international student venice

YOUniversity: Ca' Foscari student Yingzhe and her passion for Italian

This week we meet Yingzhe, who has decided to earn her Master’s degree in Language Sciences here at Ca’ Foscari, where she is currently pursuing her studies in Italian. After several experiences in Italy, she fell in love with the country and finally decided to come back to embark on a new adventure. This brilliant international student from China shared with us come interesting details about her life in Venice.

What made you choose Italy and more specifically Ca’ Foscari for your studies? 

Having studied Italian for 4 years (in which I also stayed in Naples for a year as an exchange student) in Shanghai, I decided to further my studies in this language. My previous learning experiences and the unforgettable memories of Italy became the irresistible reasons for which I chose to come back.
Before I applied to Ca’ Foscari, I researched lots of materials on other famous universities in Italy. Ca’ Foscari is famous for its language teaching, especially Chinese. It must be a special experience studying in a university that has strong bonds with your motherland. Besides, the website of Ca’ Foscari is beautiful and well organized, which helped me a lot in my online application.

What do you feel is the biggest difference between your home country and Italy? What surprised you the most? 

It’s incredibly fascinating experiencing those huge differences between Italy and China, such as different lifestyles, ways of thinking and eating habits. The most surprising peculiarity is the shorter opening hours in Italy. The city suddenly becomes tranquil at night because most of the shops close before dinner time, even pharmacies! Despite some small inconveniences caused by these differences, I adapted to my Italian life much quicker than I expected.
Living in Venice is such a unique experience that you’ll never find in any other place in the world. My favorite part of it is discovering beautiful views or new spots while getting lost in between complicated lanes. Venice will never stop surprising you and it’s stunning in all kinds of weather, at all times of the day.

Can you tell us about the most memorable experience you’ve lived here so far? And did you learn any “Venetian” words?

I’ll never forget the “acqua alta” days in October 2018! The highest tide reached about 150 cm. Actually, I went to visit the San Marco Square the day before, but the tide was so high, almost up to my knees. To be honest, at the end I found it uncomfortable staying in or wading through water. Happiness won’t last long in “acqua sporca” (dirty water) after all.



Venetian dialect is as hard as Neapolitan. But my friends did teach me an adjective used in the Veneto region: “sgamato”. It’s used to describe a sophisticated person. I’m not 100% sure whether I got the right meaning, but I know it comes from the verb “sgamare” which means “discover something hidden” and also it could mean “kiss” in Sicily. 

What advice would you give to other students who are considering moving abroad? 

Your future life will definitely be more rewarding than you think. Things could be difficult at first but, gradually, you will learn things in an almost unconsciuos way. I believe that all the academic knowledge you learned and the personal competences acquired during the overseas life will become invaluable in the future.

Do you have any plans for the future? Or do you prefer living in the moment? What would be you dream career? 

I do have a rough blueprint for the following few years. I would like to stay in Italy after I get my Master’s degree at Ca’ Foscari. But I’m open to all kinds of possibilities in life too. As for my dream job, in short, I want to become a promoter of Chinese culture and I would prefer to work in a creative and dynamic environment. Maybe becoming a Chinese teacher or working in the public relationship department could be a nice choice.

Is there anything you would like to add? 

I really appreciate the services offered by the International Office of Ca’ Foscari, especially the Welcome Unit. It’s the department that international students frequently get in touch with. I received guidance and support from them and that’s one of the reasons that made me feel less stressed after my arrival in Italy. They supported me in almost all aspects, for example, accommodation, permit of stay and bank account. This is not the first time I come to Italy but I didn’t expect that everything would go so well! Thank you very much!

Francesca Favaro