[Our guest blogger is an Erasmus Mundus alumnus from Indonesia. EM alumni from all countries are invited to also send to contribute memories of their EM study to this blog.]
I remember having difficulty explaining to people where Bolzano is. Bolzano, located in the north of Italy, is a very small city famous for tourist resorts, especially in the winter. It is very close to the Dolomites, hence tourists go there for skiing. By train, it is 45 minutes from Innsbruck (Austria), four hours from Munich (Germany), and 1.5 hours from Verona (Italy).
I remember feeling lost-in-time due to the long-haul flight: Jakarta-Singapore-Colombo-Dubai-Munich. This was not my first flight. However, I only had short-haul flights before. It was just like sleeping for 24 hours and once I flipped my eyes, I was already on the other part of the globe – far from home, far from family and friends.
I remember the sorrow I felt during the first two days in Bolzano, eating only fruits and crackers. I arrived in Bolzano Friday late at night. I just slept and slept on Saturday due to tiredness and jet-lag without buying any food. Sunday was a disaster, as supermarkets are closed on that day. (I come from Jakarta, the city that never dies. Whether it is holiday, religious day, New Year, day or at late night, you can always find supermarkets and stores to buy something.)
I remember that Bolzano’s library is such a nice place to study. It has a lot of English books, full Internet connection, and many excellent facilities.
I remember living and studying with students from various countries in five continents. We stayed together in student house/dorm called Rainerum. Father Gregorio and Paolo as the dorm headmasters were great. Father Paolo has a book containing words and greetings in foreign languages from foreign students. Father Gregorio brought us to interesting places around Bolzano several times.
I remember planning to jog regularly during spring – a plan that I could never commit to 🙂 The jogging track in Bolzano is just too nice. It is just by the river, passing some old castles and kids park, with great scenery.
I remember losing my cheap flight tickets to Norway (May 2007) and to Paris (July 2007). I just can’t resist the low prices that Ryan Air offered.
I remember being picked up by Benjamin, my buddy (a local student that is assigned by the university to help a foreign student) at Wien Westbahnhof (train station) on my first arrival in Vienna. It was a freezing day during the beginning of winter. He wore only shorts at that time while I was feeling chilly. How come?
I remember enjoying the flexible class schedule in TU Wien. They have semester calendar, but the class may not be held all the way along the calendar. Some classes were held only for 1 month, with 4 sessions per week constituting total of 14 sessions. This was a factor that allowed me for traveling more in the second year.
I remember walking over the ruins of Athens Acropolis, playing kites during the clean-day festival, climbing through Acrocorinth, tasting local seafood culinary, being trapped in a tourist’s cruise ship (for 85 EUR day-trips to 3 islands: Poros, Hydra, and Aegina) some days in Greece in March 2008.
I remember of being a volunteer in the closing ceremony of Euro 2008™, being walking distance away from Michael Ballack and the German team when they were rehearsing.
I remember that I was happy knowing that there is no Thesis defense in TU Wien. Basically the arrangements are only between the student and his/her supervisor. Once all the goals are satisfied, the supervisor simply writes an acknowledgement letter certifying that the student finished Thesis. There is no panel of lecturers that would ask you killer questions. Sounds fun?
I remember that I brought a suit to Vienna for defense and for graduation. However, there is no defense there. As for graduation, somehow 2008’s graduation day was delayed to be held along with the regular students’ graduation). So, it’s the same if I brought no suit – hence giving me some extra space in the luggage.
I remember that last week, Bolzano sent me an invitation to attend graduation degree ceremony on 12 December, but I couldn’t come. I should be happy enough just to obtain two degree certificates in three languages after two years of study, even without the graduation pictures.
European Master in Computational Logic (EMCL) 2006-2008
Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy
Technische Universität Wien, Austria