Who invented Auslan? Why was it invented

Preparation for the stay abroad

Study at the host university

The study system in Italy is more conservative than in Germany. There is mainly frontal teaching (lezioni frontali), mostly without any possibility of student participation. The exams, on the other hand, are public, oral exams for which several books and teaching materials have to be prepared and sometimes homework must also be written. And that means that the entire book has to be worked through, not just selected chapters etc. There are several exam dates available during the semester. You will be graded immediately after the exam and must confirm with a signature that you agree with the grade. If not, you can repeat the exam on one of the other dates. Almost all of the courses in my Masters were offered as 6 ECTS courses in Italy. However, there are also occasional 9 ECTS or 12 ECTS courses with a higher workload. The lecturers could always be reached by email and also offer personal consultation hours. Communication took place without any problems. Mails were answered very quickly. The study climate and the relationship between lecturers and students is organized very hierarchically, as the frontal teaching means that there is hardly any discussion or exchange of content between students and lecturers. This can of course be different in other courses of study or in other courses ... I can only speak from my own experience and from conversations with Italians, and I think that's a shame.
Unito has a buddy program and my buddy contacted me by email before I arrived in Turin and helped me with a few questions. In addition, an Erasmus information event was offered at the beginning of the semester. The Info Point is also located in the central Via Po, where all relevant questions are answered (https://en.unito.it/about-unito/infopoint). No special Erasmus courses were offered; all foreign students took part in the regular courses in Italian. All but one of the courses were offered in Italian (even if the title of the course was in English), so it is essential to have a basic knowledge of Italian. Some of the literature that we were supposed to work through for exams was only available in Italian by Italian authors who have not yet been translated. Fortunately, I was able to complete the oral exams and homework in English. There are various buildings that belong to the Unito, including the Palazzo Nuovo, an unattractive 1960s building that was not very well equipped (classrooms, toilets, etc.) and has seen its best days. On the other hand, the Luigi Einaudi campus is much more modern with the large Norberto Bobbio library, in which I spent a lot of time (https://www.bibliotecabobbio.unito.it/it). Unfortunately, the library is only open until 7.30 p.m. Monday to Friday and is even completely closed on weekends. There are also some Study Zones in which you can work. In order to print something, either a copy card for a copy shop or for the Ricoh MyPrint system used in the university (http://unito.ricohmyprint.it/RicohmyPrint/Login.aspx) must be purchased. In the cafeteria, however, as in Potsdam, you can pay with your student ID (smart card).
The workload for the exams was very high overall, which I did not expect in advance. It was really a lot of work.

Contact with local and international students

The contact with the local students was unfortunately not very intensive, although we had lessons together. For financial reasons, many students still live with their parents, often not directly in Turin, but in the surrounding area, which made meetings and activities difficult. Through the language courses offered and the various Erasmus activities, you get to know many foreign students, but hardly any locals. The best option for this is to live in a shared apartment with Italians or to do non-university activities (e.g. sports courses, etc.). The contact with the fellow students always remained at the small talk level before and after the courses, which is also due to the fact that the Fontal lessons keep you very passive and do not get to know your fellow students and their attitude / way of thinking, etc. better can. Although there was a fundamental interest in us Erasmus students, the contact did not really intensify. The semester structure also does not contribute to this, as, for example, the joint lecture / teaching time in some courses is only about two months and then individual examination dates are pending over months. You get to know other foreign students quickly through the common WhatsApp group (organized by the buddies) and through activities of the ESN Torino (Erasmus Student Network www.esntorino.it/incoming), which also offers excursions to other Italian cities and other activities .

Language skills before and after the stay abroad

My Italian was roughly at level A2, but I was classified as intermediate, i.e. B-Level, in both the Erasmus placement test and the placement test at the University of Turin. This is because I can learn a lot from Italian through my Spanish studies and can therefore understand and read well. This was exactly the right thing for frontal teaching, as you only listen instead of speaking yourself.
Unfortunately, it doesn't help to improve his ability to express himself, which I noticed especially in the oral exams. Fortunately, I was always able to switch to English. In my opinion, the language course offered by the university was too short at 40 hours and ended after just under two months. In addition, I had to buy teaching materials for my language course for € 10, while this material was provided free of charge in the parallel courses. My language skills have generally improved, of course, but my oral language skills are still not very good. However, this competence was never tested in the language tests. Overall, after my Erasmus stay, I am on a B2 language level.

Living and living situation

Before my arrival, I reserved a single room in the student dormitory in the city center (Via Verdi, 10 minutes from Palazzo Nuovo) (https://en.unito.it/living- turin / when-you-arrive / housing). Unfortunately you can only stay there for 20 days. I don't know why, but none of the Erasmus students could extend it. There are some Facebook pages to help you find a room. I myself lived as a sublet with a German woman. The prices for a room are around 300 € per month, but often only beds are rented so that you have to share a room with another, stranger. Some rooms are only available if you agree to a minimum rental period (e.g. of one year). In the winter months the rent rises a little because the heating has to be paid extra. The districts that are particularly popular with students are, for example, San Salvario and Vanchiglia; It is also cheap in Aurora and Barriera di Milano.
I have taken out a foreign health insurance + international travel / accident / liability insurance with Hanse Merkur for around € 35 / month. I used my DKB credit card for all banking transactions. In Italy you can pay by credit card almost everywhere without any problems. The cost of living is roughly the same as in Germany. However, you can drink really good coffee everywhere very cheaply (cappuccino 1.50 € almost everywhere), but groceries and especially hygiene products are more expensive than in Germany. There is a monthly student tariff for public transport. Since most of the discount offers (as well as a museum subscription) are only available for students up to 25 years old and I am already 30 years old, I can't comment on that. In the beginning I almost always walked because I lived very centrally and afterwards I had a bike available. If I wanted to use the bus, tram or an existing metro line, I bought a single ticket for just under € 2. The train is recommended for trips to the surrounding area of ​​Turin or other cities, as it is much cheaper to travel by train in Italy than in Germany. There is also Flixbus in Italy. Turin is a very clean and beautiful city with many leisure opportunities. The best known are the cinema museum in the architectural landmark of the city, the Mole Antonelliana, (http://www.museocinema.it/it) and the Egyptian Museum (https://www.museoegizio.it/). There is the beautiful Parco del Valentino on the river Po and you can also go hiking in the mountains in no time. Due to the two large universities Unito and Politecnico there are a lot of students in the city and accordingly many bars, cafes and restaurants etc.

Subject: Applied cultural studies and cultural semiotics (M.A.)

Length of stay: 02/2019 - 07/2019

Host university: Università degli Studi di Torino (Unito)

Host country: Italy