Life in a Foreign University – Pursuing MS in Mechanical Engineering from Italy

Life in a Foreign University - Pursuing MS in Mechanical Engineering from Italy

This article comprises a student\’s experience of pursuing an MS in Mechanical Engineering from a University in Italy.

I am Satyesh Shanker Awasthi from Lucknow pursuing research at Politecnico di Milano, Italy. While I was pursuing my graduate studies at the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka, I got exposure to the outside world.

I went to France through an exchange programme during the summer break between my third and fourth years. I was acquainted with the curriculum of the French students and the opportunities that European nations provide international students.

The advice was sought from my seniors before making the final decision and worked to take stock of the mechanical engineering industry. Finally, I concluded pursuing MS which seemed to be a better option.

How did I get selected for the scholarships?

After making the decision to study MS and PhD, I did research regarding the colleges. According to QS World Rankings, Politecnico di Milano was among the top 20 universities in my field. Thus, I applied there. Moreover, my tuition fee was discounted as I had applied for scholarships.

The University offered three types of scholarship programmes namely, the ASP, the DSU and Invest your talent. Italian Government offers DSU and is valid for any institute. Invest your talent offer internships for you to invest your talent.

I was offered DSU and ASP. However, I chose ASP. In this kind of Scholarship, a student has to write a letter of motivation to them, telling them how they decided to do a Master’s in the subject and about their future plans. You are shortlisted for the interview round on the basis of your letter.

ASP made us work on projects, work on gadgets, learn more about technology and improve them. A 4×1-week intensive course was offered and a related project was offered during the two years of the course. We were divided into a team of designers, engineers and architects during each week. Each team must present a project based on the work we applied on the last day.

Upgraded Course

European universities offer advanced education through constant upgradation of the curriculum. They offer the latest and approved studies. In European colleges, there is more application of knowledge.

The engineering colleges in Italy are well-funded and this helps students to work on advanced research. However, Politecnico di Milano is famous for being more theoretical as compared to other universities in the country.

I enrolled as a university tutor to manage my finances and taught Maths and English. There exists a program named 150 hours which pays you for voluntary work at the university.

Italy – A place to Love

When I came to Italy, I rented a room. I learned cooking before leaving for Italy as I am a vegetarian. For food to last a day or two, I would cook in bulk. Italy comprises beautiful monuments like in India. I have been enjoying every bit of it even after five years. Moreover, this new experience keeps me motivated.

People in Italy are family-oriented. After I started to interact with locals and other groups, I have a pretty diverse group of friends. People here prefer their mother tongue wherever they can and use English only for official purposes. Thus, If you are planning to go to a non-English country, I would suggest you learn the language.

COVID-19 in Italy

I did not fly back home during Covid-19 as I feared I might take the disease to India and my thesis was incomplete. As my thesis was more experimental, I had to be present. We were completely isolated and it was frustrating at first. However, I learned Italian during that time. Living alone is depressing and thus, I planned to return to India after my PhD.

My advice to students

First, you have to decode your interest, whether you want to work or do a PhD. This helps in choosing the country and university. Do the research and learn more about the alumni of the Universities. Have a five- or 10-year plan in mind.

Moreover, by learning the local language, you can enhance your resume and your job application will be considered over others. Learn life skills and be open to new experiences. Try to explore the country so that you can boost your confidence.

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