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Differences Between Italian Universities And The Ones In Your Country

Discussion in 'Health and Education' started by Rosie, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. What are the main differences you found between the Universities here and the ones in your home country?
    I have studied here for 2 years and the main difference I found was that you actually have to know everything in order to pass your exams. This is actually an OK fact, in my opinion.

    What about you? Have you noticed any major differences between universities?
  2. Well, in Sarajevo, we also have the ''Bologna system'' but we are yet to implement it correctly. At the moment, it's a mixture of the new and the old, with little perks of both.
    You don't have to know everything here (if you want the best grades, though, then of course you do) - all your tests bring you a certain amount of points. The more you have, the better your grade will be. You do, of course, have to pass each of the components which help contribute to the final grade, which include your class participation, how often you come to the classes, your assignments, seminars, etc. (it depends on the subject, really)
  3. Universities in NZ the pass rate vs possible marks is quite low (50-60%) so it makes me wonder how reputable our Degrees our compared to those in Italy with higher pass rates. Another big thing is the history from the historic universities in Italy. The oldest buildings we have are at the Otago University but it doesn't compare really with the rich history of Italy.
  4. I think in any country you actually have to know the content of the course you are studying in order to pass the exams and the class. Perhaps the instructors are more strict or the exams are more difficult. I don't know what you mean by that, but In the States, University programs are quite rigorous.
  5. The biggest problem with the education is the fact that you are forced to learn a lot of irrelevant facts, which you will forget anyway in two years' time or so, and you're so preoccupied with them that you don't see the big picture or focus on something that will actually help you understand the matter better. I know that when I was studying American history, I had to know every single date, every single name, every single fact - but no one really asked you do you think what was done could have been better? Do you think this was an advantage or not? What are the main factors that had contributed to the situation? and so on - it is important that you focus on everything and that you think while you learn. Learning shouldn't merely be about your memory and how well and accurately you can reproduce a certain text - if you don't understand the key points, there is no point really.
  6. @Regina Juno this is exactly what I meant :) That the universities here are rigorous and they don't allow students to pass if they don't prove they have learned everything there is to know about a certain subject.
    I remember I have failed one exam twice, for instance, because I passed the written exam, but when I had the oral examination, I did answer all the questions, except for one... there was one chapter in the book that I had some trouble understanding, so the professor explained it to me once again (during the exam) and then failed me. Just like that. I passed it the 3rd time though :p

    Aurelia is also right, though.
    There are some subjects that offer way too many details that are practically unnecessary. It's good that they are mentioned in the books, for someone who is passionate about said subject or for a student's personal general culture, but I think universities should focus on teaching students facts that are REALLY important. For instance.. a good programmer should definitely know how to understand, read and write code, but knowing the history of computers by heart should not be a condition to pass.

    I also forgot to mention, I love how in Italy, universities focus on what's actually important: 3-4 subjects per semester! Subjects that count and that help the student learn about the future career. At home... well... we had like 8-9, even 10 subjects each semester. Students even had to take a sports class in order to become web programmers! And there was a "history of the worlds" class, and English and German as foreign languages (both! not choose one, but both), and one whole semester with a subject called "the history of computers". How do these classes help a student prepare for the future, I don't know, but they were all mandatory :D
  7. I agree with you Rosie. All of the subjects you'd mentioned - they're completely unnecessary. I wouldn't have anything against an elective class which didn't focus on the grades: that's where they could put all of those ''extra'' classes: e.g. sports, history, languages, arts... Something that students like and want to read about, not learn. It would be relaxing and would provide a good atmosphere. Of course - if you don't want to, you shouldn't be forced to pick one.

    I've also had experiences with overly-detailed classes and I don't think they're useful. I mean, no matter how excellent you are and how high your grades, you simply forget those facts. You remember about 10 to 20% of them, if even that much.

    I like your curriculum. 3-4 classes are enough! I have 6 per major (2 majors, so...) and it's too much. 4 would have been a blessing! Do you know what kind of classes Italian colleges offer for languages?
  8. I studied in Rome a semester in a private university, the LUSPIO (now UNINT). It was so bad. The university was tiny, the library was tiny, the classes were strange -- people kept arriving late, teacher including, sometimes up to 25 minutes late. There seemed to be no real planning given to the students about what would happen in the semester, and the exams were strange, mostly done orally in front of the class, with the complete group of students sitting behind you, listening and waiting. As far as I'm concerned, it gave me no occasion to really delve into the topics, as most of it was to ask what we remembered and understood from the material, rather than have us analyze anything (like I would back home, in ten to twenty pages dissertations). It was awful.

    I hoped to learn more in this semester away, since it had the added benefit of practicing my Italian and making me discover a new culture, but the truth is, it just ruined me for the next semesters at my uni, which were much more demanding and it felt like I had missed out on a lot when I tried to write my critical essays back home. My friends had to do this kind of work while I was gone; I did not, I just had to sit in class and talk through my exam and be done with it. As a result, I felt considerably less smart and less prepared for intellectual work after I came back from Italy.
  9. I am so sorry! I also hate it when the teachers and students are late. When the students are late, the lecturing is always interrupted... especially in the morning -so many late-comers for 8 o'clock sessions! I hate this! Someone is always opening the door, always entering, always...

    We have the so called "academic 15 minutes" - the teacher can be late for only 15 minutes and then the students are free to go.

    I'd never heard of exams in front of the whole class!! We usually get invited into the classroom as a small group (2-3 students), if we have these oral exams, which is sometimes.

