Column Oscar: Bolzano ci vediamo!

‘Writing my thesis in Bolzano proved unrealistic due to bureaucratic red tape.’

My time in Italy is over. At the end of this week, I will return to good old Wageningen. In total I have lived in Bolzano for eight months, but it feels like just a few weeks since I arrived with my suitcase and my ski bag. I had no expectations in my baggage, but plenty of good hope and the energy to make the best of it.

The hope and energy that I have put into this adventure has paid off threefold. The enormous amount of sunshine, in particular, has completely blown me away. I have absorbed vitamin D in quantities that are the envy of Holland & Barrett health chain. And the friends I made are irreplaceable. It feels like after this experience, I have a pied-à-terre everywhere in Europe, where I can turn up any time.

My initial plan was to stay here for one semester, as most Bachelor students do. However, what many students do not know is that the European Union provides money for every student to do four semesters abroad. Two during their Bachelor’s and two during their Master’s. When I heard this from other Erasmus students who were already in their third semester abroad, I decided that I wanted to stay longer in Italy.

If I had exhausted Bolzano’s charms, there would be nothing to come back for

However, the plan to write my thesis in Bolzano proved to be unrealistic due to the bureaucratic red tape. It took too long at the university here, so halfway through this semester I decided to go back to Wageningen. On the one hand, this makes me feel I haven’t really completed my Erasmus year, as though I had to give up with an academic injury just before the finish line. But on the other hand, I think there’s an upside to it. If I had exhausted Bolzano’s charms, there would be nothing to come back for.

Now it is time to return to green Wageningen, which is full of its own charms. I can’t wait to be able to address my teachers informally, to cook plant-based meals again, and above all, to sleep in my own bed again. Bolzano, thank you and ci vediamo!

Oscar Delissen is a fourth-year Food Technology student. He is currently studying in Bolzano, Italy.

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