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AeroErasmus- our aerospace students Erasmus stories

Some recollections from our aerospace students who spent a period abroad through the Erasmus+ programme

 Alessandro-  Royal Institute of Technology- Stockholm, Sweden 2016-2017

My name is Alessandro Davario. I spent the second year (2016/2017) of my Master’s Degree in Sweden, at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) of Stockholm.

After four years spent living in a small city like Forlì, moving to a capital city like Stockholm was not such a big change, contrarily to what it can be expected. Indeed, Stockholm is one of the most liveable place where I have been in my life. The only difference compared to Forlì is related to the use of bicycles. In Stockholm, extreme weather conditions during winter make it impossible to ride bikes – even though I saw some brave Swedish riding them on snow and ice. Its geographical position makes Stockholm a unique destination: I experienced snow from November until May, experienced -20 degrees for one week in January, very few light during winter which was balanced out by the colour of the sky at midnight in June.

The University has an outstanding campus, after a while it becomes your second home. I spent most of my time there, between courses, laboratories, studying in the library and enjoying all the events organized by students. The teaching level is high, and courses are enriched by weekly mandatory assignments and projects. However, Erasmus is not only about studying, it is living and delving into a different culture: exploring a new city, visiting museums, participating in every sort of event, travelling around a new country (I had the chance to see an old Viking cemetery).

Last but not least friends: Erasmus is one of the best moments in life to meet people from all around the world and make new friendships. I was very lucky since I lived in a University accommodation and I am still in contact with some of the people I met there. I will never forget the trip to Riga (Latvia). Moreover, I had the chance to know better Vincenzo Di Lella, the other student from Forlì. We worked together on the degree project carried out at Scania and it represented one of the most educational moment for me.

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Cosmina- Charlmers University of Technology, Goteborg, Sweden 2017-2018

For me Erasmus is a powerful experience that you will never forget. Being abroad as an exchange student, trying to immerse yourself in another university system, into the local lifestyle and making new friends will become wonderful memories.

Just a little tip: try to get the most out of the country’s culture from the very first day and be careful, after that you might not want to go back to your life.

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Maria Gloria- Cranfield University, Cranfield UK 2016-2017

For my Erasmus, I went to Cranfield University in England. Along with the high-level of the research facilities there that could improve my résumé, I wanted to improve my English and come back with a nice and classy British accent. Not all my dreams came true, my accent is still very much Italian, but nevertheless so much has changed in the last year thanks to the decision to move in the UK.

First of all, I have grown as an engineer. I have chosen a topic that was not part of my background, and, although it has been hard at the beginning, thanks to the guidance of my supervisors, I have discovered a new field of interest and I have given a nice turn to my preparation. Furthermore, leaving Italy has given me the confidence to apply for positions in other countries. I realized that I didn’t need a lot of experience in advance, the Italian preparation combined with the English research project have given me the tools to cope with, well, pretty much everything. All I needed was dedication to the new project, the patience to wait for the result to show up and a ton of hard work.

I finally got out of my comfort zone and appreciated how easy it was to move abroad and gain the practical experience I was lacking: England was the first step, then Japan and Germany followed in the same year. I now feel like a true citizen of the world. Europe is my home, yet there are no real boundaries to where we can go.

But the Erasmus has been so much more. I have met extraordinary people. With many of them I have shared laughs and barbeques and brilliant conversations. A few of them though have changed my life, showing me a new point of view, a new path to be run. People that have enriched me and have contributed to my personal growth. People that I won’t forget, even if our paths might not cross again. People that have inspired me and motivated me. All of them made my world more colourful.

Nothing would have changed if I had stayed home. Moving abroad has been a risk, but one that I am really happy to have taken for an experience that I sincerely and strongly recommend.

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Vincenzo - Royal Institute of Technology- Stockholm, Sweden 2016-2017

Over the last year, the question I usually ask to other fellow students is:
“Have you been on Erasmus?”.

If they say “Yes”
I can see happiness in their eyes, and at the same time, sadness because they had to come back.

 

If the answer is “No”
then I ask them: “What are you waiting for? Go!”

At the beginning, it seems difficult. You find yourself in a new country, far away from home. The weather sometimes is just terrible, and you are surrounded by people who speak an incomprehensible language and eat weird food. You are not used to the same teaching methods at university and, what’s more, you feel lonely, with no friends.

 

Despite all of this, you are still there, you have your things to do and days just go by. But then, you start to realize these difficulties are an opportunity to grow up. You understand you are not the only one going through it. You meet new people, new friends every day, and some even meet love. You begin to appreciate your new classes, professors, teaching and studying methods you could never try at home. And you travel almost every weekend, because you don’t know if you will be this far from home again, so you take the opportunity of visiting new places whenever you can. You find hidden gems: your new bar of-choice, a cozy restaurant, your favorite dish. You begin to make sense of that language that sounded so unfamiliar. You begin to call that foreign place home.

 

Eventually, your exchange period is over, and you already find yourself on your flight back home, leaving a piece of you, a piece of your heart behind. In return, you grew up, feeling enriched by an experience that could have never been the same in another place.

 

So.  “What are you waiting for?”

“Pack up your things and go!”