Mobility programmes are back, meet some of our new international students

In 2020, the health situation put a halt on many things in our lives, including international mobility programmes. What hasn’t stopped, though, are Ca’ Foscari’s efforts to make our University a safe place to welcome new international students that have chosen Venice as their destination, following strict government measures to prevent the spread of the virus and abiding by the highest hygiene standards in all of our classrooms and buildings . 

Although we offer online courses for those wishing to remain at home, we were extremely pleased to see that so many people decided to actually move to Venice for their mobility period. 

Their excitement for this new adventure was matched only by our satisfaction in seeing our efforts paid off, so we decided to interview some of the newcomers to learn more about their stories and their expectations for the upcoming months. 


Diana is an Erasmus student from Ukraine and she’s studying French, English and Spanish at her home university. 

"Last year my friend told me she was travelling to Spain so I decided to also apply for the Erasmus programme and try a new cultural experience in a different country. 

I’ve always been very interested in Italian culture and Venice is a beautiful place to live. Even though moving to a different country at this time could be difficult, I decided to live in Italy because distance learning is not as interesting and I also hope to make new friends while I’m here. 

It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to travel and experience a new culture with its traditions and customs. I’m also interested in seeing the similarities and difference between Italian education and Ukrainian education".

Olga is a third-year Management student from Moscow, Russia.

"Our international services provided information about different universities. One of my friends  was there several years ago and she was delighted with the experience and always spoke well about Ca’ foscari, saying it was the most exciting period of her life, so that really inspired me to come to Italy and specifically to Venice. 

This city is magnificent, it has such a rich historical heritage and it’s different from all the other places I’ve seen. It will surely be a great journey that I’ll remember forever. 

I chose to come here because i’m very interested in art and this is the perfect place for art lovers, I want to know more about painters, architecture etc

I hope to meet new interesting people, learn new cultural customs and see different approaches to study and education. 

Even though this was a challenging year and it was very hard to get all the documents, I decided to come here anyway because this was my goal. I chose this programme at my home university specifically because it offered experiences abroad and I didn’t want to lose the chance to travel". 

Saiyyna is an Economics and Management student from Russia

"I’ve never been to Italy before, that’s why I applied for an Erasmus scholarship and chose Venice as my destination, which I believe to be one of the most unique destinations in the world.

I’ve already travelled to Sweden for an exchange period, but I was curious to know more about Southern European culture. My goal is to explore and wander as much as possible! 

I feel like being here is already a great achievement in itself, moving to a different country in the middle of a pandemic was not easy, but I felt the need to come here because Erasmus isn’t just about studying, it’s also a cultural experience where you get to learn new languages, taste local foods and meet new people, things that wouldn’t be possible if I had decided to follow online classes." 

Phung Le Yen Vi comes from Vietnam and she’s currently studying English at the University of Hanoi 

"When I signed up for the Erasmus scholarship and I got to review the various possible destinations, I was really impressed with Ca’ Foscari’s history and the beauty of its buildings. Of course, Venice also played a big role in my decision to come here, I think it’s the most romantic city in the world. 

At my home university I took an Italian language course and I was so mesmerized by how passionate Italian people are about their culture and their food, which I can’t wait to try once my quarantine period is over. 

I hope that professors and my fellow students will support me in the upcoming months, it takes a while to get used to being in a different country by yourself! 

If the health situation allows it, I would love to travel around Italy and and Southern Europe in the near future!"

Darya Yaskevich is a Management student from Moscow, Russia. 

"We’ve just arrived, so our first experience of the city was to carry our luggage around the city to the apartment. It’s so different from Moscow, we’re used to traffic, whereas here you can only walk or use vaporetti.

I decided my exchange destination firstly because I wanted to come to Europe, and Italy and the Italian language are so beautiful.  Venice was a great opportunity for us to live in a completely different way.

We were a bit surprised to have to wear masks also outside, but we think it’s wise to be more cautious so that this situation can come to an early end.

We’d like to try all different kinds of food and we’d also like to speak the different kind of Italian they speak here. It would be cool to be able to speak in the same way at the end of my exchange programme!

I came here with a friend, which makes it easier, also emotionally, as it’s our first experience abroad. We’re separated from our families, but maybe in three months there’ll be the opportunity for them to come here and in any case we’re adults now and it’s a good chance to grow. This exchange is a great opportunity, we’re really excited because we wanted to come study abroad for some years, also because we wanted to try the European study plans, since they’re so flexible. I hope that the pandemic ends soon so that all can get the chance to study abroad as we did.

Our buddy is also very helpful, and we hope we can get to meet each other and get into the Italian-student-culture atmosphere."

Lea Bartoli is a Philosophy student from France

"I’ve decided to take Developmental Psychology and Gender Studies courses at Ca’ Foscari, I think those are very interesting fields of study. I chose to come to Venice because in the past I had already visited Southern Italy with my boyfriend and I fell in love with the place. So me and him both came to Venice this year, to enjoy the city together without any hurry. 

We’re both from Corsica so our trip wasn’t very long, we arrived by ferry about three weeks ago. 

I really like the city right now because there aren't any tourists around, but I have to say that open shops and bars would surely make it more lively. 

We haven’t met other incoming students yet, but we’re planning to, perhaps even to learn some Italian together! 

The situation is a little difficult because of Corona, but I hope we’ll be able to meet new people soon, because learning about the place and getting to know Venice isn’t the same thing when there’s just the two of us."

Yulia is studying World Economics at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow

"I travelled around Italy in the past and I fell in love with the country and wanted to come back, so living and studying in Italy is just perfect. 

I’ve never had a doubt about wanting to move here to attend classes, because I applied to the programme not just to study but also to experience a new way of living and a different culture. 

I had an exchange experience in the USA while I was in High School, I adored it and I absolutely wanted to repeat it in another country and learn from other people. 

I know I’ll definitely enjoy the architecture and the overall culture in Venice, and I’m very excited to learn more - if the health situation allows it, I’d also love to meet and hang out with Italian students.

It’s interesting to compare Europe and Russia and see how universities work abroad and I’m curious to see if the Italian educational system can give me more opportunities when it comes to exploring different fields I wouldn’t have been able to consider in Russia. 

One of the reasons why I decided to come to Italy is also to explore the country, so I hope that the situation will allow me to travel around a little.

I love travelling because you see how different people can live, their different routines - perhaps their way is easier or more efficient, so  I can always learn and take something I like into my life."

Francesca Favaro