    Did your grades count? Or did you have to do the exams at home as well?
  10. Oh, I'm the kind of person to be late to class, but in many of the classes (at my home university), it's possible to just sneak in. Sometimes it's not, and you have to walk in front of the entire class, but I don't know any teacher who does not just go on talking as students enter the class. They just ignore it, or acknowledge it briefly. Except the teachers who then tell you how much they hate it, and that you should never do it again, and then go back to where they left off. We also have this 15 mins rule -- unless the students have been warned in some way the teacher would be late, they can leave after 15 minutes. To be fair, a lot of times the Italian teachers were not more than 15 mins late, it was just the consistancy. They were more often a few minutes late than a few minutes early (a rare occurrence, really).

    And no I did not have to retake exams at home. My only job was to pass enough classes, so as to have... Err... How much was it? Maybe 24 CFU. As long as I passed, and had the required amount of credits, I got the equivalent amount of credits at home, the grades were not important (though they could be if I applied to scholarships for my master degree, I've been told). I took a few extra exams than what I had planned, just in case. My worst exam was the Italian Literature one, the one about Pascoli. It was worth less than my other classes ( 6CFU vs the usual 8), and it was the hardest (for me, non native speaker; for Italian students, I guess the opposite would be true) and the teacher humiliated me in front of everyone.

    It was horrible. I still passed, because I had the theory down, but she made sure that I knew that according to her, I did not really deserve to pass.
  11. I don't believe this. Just because someone is not a native speaker, it doesn't mean that the grade isn't well earned if you know the subject well! Unfortunately, we also have a few teachers like that. I am at the English lang.and lit, so it's natural that no one is a native speaker in my country - but some teachers can really get...

    And about humiliation... I'd seen that a lot too. Sometimes it's just an occasional comment that makes you feel stupid (and some teachers just love this), sometimes they go for more. It should be forbidden. The teachers are there because of students, not the other way round. If there were no students, there'd be no one to teach - hence, no teachers. They seem to forget this all too often...
  12. She asked me to read and analyze (out loud, in front of the class)a poem of Pascoli.
    I read.
    I was starting to analyze the themes and the symbols, the meaning -- but she pretty much stopped me at my first few words and asked me to read again and to stop every few words, asking me "What does this word mean? What does "tacito" means?"

    And I understand words in context, not in their precise meaning (in Italian, at least). So I was like "Er, it's like when you ask the class to be quiet, so quiet, not making a sound" and she just pushed and pushed saying I don't get it and all and at the end like, "It means "silenzioso! Now go on" and every time she asked something and I looked lost and anxious and she was just sick of it and then tore me a new one about how Pascoli is about language and the precise words he uses and how can I pretend to get what her class is about if I don't even understand the words of the poem and I tried to tell her that as a foreign student I never would get it as well as the other Italian kids in the class but she was like "Then why did you came to Italy for! It's for learning the language" and basically I never even got the chance to give my analyze of the poem (which, since my formation is in literature, I could have done from so many angles) but she decided that it was not worth it because I just didn't get it anyway and she kept telling me how bad I was and the class was just silent behind me and it was really horrible. Because we had so many books and poems to read of this guy throughout the semester and she made us buy all the books (" Because if you don't have them with you for the exam I don't allow you to take it") and I was thinking as I tried to read them, "Wow, I'll never have the time to get through them!" and I also thought, "Ah, it doesn't matter, I've already passed enough exams so that even if I fail this one, I'm still fine, so let's just try it and do my best and see what comes of it!" and I really believed that it would be cool to have this poetry to read back home to practice my Italian.

    Turns out, she made me hate Pascoli with a burning passion. I have not touched the books since. I hate her and I hate her stupid poet who was obviously incestuous and she loved him so much. Urgh.
  13. She sounds terrible. We have a teacher like that. You always go to the exam with an anxious feeling and you never know how much she'll "torture you" (as we call it). She can easily draw her attention to one word and refuse to go forward. The analysis from the literary point of view is pointless. You must know the grammar and structures, and translation. Nothing else matters. Sometimes it's really difficult.

    You can't possibly know everything. It's very easy to make a mistake. I mean, the teacher can always find something the student doesn't know. But shouldn't the point be in trying to find what he does know? Isn't that the whole point of education? To reinforce the knowledge? To find the things that the students know? You can easily "hurt" someone. I'll use that term for the lack of another, but still, it's true. I call that the abuse of power. The teachers are supposed to help - are they not?

    I also know how one incident can make you hate one poet or novelist. That's exactly why I hate Wordsworth and a few others.

    My suggestion is, either sell the books or give them away. You don't need them.
  14. The crazy thing is, even if I had never felt quite comfortable talking to her after class, she was always just looking like a passionate women and she joked with some of the Italian students (the boys who sat more in the back and made comments). If the only impression you had of her was to hear her pepper her speech of anecdotes because of how much she enjoyed the subject and then exchange a few good humored comments and jokes with the laid-back guys in the class, you'd think: she's a pretty cool teacher!

    But apparently, her method of giving exams is just as you described it, and I had been warned by so many other students in other classes who had her before.

    I actually carress the ambition of reading some of the poems one day and write a killer literary analysis about them, and then send it to her and be like, in your stupid face you horrible woman, I clearly get the poet. No thanks to you.

    Will probably never happen, but one can still dream dreams of delicious vengeance. *smile*
  15. For some reason I always had the impression that the European universities were all art and literature and things like that, and of course that makes me seem like a food, because the more I hear the more I start to think it is the opposite.

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