How does College work in Italy? Recommendations
Good Afternoon, Erasmus-Family!
When I first arrived to Italy, I thought university would be more or less the same as it is in Spain. But instead, I was very (and gladly) surprised to find out in which ways we differ from each other. Therefore, I bring you here some odd notes so you don't get caught by surprise:
- Spain: right now there are degrees, which are 4 years long, when done, you do a Master's or Doctor's degree (Post-Graduate).
- Italy: the college career is divided in "Laurea" (3 years long) and "Laurea Magistrale"(2 years long) where you specialize on your chosen "Laurea". After that you do your Maste's etc...
On the other side, the grading system in Spain goes from 1 till 10, passing grade being a 5. In Italy they go from 1-30, passing grade being, 18. You need to take this into account when they convert your grade according to the Spanish grading system, since when I came, I had subjects with 30 converted to a 9,9 instead of a 10...
- Spain: all (or almost all) subjects are divided in a theoretical part and practical part and in general (depending on the professor) only the practical part is mandatory to attend to.
- Italy: there are 2 kinds of subjects:
a) Subjects: regular subjects without mandatory attendance. What happens? if you attend, you have different kind of final exam (usually with reduced material) than if you don't. Sometimes, all students get the same exam, whether they have attended to class or not. This way, the choice is 100% yours and you accept the consequences.
b) Labs: these are practical subjects of less credits, where attendance is 90% mandatory (you can only be absent once), with no final exam.
- Spain: exams are announced for January, May/June and July. From these 3 you can choose 2.
- Italy: there is an "appello" of 3 announcements for each quarter(December, January, February the 1st and May, June, July the 2nd). Depending on the professor, you can take the exam 3 times, if you fail/not attend or you get "Salto de appello": e. g: when you fail in December and you have to take it in May.
In general the "Salto de appello" is not usually done (no professor did it to me during the whole course), therefore I think it is very well structured like this: there are more opportunities (up to 6, depending on the professor) and at the same time you can even "decide" for yourself when you want to take it.
I studying as an Erasmus student at the "Laurea Magistrale in Pedagogia", and it is obviously harder than the "Laurea", but if you have got the required level in Italian it's bearable.
That is why, if you've got a low level of Italian, the "Laurea" subjects might be easier for you, because the level of difficulty is lower. But I recommend to learn Italian (in another post I will talk about some tips and advantages of being able to handle with it) and then studying whatever you want instead of what is easier (although this is also a good option, I'm only saying what I think).
On the other hand, I recommend you to write to all the professors you have by email at the beginning of the year and when you have any questions or doubts about anything, so that they know that you are an Erasmus student showing interest. This will make them treat you better. Because, if you start asking questions close to the date of the exam they will take it very badly... specially knowing you are Erasmus (stereotypes)
Basically, you just have to adjust and adapt as you go, know where your lectures are, if they overlap you have to change them etc...
As I always thing, going on Erasmus is the best adaptation to the environment you could ever do.
And as you know, if you have any requests of topics for new articles you an send me a message through Erasmusu or leave a comment on Facebook or on the post.
A hug to everyone and until next time!
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