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Bianca Cennamo, Università di Bologna, Italy – Erasmus student (2014/15)

“After four years studying at the University of Bologna, Italy, I decided it was time for something different and I applied for the Erasmus exchange. Ireland was one of my choices as I always wanted to visit the country. This opportunity seemed perfect to both travel around the island and improve my English at the same time. Although I had heard a little about the University of Limerick from other students from Bologna who had been there, I didn’t know what to expect. To be honest, I didn’t even really know where Limerick was! Not being a particularly adventurous person, I had a few concerns initially: the anxiety of not knowing English perfectly; of studying in a system so different from the one to which I was used; of studying law in a Common Law country and coming from a Civil Law system; and, of course, of living in a new place for a number of months – all my previous experience of travelling were holidays!

However, when I arrived in Limerick, I had a wonderful time and all my concerns disappeared very quickly. I had the opportunity to live in a part of Ireland which is less well known to the outside world and to spend time in a University where the students come first. From my Orientation in the first week, all the people on Campus were so nice and helpful. During the semester I found many supports to help students, especially if international, to feel confident: workshops, tutorials, meetings and many other UL and School of Law initiatives. Of course, there were some difficulties. For instance, I never wrote an essay for my university before, and doing so for the first time in a different language seemed like a nightmare. But by the end of the semester, I felt more confident with that and also with other assignments like group projects and presentations. I was also so enthusiastic about the life on campus which was a surprise for me. The campus is not only a place to study, but there are also so many others opportunities to have fun thanks to the many clubs and societies.

Now that my Erasmus semester abroad is over, I think I couldn’t have asked for anything better. I feel lucky to have found a great place to study, together with the opportunity to be part of a new reality, even if for just a semester. As well as studying, I had time to travel all around Ireland, meet fantastic people and have a lot of fun. It was an unforgettable time and all the Erasmus students say the same.”