive activities. The last 2 days will be for (self)reflection, writing and presenting your experiences integrating the newly acquired knowledge and tools - this constitutes the evaluation. The course aims at self-growth and who better than you to assess your learning experience? Peer support and group reflection will complement it. The teacher plays the role of a coach, who opens ways and asks questions, who challenges the existing order and beliefs, creating more awareness and enabling critical thinking.


Lecturer Elsa Ferreira avatar

Elsa Ferreira


Royal Conservatoire The Hague


Entrepreneurial by nature, Elsa is always highly motivated to learn and expand her experiences, both personal and professional, which has contributed to her broad and rich background. She enjoys public speaking in five languages and switches effortlessly between them, bringing a very multicultural feeling to all her classes. She worked abroad during her entire career, and all those experiences and cultures shine through during her presentations.

For the past years she worked in International Higher Educational in The Netherlands, during which she advised, directed, motivated, coached and trained students for their study exchange and traineeship programs abroad, namely guiding and supporting them with all challenges inherent to cultural differences.

In 2016 her Personal and Professional Development course in Prague was a great success and she is again very excited to share experiences with more of you!

Course outline

You will be called to practice a range of different approaches to different situations, in order to improve your performance in either higher education, or working life. The objective is to provide you with tools that will enable you to identify, continuously develop and make the best use of your own skills, in order to become an effective and confident self-directed person and employee, who can define and achieve personal and professional goals independently.

Personal Skills - discover and assess yourself

You will start to look at yourself in a more critical way. Who are you? Do you know yourself? Who are the others? Do you know what you want in life? How does the context affect you and how you see yourself and the others? Which skills have developed so far and which ones do you believe you need to develop in the future, in order to reach your personal and professional goals?

Learning styles

Identify and take advantage of one’s style. What is your learning style? Is it always the same? Does it always depend on you or also on the subject? How can you better benefit from your learning style? Everyone has a different set of skills and responds differently to targets. Knowing your learning style can enable you to become a more effective learner and will give you an advantage in understanding how to motivate others around you (classmates and colleagues).

Successful and professional presentations (or job interviews)

A good presentation contains a variety of elements, your core message being only one of them. A strong introduction, intelligent body language, and a logical structure are often more important than the verbal message you are trying to deliver! We will address various elements you need to know in order to deliver an effective message: self-image, body language, rhetoric, and actual knowledge.


Effective communication is crucial for personal and professional life successes. You need to understand and be understood. You need to set your position, role, and opinions, in order to feel accomplished and reach your goals.

What is communication? Why is it so important? Can you comfortably defend your point of view? Or do you feel that being assertive the same as being aggressive? How do others see you? How do you see yourself? How can you change that to your advantage? These questions and others will be asked in order to improve the effectiveness of one’s communication and learn how to adjust the style when appropriate.

Body language

  • What does your body language tell about you?
  • Are you aware of your body language?
  • Are you a good body language reader?
  • How can you take advantage of that, e.g. for a job interview?


Personal skills are always interlinked with the professional ones, because before one can be competent professional, one needs to be a competent individual.

The topics touched upon during the course are applicable in all situations of one’s life spectrum, and you are free to use these newly acquired tools as you wish and retain to be the best for you from now onwards.

So, to wrap up, you will be asked to produce an auto-biographical and selfreflection text on a topic of your choice and to give a presentation in class, which can be based on that writing or on another topic you wish to actually share. You will make our presentation integrating the various tools you learnt and reflect on it afterwards, as well as receive feedback from the group, by using inter-vision.

Course Gallery


You will receive an official Certificate of Attendance upon completion of your course. Please inform the organizing staff if you require any extra supplements, such as Transcript of Records. The student is eligible to receive up to 5 ECTS credits, however please follow the instructions here and consult the acknowledgment process with your university in advance.


  • attendance in class 15%
  • team assignment 40%
  • individual assignment 35%
  • exam 10%

Course time total 125 hours

  1. Total time of in-class work = 50hours
  2. Preliminary assignment = 10hours
  3. Preparation = 65hours


Course fee includes the course itself, application fee, study materials, Prague public transportation ticket for 2 weeks, afternoon/evening social activities and events, welcome drink and goodbye graduation party. Other expenses, such as meals, accommodation, insurance, personal expenses, extra activities (such as trips outside of town over the weekend and entrance fees), and required equipment (i.e. pencils, paper for illustrations) are not included in the price.

Please note, after the 30th of April 2020 there will be a late enrollment fee charged in the amount of 50EUR on top of the course fee. COVID-19 Cancellation fee - in case the courses will be cancelled without an alternative course or the Summer school program will not be happening due to the lasting Coronavirus restrictions in your country or in the Czech Republic, we will be refunding all amount except for only 40EUR.

Terms and Conditions - Cancellation fees

Costs of living in Prague


For accommodation options, please visit the dedicated page


  • Intermediate level of English (at least B1/B2)
  • Openess to the difference and change, to be curious and eager to question yourself, and to develop new ways of thinking.


"ESS brings together people not afraid of engaging in something completely different from what they’re used to doing back home. It’s a great way to meet and interact with young people representing different cultures and as such – a definite opportunity to spend quite possibly the best couple of weeks in your life if you’re curious, enthusiastic and open to new experiences. Also, Prague is absolutely amazing!"