“The University of Bologna is one of the best universities to live an independent life and feel comfortable for an international student”

Dilan from Ankara, Turkey, is a student of Offshore Engineering

Dilan in front of her department

Italy has always been one of my favourite destinations 

I’m Dilan, I am a master’s degree student in Offshore Engineering majoring in Energy Technologies. I come from Ankara, Turkey, which is where I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Hacettepe University. 

I’ve always wanted to live in Europe, at least for a short period of time, and I find the Italian-Mediterranean culture to be fascinating and great to live in. During my bachelor’s degree, I travelled across Italy visiting different regions and I also attended an Italian language summer course in Milan. Thanks to these experiences, I became acquainted with Italian culture and language, which came in handy when I started searching for an Italian university for my MA 

Whichever difficulty I may have encountered, the Unibo staff was there to help 

When I found out that the University of Bologna is one of the most international universities in Europe, I felt like I found the one as I was particularly looking for this feature in my future university. Then I started searching for more information about Unibo and I found many financial benefits such as Ergo scholarships (Ergo is the Regional Authority for the Right to Higher Education) and part-time jobs at university facilities. I know that it can be financially difficult for an international student to study abroad, especially if they come from a non-EU country. In my case, I realised it was financially possible to study at Unibo thanks to these scholarships and opportunities. Once I felt better about my financial situation, I started searching for international Engineering degree programmes and I applied for two different programmes. The application process was quite straightforward thanks to the guidelines found on the website of the University of Bologna. Sometimes I wasn’t sure about the procedure, and I emailed the university offices or even called. Unibo stuff was always very helpful! 


A flexible programme with plenty of excellent opportunities 

Offshore engineering is a unique degree programme in Italy. Its taught in Ravenna Campus, which is in a very strategic location for offshore activities. The programme is very flexible as students can specialise in the field they prefer with courses that prepare you better for your future professional career. Moreover, there are many seminars hosted by important Italian companies which give students a first-hand insight into important companies and offer networking opportunities. Take me for example, I was able to find an internship thanks to one of these seminars and now I am writing my thesis on this practical internship. 

Studying at Unibo is different from what I was used to in Turkey. Most of my exams were held orally and I planned my exam calendar choosing between several possible dates that professors announced before the exam session. I believe that having many options to prepare for an exam helps students to improve their time management skills and be more independent. 

Christmas Tree at Dilan's Department

The Ravenna Campus feels like a family home 

The Ravenna campus comprises a smaller community than Bologna which means that the staff at the international desk almost knows each student personally. This allows for a more accurate support, in my case I received support from the international desk not only for issues related to university bureaucracy but also for residence permit processes. The campus also offers a number of facilities where you can study. I often go to the study rooms at the Engineering faculty where every desktop PC runs specific programmes that I need for my classes. Within the campus, there are also courses offered by CUSB, the University Sports Centre. I’m not the most sports person but taking advantage of low-cost and fun sportive activities was a good way to work out with friends. 


Unibo always supports its students  

When it comes to financial benefits, I believe Unibo is one of the best universities in the world for international students. I took the regional scholarships called Er.Go and I worked part time jobs. For example, I worked as classroom-tutor in Ravenna campus to support technical classroom activities. Thanks to these opportunities, I was able to live in Italy almost independently from my family.  

To those in need of financial support, I suggest looking at the Er.Go website and read the guide carefully in order to not miss any deadline. Furthermore, Unibo offers plenty of benefits such as part time jobs and scholarships for those students who need or deserve them. In other words, if you are looking for financial support Unibo can really help you.  

During COVID-19 lockdown, I was in Italy. I was very unlucky that my computer crushed during the first week and the only possibility to get a new computer was ordering it online, however during that period it would arrive later than in normal times. I explained my situation to my professors and they were very understanding for the deadlines of some assignments and lectures. The Unibo community relay any update or change in regulation by email in English which I found very useful for the ones cannot follow Italian news. 

Proud to be Unibo 

I strongly suggest the University of Bologna to everyone who is thinking to study in Europe. I Think the University of bologna is one of the best universities to live an independent life and feel comfortable for an international student. Moreover, all the offices are well organised and help students on any matter! I am grateful to be a part of this community and I hope to inspire some fellow students with my story!