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Why did you choose to do a mobility experience? An interview

We interviewed Oana who is currently working in Uniser thanx to a learning mobility opportunity. She spent more than one year studying and working abroad and she has a lot to say about Erasmus experiences.

Introduce yourself to our readers

Hi everyone, my name is Oana, I am 29 years old and I come from Bucharest, Romania. I am currently doing an Erasmus internship within Uniser in the Bologna office. For many years I have juggled work and study in Bucharest (as this is the norm there). I have a bachelor degree in communication, masters in sociology and political science, and I will finish this year my PhD in political philosophy. At the same time, I have also worked for various organizations, such as Enel Romania (sustainability and public affairs), for the Council of Europe (project assistant) and for the European Commission (project-based consultant).

Why did you choose to do such an experience?

I had been studying and working in Bucharest for around ten years. At a certain moment I felt the need to change lifestyle, to abandon the hectic lifestyle of a capital city. In addition, I was approaching the last year of my PhD in political philosophy and I felt that I have not dedicated enough time for my thesis. As such, I took the decision to leave my job at the Council of Europe and to jump back to the full-time studentship status. 

I took the opportunity offered by the Erasmus+ program and used all my 12 months. First, I went to Goethe University of Frankfurt for three months to study within one of the most important research centers in my field of study, political philosophy. Then, I picked University of Bologna for another six months. As I grew fonder and fonder of this city and as I had finished my thesis, I decided to spend at least three more months here and started looking for an organization where I can spend the remaining of my Erasmus scholarship and try to start afresh here. 

I chose Uniser because they work in an area close to my interests (education) and because I have always wanted to work in a smaller, non-profit organization, with a shorter hierarchical chain. Needless to say, the international atmosphere encountered at the office, due to many foreign colleagues, has helped me take this decision since my level of Italian is not yet advanced. 

What about your fears and expectations on this project?

Fears are small but related mostly about Italian language and culture – two domains which despite being quite easy to get and quite similar to my own cultural background, still hide their particularities which remain to be discovered only in practice. 

I can already say that after a few weeks my expectations have been left behind and that Uniser is a one of the best work environments I have seen so far! A compact team that manages in a very orderly manner a huge volume of work with the smile on their lips! 

Why did you choose Italy?

I chose Italy because it was the only country to fit my requirements: budget, language easiness, cultural similitude, university reputation. Bologna was particularly recommended by friends, who anticipated that I would find the city perfectly designed for my own taste. 

Why an international learning mobility experience it’s important for youngsters?

I doubt I can express in words here, but an international learning mobility opens a whole new horizon unperceivable until you start the experience itself. As a student it is of great importance to see how other universities are working, how are they treating their students, and what is the student lifestyle there. 

Do you think everyone should do it? Any advice to your friends about Erasmus?

Definitely everyone should try a learning mobility! Moreover, it does not matter if you do it at the beginning or at the end of your studies, it will be nevertheless an unforgettable and, possibly, a life-changing experience!

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