Hi Francesca! Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from?
I come from Genoa, a fairly small city in the North West of Italy – small compared to big places like Milan or Rome! I have just finished High School and am about to start studying Business at University. In particular, I would like to apply business to the arts and culture and it would be amazing to be able to do so in Italy, but I wouldn’t mind moving abroad.
Why did you choose Dublin?
I had never been in Ireland before, so once I won a scholarship to study either in the UK or here, I finally chose Dublin. I have been here for only a week but I can already say that I am enjoying every aspect of it – except maybe the weather.
Was there anything you found strange or surprising about Dublin when you first arrived?
I find Dublin to be completely different from the other European capitals I have seen so far. I was expecting it to be more crowded, but it is actually very quiet. Although I will admit that for us Europeans there is not much of a culture shock to be experienced, as an Italian it is really weird to see food being treated differently. For us, eating is a big part of someone’s day, a moment that is meant to be shared with your friends or family. There is almost an emotional attachment to it. Here it’s totally different, there is a much more relaxed approach to family meals, and my host family doesn’t mind if I want to eat with them or not.
What do you like about Atlas?
Here at Atlas I get to meet lots of people from different countries, so I can practice my English while speaking with my new friends. As well as that, the afternoon activities that the school organizes daily are a perfect opportunity to get around the country and push yourself to do things that you probably wouldn’t do otherwise.
Have you got any advice for students who are new at Atlas?
I would tell them that they should be aware of the Irish weather and come well prepared for it. Waterproof gear and umbrellas are a must-have in order to face the famous “four seasons in one day”. But I would say that the most important advice I have for new students is that they should be open to new experiences and meeting new people.