Today Pequod talked with Olga, a graceful young student from Russia, who lives and studies Communication Science in Bergamo.
Olga, tell us something about you. Where do you live now? Which is your current occupation?
My name is Olga Vasilyeva, I’m 23 years old. I’m Russian, from Russian Federation (Novokuzneck). I currently live in Bergamo, I’m a student.
Why did you decide to leave your country?
I like travelling and new making new experience. I think that in this way people can really grow up. In my city I could not imagine my future life and carrier, that’s why I thought to change it all and I did it.
Why did you choose Italy?
I was thinking about one of the leading European country and I was considering Germany and Italy. In Russia, Italy is renowned as a beautiful, friendly and happy country. I visited it in 2010 first and since then I have loved Bergamo and Italy in general.
Describe your life in Italy (your occupation, your everyday life, social life, etc.). Tell us something about the city you live in and the top 5 places to be, where to go, what to do – be our tourist information center!
Well as I said, I am a student, I’m attending the third year of a bachelor course and I am about to write my dissertation here. I love my University (Università degli Studi di Bergamo). It gives me a lot in terms of knowledge, social life, and motivation to move forward and build my carrier. I met many nice, friendly, open-minded, brilliant people thanks to the UniBG, I went to Germany for my Erasmus and I consider doing my Master here. I actively participate in different seminars, conferences and cultural events (like TEDx, University seminars etc.) to widen up my horizons. My everyday life is closely connected to UniBG, but it is not everything, of course. I work part time in Milan as interpreter at different exhibitions.
Besides friends and colleagues from UniBG, I have some others from completely different fields. Sometimes I go out to some bars in the city.
I would say that my top 5 include: 1. Città alta – to walk and get some inspiration, to go jogging, 2. Bobino – perfect place for aperitivo, 3. Clash Club to throw a party without leaving the city, 4. Edonè is good for big and healthy hamburgers, 5. Aegee-Erasmus party to socialize + Bonus: valleys (Val Seriana + Val Brembana) mountains, lakes near.
How is living in Italy different than living in your country?
Well the cultures are not that different but the environments are. Here I feel at ease. I have more chances to meet people from all over the world and to learn from them a lot.
Which is the biggest challenge of moving to a new country? Have you had any regrets so far? What do you miss the most?
Integrating is the biggest one I think, but I was lucky, I am quite well adaptive and communicative and I learned Italian fast. Bureaucracy can also be an obstacle, but when you want something obstacles become just a challenge you can overcome. No regrets, but of course I miss my parents and my close friends from Russia.
What does Europe mean for you? Do you perceive the existence of Europe as a community?
I have actually changed my mind a bit. At first, I thought about the EU as a whole, but after I have been here for a while (since 2012 more precisely), I realized that it is hard to unite such different countries and their interests. However, of course from the political and symbolical point of view it is a community (just with its small downsides).
Italy, your country and Europe. Use three words to describe each of the previous.
“Warm”, “a lot to fix”, “center”
What would you say to someone to convince them to move abroad? What’s the best thing you’ve got/you’ve learnt by your experience abroad?
As I mentioned earlier, travelling opens your mind, moving abroad teaches you to be independent, responsible and to live your own chosen life. To me it was enough.