Academic Mobility during the Pandemic

During the Spring 2021 semester, Giulia Brochiero (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice) was an international mobility student at SPbU (Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences), but it was in her cozy room at home in Venice…

Giulia Brochiero

During the Spring 2021 semester, I was an international mobility student at SPbU (Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences), but I was in my cozy room at home in Venice.  It is still strange to describe it, but I am sincerely happy that I had this opportunity.  As a matter of fact, even from far away, I could meet and get in touch with people (that I know I will soon meet in person) and study what I am passionate about – and, to be honest, that is what university is really about.

Attending classes only in English, setting up to a different time zone, talking to people with backgrounds other than mine was stimulating and exciting, especially after a very strict lockdown in Italy that certainly had an impact on me.  The courses I attended were very interesting since in all of them our active participation was requested.

I particularly enjoyed how the professor of “International Organizations and Institutions” course got us involved in conversations and wanted us to share our personal opinions to give rise to debates. We also had some guest-professors from all over the world and that is surely an extra point!  Furthermore, I thought that it was essential to attend a literature class (firstly because I just love Russian classics, but also because I think it all starts from there). That is the reason why I attended “Key Issues in Russian Literature and Culture” and even though there was a lot of work to do, I liked it a lot and it helped me to dig Russian culture in an intense way.

I am also happy because during my virtual experience I improved my Russian skills a bit.  ESN (Erasmus Student Network) was very active!  Moreover, I took a Russian language course, and my professor was very funny, and I even enjoyed Russian grammar sometimes!!  Plus, I watched a lot of Russian films (with subtitles, but still!) for “Russian Cinematography and Society of 1920-2000” that is a super course in which every class you analyze a different film.

And finally, another course that I recommend is “Cognitive Aspects of Conflict Management”. The professor is very nice, and the subject is so relevant in our daily life that I am glad I did not miss the opportunity to attend it. It focuses on how we should manage conflicts and it provides important tips on that!

I am very satisfied with my online semester, and I cannot wait to go to Saint-Petersburg in person. I know it is not the same to attend classes from home, but I felt like the university cares a lot to make you enjoy your experience as much as possible!

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