Tatiana is currently studying to get her Master’s Degree in Environmental Sciences, here at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Her family and friends have always told her that with her “personality and loud voice” she would fit right in in Italy, and they were right! This Russian student feels at home more than ever in Venice, where she enjoys chatting with people and discovering new things. Keep reading to find out which Venetian words she has learnt so far!
What made you choose Venice and more specifically Ca’ Foscari for your studies?
To be honest, I’ve always been curious about Italy. I come from Saint Petersburg, Russia and we usually call my city “the Northern Venice” because of the canals and bridges. I was interested in discovering the real Venice, with its picturesque architecture and romance in the air. I’ve already studied in Finland as a double degree student, so I decided to move to a ‘southern’ country for this next step in my educational process.
Why Ca’ Foscari? It’s very simple! I found this university by visiting an international educational fair in my city. I spoke with the Ca’ Foscari representatives and they explained to me every detail of the program for international Master students . I realized that I was interested in this field of study [Environmental Studies - Ed.], which is also connected to my previous academic background. The application process took me quite a long time but it was worth it. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.
What do you feel is the biggest difference between your home country and Italy? What is your favorite place in Venice?
Believe it or not, the biggest difference is just weather conditions. The autumn here feels like summer. When December came, to me it felt like the beginning of Russian autumn. I would say that Italian habits and attitude towards life are similar to those in my country. To tell the truth, I expected huge differences but we have so much in common!
Italian people are open-minded and friendly. I am definitely in love with the way Italians live – everything moves slowly but smoothly. Except for Italian breakfast, which is usually on the go. Italians also know the value of family - they treasure each moment spent together, when they gather with relatives in the weekends and especially for the holidays. I truly support this tradition.
As for my favorite places in Venice, I would recommend visiting the roof of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, because of the breathtaking view and the Ponte di Rialto at night; I reckon it’s one of the most romantic places in Venice.
Can you tell us about the most memorable experience you’ve lived here so far? And did you learn any “Venetian” words?
I can’t choose only one, I have a kaleidoscope of remarkable experiences! From hanging out with friends and ice-skating in Venice to discovering new cities and eating the most delicious food ever. But the list could go on and on– I enjoyed attending Silent Parties, scientific conferences at Ca’Foscari, concerts, the Gran Teatro La Fenice, international dinners...
As for the “Venetian” words, when I arrived here for the first time last summer, one of my mates
organized a small tour of Venice and taught me some specific words, like “calle” and “campo” – street and square respectively. However, I got too curious to stop at those two.
My Italian teacher is always telling me Fai pratica! – Practice!, so I applied that piece of advice and tried to converse with random people in Venice. You can imagine that with my A1 level Italian, the mission seemed impossible at first glance but from those random talks, I’ve managed to learn the following:
- “bacaro” – tavern or pub, very simple, with handwritten menu. I haven’t been in one yet but I’d really like to.
- “cicchetti” – similar to Spanish tapas, finger food with seafood or meat. Very yummy!
- “caigo” – fog, if you find yourself in Venice during autumn or winter, there is a big chance of experiencing this atmospheric phenomenon.
What advice would you give to other students who are considering moving abroad?
It would be nice to stay calm and avoid panic but it’s almost mandatory to get excited! This feeling will target you right before moving abroad, on your way to the new destination or maybe waiting in line to receive your student ID. For me, it happened while I was having the first Spritz with my new mate here. Be yourself but try to follow and respect the customs and traditions of the new country, if you want to adapt quickly. And remember – try to enjoy each moment of your international experience to the fullest!
Do you have any plans for the future? What would be your dream career?
To be honest, I would prefer living in the moment... But sometimes we have to listen to our inner voice, which can help us take the right steps in life. As I’ve already been involved in the teaching process as a professor’s assistant back home, I would love to continue on this path and develop my career in an academic direction.