as Italy was quite present in the news around the world concerning the intensity of the Corona-Virus situation, this idea of student journals came into being, where students could report their experience with the present situation and the organization of the university.
This allows outside students, that are planning to come to Italy for studying or are thinking about applying for a university here, to get a better insight into the situation.
Spoiler-Alert: It is definitely not as bad as it might seem in the media. Rather the opposite. It is impressive how well the transition to Online lectures and the adaptation to the new system worked.
From Germany to Italy
My spring break just finished, when the first cases of Covid-19 appeared in Italy and made the first headlines. At that time, I was in Germany, and hesitated a whether I should return to Italy or not.
To be honest, I never imagined the Lockdown that was implemented later, I mean, who could have? Therefore, I decided to go back to Rome and start the new semester as usual.
In the first week of March we had three normal days of lectures at university, when it became clear that all universities in Italy must suspend lecturing after Wednesday, 04 March 2020.
Luckily, my class of the Global Governance course did not have any planned lectures for the rest of the week that would have had to be cancelled otherwise. Unfortunately, some interesting planned Extra activities had to be cancelled.
But that was understandable, due to the increasing urgency of the situation. On Thursday, the first plans for online lectures circulated, with the hope of being able to be implemented by next week Monday. And so, it happened.
From “normal” classroom lectures to online lectures
During the 4 days of organization, all students were informed about the online classroom format (ZOOM in our case), the usage and the guidelines for the usage.
Despite the expectations of many mistakes and technological problems, I cannot recall major problems with the online lecturing from the start (except some minor adaptations that we all had to get used to of course).
I am still a little surprised by the unexpected but smooth transition from “normal” classroom lectures to online lectures.
The first weeks were very exciting, as we were confronted with a whole new modality and weighed off the advantages and disadvantages of the new situation.
In the following weeks the process became more “natural” and all parties proved to be open for adjustments to make the lecturing more comfortable for everyone, as online lectures are more “intense” compared to normal lectures.
The next question that came up, was that of exams. It took quite some time for the professors to evaluate the several options for exams – but even these worked quite well eventually.
In April, we conducted two multiple choice exams, one open book exam and one oral exam, all online – and I don’t have anything to complain about their execution.
Since most of the communication with the secretariat and the management of the course worked via email already before the crisis, also this continued to function flawless.
Looking forward to meeting each other
We could always count on contacting our Secretariat and professors for any questions and organizational purposes and received helpful answers. The only negative aspect is: we don’t get to meet each other in person, which is a crucial aspect of a university for me.
But regarding the situation, this is necessary of course, and we are looking forward to meeting each other, when it is possible again, hopefully in the near future!
Together we will overcome this
To conclude, I hope to have clarified some of your doubts on the situation and could give you some insights into our university life. I don’t think there are major reasons to not come to study in Italy because of the Covid-19 Virus.
So far, we have managed the situation in the university sovereignly, learned many new things and I am confident that together we will overcome this situation successfully.