Being a foreign student in italian university


So I decided to continue my degree in the state University of Milan. I completed my Bachelors degree in the Philippines and that is equivalent to first level of higher education in Italy. The second level which takes up to two years, which they called “Laurea Magistrale” or Master’s degree aims to provide rigorous, advanced training in more highly specialized areas.

To get admitted I provide:
1.    Translation of all my documents from English to Italian
-Course syllabus (description of every topic we took for every subjects)
-Conversion of all my grades from 1-5 scale to 0-30.

2. “Dichiarazione di Valore” (Declaration of Value), a document issued by the Italian     Embassy in the Philippines.

3. A payment of 600 euro with a tax exemption for the second semester providing:
-ISEUU (Indicatore Situazione Economica Equivalente) is the instrument for assessing the student’s economic situation which grants exemption from taxes.
-Annual Income Tax Return of my father(or any member of the family currently working) issued by BIR in the Philippines.

Finally, to get a place in a chosen course it is important to obtain a special average from the previous education because the courses have a certain limit number of students. However, the requirements and procedure may vary depending on the faculty and university.

In the Philippines, the school year runs for 10 months including the exam periods.
1st semester: from June – October
2nd semester: from November to March

In Italy, they have months dedicated only for lessons and a month for exam.
1st semester: Lessons from October – December, and exams from January to February. The students can select dates published by the professor in student’s website, and if they couldn’t pass they can retake the exam for the following semester.
2nd semester: Lessons from March – May and exam period on June, July and September.

The attendance is not mandatory. But the professor provides all the possible questions he/she may ask during the exam, so it is a big advantage to attend every lesson. The exam is composed of written or oral exam, or written and oral for every subject. As I observed, written exam causes more stress to a majority of the students than oral exam. Italians are good at improvising and at expressing what they think. Personally speaking, I prefer the written exam I am one of those people who gives his best with more time. The lesson is in italian language. The books are mostly italian and some are in english but the exam, whether it is written or oral is in italian.

As what I know now, we are only two foreigners in our class that composed of 120 students. It is frustrating to sit there in the classroom for hours and not understanding everything of what the professor is saying. I record the lesson and take notes during class. The hard part is to read those italian textbooks with lots of terms and difficult words. Good thing, most of the italian students are quite friendly and helpful.

Attending italian university is a big challenge for me. There is a bureaucratic chaos, lack of guidance, and difficulty of oral exams. But I believe the quality of italian university education is superior. If some foreigners have succeeded before me, with preparation and strong determination I know for sure that I’ll succeed as well.

 As what the University professor explains,

 “Speaking Italian to our countrymen is like watching a movie in colour, high definition, very clear pictures. Speaking English to them, even with our best effort, is like watching a movie in black and white.”Professor Emilio Matricciani, Appeal for Freedom of Teaching