I did my Erasmus in Portugal, in Lisbon and it lasted about a year.
What was your first choice? And why you have chosen it?
My first choice was Madrid and I had chosen because I love the Spain.
And why instead you went in Lisbon?
Because it didn’t depend on me. The seats that were available for Madrid were terminated and was available only Lisbon.
Tell us how you prepared before leaving. How was your state of mind and what were your plans and expectations.
To be honest I haven’t made extensive preparations before leaving. I had a great desire and curiosity to go, find out and join, but I had no expectations in particular.
In your opinion why a guy or a girl of twenty should doing an experience like the Erasmus project?
Because at that age in particular, we have the desire to discover and Erasmus is a tool that is available to all, so why not take advantage? It’s a unique and unrepeatable experience that marks you in some way for the rest of your life.
What were the reasons that led you to participate?
Sincerely I discovered the ban quite by accident and again by chance I decided to participate. When I was taken was simply to be able to participate in this experience from which, however, didn’t know what I should expect. It was just for fun and then I jumped the opportunity that I was presenting.
What you have changed after, if you changed, and you think that the same can happen to everyone?
I started when I was a pretty shy as a boy can be raised in a small town and that has never had strong experiences of this kind. Try to imagine a guy who had never flown before, and nor had ever been abroad. I arrived in Lisbon abandoned the role of the shy guy and I have become shameless. This allowed me to live the best experience with a more open mind and enjoying every moment. Therefore Erasmus has strengthened my personality and affect the character that still proved.
There were also negative aspects to this experience?
From my point of view and from my personal experience the only down side was back in Italy. But everything that I have lived enriched me in a positive way.
Do you think that you’ve learned the local culture? And what you mean by local culture?
When you live a whole year in one place is almost inevitable not to learn the habits and customs. I am attending classes at the University and I went out with local boys and girls and then after a while I spoke the language, thanks also to language courses organized by the University. I went out in the places that were visited by the Portuguese, eating typical dishes and soon begin to revenue in the spirit of the city, you feel part of it and you get to live not as a simple tourist who spent some time abroad, you feel a true citizen.
What you’ve missed at most of all when you return in Italy? And what instead you bring with you?
What I missed the most on my return were my friends would call more like a real international family, because we were always together, in every adventure and misadventure. But today
after thirteen years are still the most beautiful thing that I took from that experience began as a game. Are still in touch with most of them, we communicate regularly and when we can we meet around the world.
Now you are doing the second experience with the Erasmus program that is allowing you to be able to do the research for your thesis and write it abroad. You’ve chosen again Portugal and especially have decided to leave at thirty-six. The annuals reports of Erasmus about said that the overage age of the students that go abroad is around twenty-three years. How are you living this experience in this new phase of your life? Something is changed?
I decided to leave again because this project gives you the opportunity to study abroad and perfect your skills. Especially at my age where intentions have changed. I did not start with the idea of partying as twenty years, but with the idea of being able to collaborate with subject matter experts who are concerned and then create me skills that I will be helpful in the future regarding work. Also from an economic standpoint is an important aid to those who not have the chance, because with its funding this program allows you to be fully subsidized while you finish your study period.
Do you suggest to try this experience to colleagues of your age?
Of course, I suggest to students that at my age like me are completing studies for all the reasons previously reported.
What skills you’ve got?
First of all I learned two new languages, Portuguese and Spanish, if practiced regularly never forget. Then they relate and learn to live with other people and cultures different from their own. Learn to get by on its own even in difficulties and study materials you are interested in not only with the methods of the teachings of your university.
Finally the reason of your new leaving are related to the memory of the past or are completely new?
I can say that my two Erasmus are completely different from each other. I left the first time I was twenty years old and want to go, learn and celebrate in the true sense of the word. Now I started with a new awareness, to want to establish myself in terms of employment. Then the claim is the reason for my new start.