My experience at LUISS
Being in the second half of my MA degree in European Union Studies and International Relations, I am now looking back on my last semester which I spent in Rome. I am glad to have taken the chance to extend my studies by participating in this unique double degree programme in one of the most charming cities in the world, that offers immense cultural, culinary and student-friendly environment.
Rome is really beautiful and diverse, so I would definitely recommend you to take some of the free guided tours as soon as you arrive there – for example the one that presents the phenomenon of street graffiti in Rome is especially recommendable. If you are a great museum fan, you cannot live in a better city than Rome and you should definitely purchase the “musei in commune” card (MIC). If you would like to escape the city, the sea as well as the mountains are quite close, not even mentioning several other major tourist attractions of Italy, such as Florence or Naples, which are also easily reachable by train within couple of hours. Or you just rent a bike and discover Via Appia – amazing ancient Roman road surrounded by ruins and stunning nature, leading up to Sicily!
Housing in Rome is not cheap but in comparison to other global cities still relatively affordable. and when it comes to food, you can actually find numerous awesome local restaurants with much lower prices than in Salzburg.
To study at the prestigious LUISS university is surely very demanding, but the university also offers a great variety of unique courses taught in its beautiful campuses in the historical centre of Rome. Generally, the studies are very much focused on International Relations and Political Science. Apart from that, in the 1st semester you will have to take the Italian language course. In the 2nd semester you can continue to do so for free.
One of the most interesting seminars I took during my first semester in Rome is called “Skill-a-bus”, which is an intensive 4+8-hours a week workshop-like course. Each week is devoted to a different “skill” taught by a different professor: teamwork and leadership skills, diversity management skills, ability for negotiations & conflict resolution, problem-solving or project and process management. From imagining our green campus and holding a short speech pretending to be an inspiring leader who should influence young students, to getting involved in practical negotiation techniques, and role-play scenarios in a realistic setting, this seminar was as demanding as it was thrilling.
Another exciting course for me was “Global Justice”. If you are a Ted Talk fan, this lecture feels like two live Ted Talks a week. The course starts with discussing environmental change and politico-philosophical questions related to it and goes on examining other major questions of global justice, like open borders or post-colonialism. It is a perfect course for the ones passionate about discussing important issues.
Moreover, one of the highlights of the last semester was the “Ted X LUISS” event organized by students for students in beautiful LUISS campus. Inspiring people from all over Italy held speeches about experiences that they consider to have given them a lesson that could be motivating for young students. Additionally, a funky-jazz orchestra contributed to the overall relaxed atmosphere so typical for the whole city. Altogether – very positive vibes, highly recommended if you wish to hear real-life stories of success and failures you usually would not be confronted with.
To sum up, I am very much looking forward to the next semester and ‘la dolce vita’ in this stunning city full of exciting contrasts, elegant and friendly people as well as astonishing sights and cultural attractions.