Student Exchange in Rome, Italy
Salve a tutti (Hello everyone),
My name is Tomer Kringel, I’m a 3rd-year Entrepreneurship & Business administration student and I’m part of the Reichman Student Exchange program.
At the moment I’m writing to you from Rome, Italy, where I’m doing my Student Exchange at LUISS University. I wanted to share with you my personal experience about what it’s like to be an exchange student, a term, which I heard for the first time at the begging of my 1st year at Reichman and I knew right away that I must seize this opportunity and don’t pass on it when the time comes.
Fast forward to today – in two weeks I’ll start my final tests, and who thought that this semester which began in the first week of September almost comes to an end. In this period of my time here I’ve learned a lot about the local culture, their affinity to local food, and how the local cuisine is deeply rooted in their culture and connects all the different provinces throughout the country.
Other than learning about their culture and the different types of local dishes, I fell in love with the Italian language, I’m trying to learn as much as I can, and I even took a private Italian language course with a local teacher. I’m practicing the language at any chance that I can with my Italian friends that I met in LUISS, and in day-to-day situations like asking for a direction or ordering a dish at a restaurant.
During my time here I’ve also explored every corner of Rome (mostly by walking) and I visited all the tourist sites that the city can offer (Colosseum, Pantheon, Vatican City, etc.).
Besides that, I took advantage of the long weekends here and got the chance to travel to some of the nearby cities like Firenze, Napoli, and more unknown breathtaking cities full of Italian authenticity.
Apart from this full Italian experience, which sounds like I came for a family trip that became a little longer than expected… the reason I came to Rome was to be a student. To be a student as part of the student exchange program is a powerful experience because you are not only getting the chance to meet local students but also exposed to students from all around the globe who are coming with their language and culture. The experience of learning the courses together and corporate in the many projects we were assigned as part of the courses (the lectures are picking the groups and the students don’t have any say about it) taught me a lot.
But to be honest, it wasn’t always easy, the courses I picked are taught as part of the university MBA program and they include a lot of case studies articles, research, and a lot (really a lot!) of presentations in front of the class. It requires you to be very organized and to be able to shift from one project to the other (you get a new project every couple of weeks, not just at the end of the semester).
So, if you are still with me…. As I said before, fast forward to today, in two weeks I will start my final exams, very intense two weeks, because besides the final exams we also have final projects for each one of the courses (the lecturers don’t like to choose between final exam/project they just choose both). After that my experience would be almost over, I’m planning on staying for another short period of time in order to keep exploring Italy, and its culture, Strengthen the connections I made here, and practice as much Italian as I can.
I’m very happy with the decision I made to become an exchange student, and this experience will carry on with me for my whole life, and so are the tools I acquired here as a student.
At the end of December right on time for New Year’s, my experience would come to an end, I’ll fly back to Israel for the last Semester of my degree and like the beginning of the New year, I will begin my next experience.