Italiano or English? 

When traveling to a foreign country it is always better to learn some important words in advance. I think this is in generally a good approach to get in touch with locals. You are coming to their country, so you should at least be able to say hello or thank you in their language. To me, that shows some sort of respect for their culture and your that you are a visitor. 

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Community is everything, especially while living abroad

At the time I am writing this blog, I have already accomplished an Erasmus abroad in Paris for six months and am currently doing my second in Italy. During these months, I have learned a lot about what it means to live in a community or family. Therefore, I want to write a blog about myself today, and also present to you methods on how to connect with people in a new city.

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Sautéed pizza or how Italians are going back in time and Finns stop shooting reindeer

Living in a world where climate change poses the greatest challenge for todays and future generations, animal product consumption is an important point of debate. From a rational perspective, it seems quite clear that people must consume fewer animal products, especially in countries where there is an abundant offer of other food available. But it is not so simple. Food and cooking are very deeply anchored into humankind’s imaginations of home and culture. In this text we will have a look at two examples of well-developed European countries: Italy and Finland. We will compare some of their data with Switzerland and discuss possible cultural reasons for the differences in meat and milk consumption. 

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Local vs. Erasmus

During an exchange semester you will not only get to know people who actually live there – the so-called locals – but also others who are staying there temporarily just because it is fun. You might reject it first (like I did) but at the end of the day you, as an Erasmus student, belong to the latter group. This text will be about the differences between the locals and the exchange students. Also, I will discuss the feeling of getting stuck in between those two groups. 

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Italiano – la lingua dell’amore, delle emozioni e dei sentimenti

When I went to Padova, I could already speak Italian as I learnt it at the long term grammar school. For this reason, I didn’t have the problem of having to talk with hands and feet at the beginning. 3 years ago, I went to Spain for half a year (also Erasmus) and when I came back home, I lost almost all of my Italian due to the similarity of these two beautiful languages. A little bit of travelling in Italy and talking to some Italian friends helped to make it come back a little bit though. But only did I properly get back in the flow here in Padova.

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Translating for a lung specialist

« Puis eeh oui c’est comme une caméra, qui entre par la bouche… ah non par le nez, pardon, et ben, on regarde les poumons avec ça. C’est très important pour l’enfant.»

You might be looking forward to a blog entry about the beauties of French now, but I have to break it to you. This scene did not take place in France, but actually in a hospital in Florence. Why should one care to speak French there? Well, not only les français are known for the perceived superiority of their language, but also gli italiani are very proud of Dante, Petrarca & Co.. That is why unfortunately you will not find many doctors speaking foreign languages in Italy. And this is the point where medical students in Erasmus come in.

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