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Regular version of the site
17
May

From Moscow to Italy

Double Degree programme is an opportuniry for students of 'Political Analysis and Public Policy' as not only to get two degrees, a large amount of knowledge, but aslo to meet new friends and face to experience in wonderful Italy. Our international student from India, Sambhavna Biswas, shares with us about her 'Double Degree'.

My 5-month stay in Italy was one filled with excitement, learning and a great number of cherished memories. 
A flood of emotions took over me on when I stepped out of the airport in Bologna - its tiny streets juxtaposing the past and the present, the pretty small shops and the beauty that seemed to permeate its every view left me awestruck unlike any time I remember. Bologna, however,  was not the  place I’d be staying in. My final destination was Forli - a small town around 70 kms from Bologna. 
My first few days were spent trying to figure out my courses and completing the mountain of bureaucracy required to stay in Italy. Once I completed all the paperwork, I felt much more settled and at ease. During my stay, I took a total of five courses. The courses included International relations of East Asia to Political economy of welfare system, Globalization, States and Markets, Migration to and from Europe and Topics in International trade. These courses were extremely challenging and fun! International relations was a new field of study for me and in the course I met incredible professors and peers who made my study of the field very engaging. I particularly enjoyed the course International relations of East Asia and Political Economy of Welfare systems. The first one because it made us understand the complexities in the East Asian and the various actors and their changing role in the region over time. The course also required us to write a policy paper on a real world problem which was quite unique– it made us practice diplomacy first hand.  Having a keen interest in the development sector, I also quite enjoyed Political Economy of Welfare Systems in which the professor made us use theories of welfare (particularly the seminal book “The Three World of Welfare capitalism” by Gøsta Esping-Andersen) and its application in an engaging way. Several times we were asked to organized our thoughts by writing down our arguments for our position in a piece of paper before speaking in class. 

Courses in UniBo were extremely challenging and fun! I met incredible professors and peers who made my study of the field very engaging

Sambhavna Biswas 

My flat was almost as diverse as the European Union itself! I had flatmates from Poland, England, Italy, Russia and going back home to them after a long day of classes was indeed refreshing. Despite our busy schedule, me and my friends tried to visit a new city every weekend. We managed to visit Ravenna, Rimini, Bologna, Parma, Ferrara each with its rich cultural heritage and history, not to mention the mouth watering delicacies.  We also managed to visit the country of San Marino and were in awe at the breathtaking castles. In the last few days of my stay, I did my interviews for my master thesis which is on Immigration policies in EU and Italy with a special focus on Bangladeshi small business owners in Italy. I spoke to several such business owners, asked them about their life in Italy and how they ended up starting a business in a country very new to them. These interviews were very helpful and insightful and I hope to do them justice in my thesis.My stay in Italy was packed with countless events, delicious Italian food, exhilarating travel experiences and academic growth. I will carry the memories of my stay in Italy for a very long time!

 
If you want to read more about it, Samhanva keeps her own blog at https://medium.com/@sambhavnabiswas 
Migrant Diaries — Day 1 (February 4)
"I entered the small shop, which was nothing like any of the big supermarkets in Italy like Conad or Coop but had a warmth that those lacked. After a quick introduction in Bengali, I told him I came to interview him about his journey to Italy and how he eventually started a business of his own. To my surprise, he was more than happy to answer my questions. I started with questions about his journey, his date of arrival to Italy and what he used to do before arriving here. Turns out he left home when he was 20 years old to start working in an air conditioning store in Saudi Arabia. He knew a friend from Bangladesh in Italy who suggested him to work in Rome. He eventually helped him to get his work permit and also a place to stay and work. As I write this, I realised that I forgot to ask him if that person charged extra for sponsoring him for work in Italy and also why he decided to leave Saudi Arabia for Italy. I need to include these in my list of questions for next time."