Graz: bowling competition with our Erasmus group.
Name: Giulia Boffelli
Sending institution: Università degli Studi Milano Bicocca, Milano (Italy).
Faculty: Scienze della Formazione Primaria (Kindergarten and Primary school teacher).
Receiving institution: Pädagogische Hochschule Steiermark (PHSt), Graz (Austria).
Because of a thousand reasons. To summarize, choose Graz because:
It's a university city, there are a lot of students and for this reason it's really a young and open-minded city.
Graz is beautiful! To be a city, it has the perfect size: it's big enough to contain all the possible thing you can look for (cultural events and entertainment in general) but it's small enough to make it feel your home, your city. It's full of parks and trees and you can go everywere with your bike. The center is really nice and you'll love to go for a walk at the Schlossberg.
It's the perfect starting point to visit many places in Europe: you can easily reach many wonderful destinations and visit other countries.
Because the Pädagogische Hochschule here is really well organized and full of amazing people: the International team is so helpful and active that you will feel like at home and you'll never feel lost. They organized a lot of courses for incomings during which we learnt a lot about different cultures and we had the possibility compare our cultures and to share knowledge and different points of view.
Review of my stay abroad in academic terms
It’s difficult to focus on my Erasmus as I feel completely absorbed into this my new and different life, but thinking about a review of my stay abroad, I would say many thinks.
Talking on an academic point of view, I would say that I gained a new perspective regarding the University world and the way to see my faculty. Here in Austria everything is organized in a different way than in Italy: this university is very small, you can have a direct contact with the teachers and with all the colleagues. We have the possibility to do group work and I really apprecciated the fact that during the internship we are two together in a class. This gave me the chance to share opinions, to plan together the activities, to have a different view on the same situation and so it was great.
What is significant to teach is something culturally determined: here in the University different things are taken into account. It’s a more practice approach, they give more importance to put the theory into practice, to do and experience everything, to prepare a lesson plans. On the contrary, in Milano the practice part arrives as a consequence of a deep theoretical work of analysis of the situation and of the needsof tha class, having as a base a theoretical framework of pedagogists and scientists.
I also learned a lof of things about different school systems and different conceptions regarding the competences a teacher should have. I feel more ready to be a teacher in the European Union!
Review of the stay abroad in cultural terms
In cultural terms, I can say that I really learnt a lot.
I can’t even realize how many things I learnt about different cultures and ways of life. I’m deeply inside the Austrian culture thanks to my boyfriend and to my friends of the dormitory, but at the same time I feel inside the Canary Island culture, the German one, the Spanish one etc. It seems to live inside a wide variety of cultures and I love it: I love to listen to stories and traditions of other countries, I love to cook and to eat different food (yes, the Italian is not the only good food in the world), I love to have different timetables and I love to try to understand a person understanding his/her culture.
Thanks to the University courses for the incomings, we had the awesome opportunity to discuss and to grow personally and professionally exchanging perspectives.
Review of the stay abroad in social and personality terms
In social terms, I really feel a richer person. I think that nothing as an Erasmus could give me the possibility to enlarge my friendships and the same concept of friendship. Feeling close and finding similarities and differences in other friends and people let me understand that meeting new people is a really great experience of growth.
I’m sure that I will never forget all the people I met because each of them, in diverse ways, gave me something that I will bring with me for the life. I feel that after this experience I’m more able to understand the others and to apprecciate them and the diversity in general.
I’m more autonomous and I think I’m more able to discriminate between what is important and what is not.
I know myself better and I discovered parts of me and of my personality that I didn’t know to have.
I also feel I can be more empathic and that I can go deeper in the relationships and for this reason I have to say thank you to all the people I met because without them Iwouldn’t be able to grow.
Experiences I wouldn’t have gained without staying abroad
I gained everything in the literal sense of the term. The list would be endless and so I think that the word everything is my only way up to now to express what I feel. All the things I learnt and I earned were impossible to have staying comfortable at home and doing the same life every day.
I sincerely think that doing an Erasmus should be something obligatory for all the University students because only travelling and meeting new people you can have this kind of experience and enrich yourself understanding and living the European Union and the beautiful variety of the world in which we live.
You start thinking in a completely different perspective and all the things that you were doing before they’re seen in a different way: you can really see your life from outside and learn better to evercome obstacles and to be independent, respectful and open-minded.
Benefits provided for my future job (as a teacher)
As a teacher, I think that staying abroad provides a lot of benefits. In our society isn’t enough anymore to be able to understand and to live in your village or country: we have to think wider and to open our mind to a global perspective.
That’s what a teacher should teach to her children, but to be able to do that she/he has to feel it and to live it personally.
I really think that after my Erasmus I’m more professionally competent and I’ll be a better teacher, because I have something to teach to my students that I believe is important for their growth: the respect and the interest for the other cultures and for the others in general.
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