Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

It’s a new semester and it’s time to meet new people at your university or graduate program.

If you are doing a master’s, PhD, or even undergrad in the United States then you need to be able to introduce yourself to people in the academic environment. You also need to be able to talk about your major or your thesis project or your research.

In today’s episode we are going to show you a few ways to introduce yourself in different contexts within your academic world.

Who would you introduce yourself to:

  • Your research team
  • Other research teams
  • Your professor
  • Other students, your study group
  • Mentors and other professors in the field


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Two forms of self introduction:

1- A two-way conversation where both people participate

2- A monologue where you stand up and introduce yourself

These phrases will work for both situations.


Key vocabulary you need:

  • Major/minor
  • Research focus/interest
  • Thesis
  • PhD or doctorate


Step 1: Say your name:

  • Hi my name is Michelle
  • Hi I’m Lindsay


Step 2: Say where you’re from (if you’re asked)

  • I’m from Brazil.
  • I’m here from France for the next year.
  • I grew up in Japan but I’ve been living in the US for the past ten years.


Step 2: Say where in the university you work or study

  • I’m doing my PhD here in art therapy.
  • I’m taking classes at the graduate level in chemistry.
  • I’m working on my thesis in exercise science right now.


Step 3: How to talk about your research:

  • I’m interested in the relationship between anxiety and parental care-taking roles.
  • My research focus is the connection between addiction and empathy.
  • I’m doing my master’s thesis on culture shock that Indian professionals experience while working in Boston.
  • I’m investigating the ways in which exercise changes the chemical composition of our brains.


Step 4: Ask the other person about theirs

  • What are you working on?
  • Are you doing your master’s?
  • How about you? What are you studying?



  • For your self introduction keep it short and sweet. Don’t try to be funny but don’t be too serious.
  • For the two-way introduction always attune to the other person’s cues. Don’t be thrown off if they ask you to repeat something.


Final thought:

First impressions are important but everyone is nervous for self introductions.

Don’t sweat it too much and just use these vocabulary words and do your best.


What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Let us know in the comments below.

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