Italian, 22 years old
3-year interdisciplinary Undergraduate Degree in Global Governance: economics and international law with a specialization track in “Sciences & Technology” at the Tor Vergata Rome University
RED Scholar at VIU

Since I was a child my biggest dream concerned making something amazing with my life, helping future generations to live in a better world full of opportunities and innovation. My linguistic high school path gave me the chance to realize how important was to meet with other cultures. Have international conversations with people coming from different countries with multiple backgrounds can be a useful example in order to see the current world from a different perspective. My Bachelor Degree was the keystone to enter into an international environment, understanding how to make the difference in this world.
Thanks to my home university Rome Tor Vergata, as part of the Venice International University’s consortium, I have had the possibility to apply for the Globalization Program during the Spring semester of 2021. Notwithstanding the difficult period that COVID-19 has created, I chose to start this journey in Venice because I consider it as an incredible and unique opportunity to step outside my comfort zone. I am very interested both in innovation and sustainability and this program offers multiple specialization tracks with different courses, I personally chose the Environmental Management and Sustainable Development one. Moreover, VIU joins lots of projects to promote innovation, technology and sustainability in Venice, establishing a solid network with governmental and international organizations: TEN and MUHAI programs are just two examples.

For this semester I was selected as a RED scholar together with Olivia Fothergill and Luka Pejic.
VIU is not only an amazing university but also a community of international students full of co-curricular activities and opportunities for its members to discover more about the city of Venice. As RED scholars, we create new contents updating the VIUcommunity website: a space for students and professors to share interesting articles, interviews and pictures. Moreover, we organized casual conversations once a week called LUNCH2B because they took place during lunchtime in order to enable Tsinghua’s students to join them. Distances, international boundaries and different time zones shouldn’t be obstacles to establish connections sharing experiences and emotions. This is why we have worked a lot on our resilience: problems and last-minute snags were not big issues for us.
It has been an enriching experience because it improved my multitasking skills and web design ability. In addition to this, I have had the chance to be part of a great team also with the collaboration with Professor Luca Pes, as a mentor and teacher. I would like to thank a lot past RED scholars for their website heritage and instruments with a common vision: establish a network of amazing people that will change the world.

Before my physical arrival to Venice, we have had two weeks of online lectures with a weekly discussion about common topics: it was called VIU Virtual Exchange. It was very beautiful, I have had the opportunity to meet before the arrival lots of my actual friends here in the program. Debates were full of emotions and an occasion to share our international backgrounds on communication, social media, gender studies and art. I would recommend this co-curricular activity for future VIU students in order to let them enter in a new dimension with the help of the experts that engaged us in the conversations.

VIU adopts an interdisciplinary approach to communicate students' new contents, giving them wonderful food for thought. I have found an inspiring environment thanks to San Servolo’s island, it has enriched my background with new knowledge and passion. Moreover, it offers multiple places for students to study: the MacLab and the library are just two examples of the variety of spaces that this island can offer. It helped also the formation of our spring semester’s group because we have shared lots of moments together, such as lunchtime. Lectures in presence were a unique opportunity to meet each other, interacting also with the teaching staff to trigger interesting debates.
San Servolo offers beautiful sunsets and it creates magical moments and memories that we as students will remember for the rest of our life.

The beauty of Venice is another side of the story. I can attend wonderful courses while enjoying all the beauties of the city in a special time without tourists with the chance to see amazing places, such as St. Mark’s Square, in total relax.
I really like reading books in particular places in the city: Campo San Polo, near Rialto’s Market and Punta Della Dogana.
Moreover, I love making jogging in Giardini della Biennale to have a beautiful view of the lagoon or staring at the magic sunsets that the city offers.
Museums and exhibitions are not open yet but I hope I’ll have the chance to enjoy the artistic heritage of Venice.

I would recommend to every student to join VIU Program not only for the amazing experience in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but also to have a chance to enter in a new world with the special support of professors and experts.


Francesca Virzì was a recipient of the RED scholarship