Is studying in Italy just as atractive as their pasta and pizza?
Fabulous architecture, cozy streets, the sea, pizza and pasta - is not an ideal place where you can spend as much as six months, not just relaxing, but also gaining new knowledge!? We talked with our students who left for academic mobility in Italy about their expectation and whether they coincided with reality, with whom they met, about the difficulties of study and Italians. Is everything so rosy and alluring as it seems at first sight?
Kamilla Idrisova, a fourth year student of Sociology and Social Informatics (Polytechnic University of Milan)
When choosing a country, of course, I was guided by scholarship support, based on this I looked at free places where I can go. Since the first principle of academic mobility, give way to someone who has not been to it, I was very worried, because I already went to Norway for an exchange, and my chances are small. My first priority was Hungary, then polytechnic university in Milan and the third - Germany.
Of course, I also focused on the courses that you can choose at these universities. IT is now a very popular and sought-after area, and just at the Polytechnic University of Milan there was a huge selection of such courses. As for my expectations and reality, I expected the worst, but it turned out the opposite, in terms of education.
In terms of life, I hoped that life in Italy was beautiful and luxurious, but as it turned out there were significant disadvantages, there were still some remnants of the bourgeois past, but the quality of education pleasantly surprised me. Here, high passing scores, high requirements, both for students and for professors. It is interesting that there are almost no seminars, continuous lectures, and they are optional for visiting, but there is certainly certain material that you must study in order to pass the exams.
The examinations are oral and you can retake them here five times, but be kind, forget about the phone and other means for cheating. You can go to pairs of different faculties, so I go to subjects from the faculty of Management. If we talk about people with whom I met here, I would say that the Russians have their own community, making friends with Italians is a little tough, the mentality is a little not mine.
They are tricky guys, they won’t say sorry again, for example in public transport. But of course in every country there are different people. Mostly I talk here with guys from Latvia and Slovakia. Milan is a very international city, people come here not only from other countries, but also from other parts of Italy. I would even say the people who come here from the south of Italy are more energetic and responsive than the native Milanese. And the main drawback that I noticed, if you do not know Italian, you will not find yourself in this country. Italians very lazily switch to English, and in some situations they don’t even switch to all of it. In conclusion, I want to say Italy has become for me both an amazing country and no.
Anastasia Arefieva, a third year student of Sociology and Social Informatics (University of Turin)
I really wanted to visit Italy, so I had all 3 priorities in Italy, the first two were in Rome, and the last in Turin. I expected some kind of constant summer atmosphere, eternal dances, pizza, pasta and other various goodies, in terms of the country itself. In terms of studying, I had no expectations at all, because Italians themselves are known for their slowness and rest in the middle of the day, so it was difficult for me to imagine what kind of study awaits me here, I just wanted to get a European learning experience. In fact, I will not say that stereotypical thinking about Italians is reflected in their studies. It’s not easy to learn here, it’s more difficult to get excellent marks here than in Russia.
And in terms of the country itself, my expectations were fully confirmed. I met a huge number of people, international students like me. When you arrive, you first go so scared because you are in another country and you have few friends, then you quickly find someone to chat with, because there are so many people like you. I have heard as many different phrases in completely different languages as I have never heard in my life. I study in the north of Italy, all production is mainly concentrated here, it’s coffee and cars, and they say that the northern Italians are very different from the southerners because the southerners like to relax more, and in the north, Milan is just nearby, a 2-hour drive away, and this is the most business center in Italy, people are more hardworking. But even the northern Italians like to relax, which struck me, for example, most cafes work from 12 to 3 and from 3 to 7 they have a break! I also noticed that Italians are constantly late, all the buses they constantly delay, this is a national feature. Somehow I was late for the lecture, my bus was delayed for 20 minutes, I arrived, but the lecture never started! In general, in Italy you can really feel like some sort of Dolce Vita, sit on a beautiful terrace in the center, order a cup of cappuccino, which is cheaper than in Russia, by the way, look at all this beauty and enjoy.