Ein Mann hält ein Papierflugzeug aus einer Weltkarte in die Höhe

... in Rome, Italy

Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza"

Bachelor's student Magdalena Christanell spent a semester abroad in Rome and tells us how she experienced her partner university and the "Dolce Vita" lifestyle.

You spent an exchange at Sapienza, Italy. What was your personal motivation for this?

  • I immediately thought of Rome as a destination because a friend of mine had spent her semester abroad there and raved about it. The more I looked into the city and the university, the more I liked the idea. I come from South Tyrol, so I could already speak Italian. However, as I hardly ever need the language in my everyday life in Vienna, it has become a bit rusty and so I had my personal challenge: to get closer to the country, people and language again and so I did my semester abroad in my home country.

What were your arrival and first days in your host country like? How did you experience the campus of the partner university?

  • We were told in advance by the host university that we should introduce ourselves on arrival. Once the organizational matters at the university had been clarified and we had our public transport ticket and everything else we needed to get started in a new city, it was time to meet new people. This was particularly easy via WhatsApp groups, where you could arrange to go out, explore the city or similar stuff.

How did you like the academic program at the partner university? Where are the differences to WU?

  • I only attended courses at the Faculty of Economics, but the university has a wide range of faculties. At Sapienza there is a lot of frontal teaching. There were also formats in which students had to give presentations, but generally with little exchange between lecturers and students. In this respect, the discussion culture is different from that at WU.

"I had the opportunity to meet great people through lectures and acquaintances. For some of them, I can say that true friendships were formed during the semester abroad."

How did you organize your time away from the university?

  • In the beginning, we mainly spent our time exploring the city, visiting museums and simply soaking up the Italian lifestyle. At the weekend, we often went to nearby cities, such as Florence, Bologna or Siena. As soon as the temperatures got warmer, we often went to the beach (to Ostia, Anzio or Maccarese). Fortunately, the beaches around Rome are easy to reach by public transport.

Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza"

  • Location: Rome, Italy

  • Population: approx. 2,873,000

  • Number of students: approx. 122,000

  • Exchange level: Bachelor