“Unibo has room for your dreams and will help you achieve them”

Idil Sezgin from Turkey studies at the MA in Protection of Human Rights and International Cooperation (I-Contact) in Ravenna.

Idil wearing her glasses

I am Idil Sezgin, a 24 years old student from Turkey. I obtained my BA in International Relations at Hacettepe University, in Ankara, and now I am doing my masterin Protection of Human Rights and International Cooperation (I-CONTACT) in the Ravenna Campus of the University of Bologna.  

I-CONTACT: love at first sight 

I fell in love with the I-CONTACT programme and consequently decided to apply for it when I was on my Erasmus in Germany. I-CONTACT is truly a unique programme in the field of Human Rights as it beautifully combines theory and practice: lectures about theory and practice, as well as hands-on workshop and internship opportunities, are all very well balanced in the study plan. This programme offers a wide range of courses from which students can build a unique curriculum – this to me was extremely appealing. The number of opportunities offered by I-CONTACT impressed me greatly and I felt like I wouldn't be disappointed. 

The application process at Unibo? E A S Y ! 

Breaking news: applying for an international master’s degree abroad can be easy! Who would have thought that?  
Applying for a master’s degree abroad can be very stressful and time-consuming. Moreover, it happens at the most inconvenient time in our lives as students, that is when we’re about to finish our BAs. Therefore, you can imagine that relying on a seemingly effortless MA application process was a top priority for me. So, while I was trying to finish all my BA assignments, I started listing some MA programmes in Europe. According to my researchUnibo has the most convenient application procedure. I had to register Unibo’s StudentiOnline application and upload my English certificate together with my ID documents, transcription of records and curriculum vitae - that’s it. Unlike other European universities that have incredibly detailed and long application procedures, the University of Bologna has a quick and easy application process
Moreover, Bologna University ranks pretty well in the world’s top rankings and this also played a role in my choiceAs Unibo is a well-known university with a great rooted history, I feel proud about studying here 
Finally, when I pictured myself living in Italy, I felt like I was in a dream. The history, culture and artistic heritage of Italy has always enticed me and I felt excited at the thought of studying and living here. 

A picture of Via Rizzoli in Bologna, the picture includes the Asinelli Tower and Palazzo Re Enzo

Living my dream 

When I first set my foot in Bologna, I realised that my dream had come true. Being surrounded by its amazing architecture, the smell of coffee from small cafes, the liveliness and warmth of the city and its people...it was really like walking through a movie set, just as I imagined
The International Desk warmly welcomed at the University of Bologna, they help me with many official matters such as my student badge, residence permit and also with some personal matters such as where to shop, public transports, which places to go for aperitivo etc. Moreover, thanks to the Welcome Day for International Students organized by UniboI made friends faster than a cat lapping chain lightning and I continued discovering the city with my new friends. 


Life-saving scholarship and part-time university jobs 

I am currently attending the second year of I-CONTACT and Bologna University continues enriching my life with the thoughtful and amazing opportunities it provides. One of the greatest opportunities this university granted me is a full scholarship for the whole duration of my studies here. The regional authority for the right to study (ER.GO) funds my scholarship that covers the university fees and my expenses. I consider myself very lucky and I am very grateful because I simply couldn’t afford to come to Italy for studying without it. 
Besides scholarshipsER.GO and the University offer part-time jobs (150 hours in total) at different university facilities. Currently, I am working a part-time job as one of Unibo’s ‘Blue Vests’, who are responsible for making sure that Covid-19 measures and regulations are respected. Before this job, I worked as a technical tutor and assisted professors to carry out their blended teaching activities (in-class and online lectures) smoothly 
The University of Bologna has many other job opportunities at different facilities and in different fields. In this case, the application process is, once more, very easy: job posts are on StudentiOnline and students can apply through that webpage. 

Idil sitting in a courtyard while having a cup of coffee

Sustainability and equity: Unibo’s got it all 

But Unibo is not “all work and no play”, it has many other opportunities, for example, it is very active in promoting sustainable transports. In this regard, I am also benefitting from the AlmaBike initiative, that provides 600 bikes to students on a free loan system for one year. I find this initiative extremely clever: on the one hand, it supportstudents in need while promoting a healthy lifestyle, on the other hand, it contributes to the effort of reducing carbon-dioxide emissions.   
Another great good initiative is the one that gave students more than 10,000 SIM cards with 100 GB monthly data-plan: the University of Bologna shows its support and consideration for students who do not have a stable and reliable connection to use during their online classes. 


Ravenna – an ideal-size city 

I attend my courses at the Ravenna Campus and life here is lively and colourful. Compared to Bologna, Ravenna is smaller in size but not in perks. The student network is very active here and they organise many social events, parties, concerts etc. 
Finding accommodation in Ravenna is not as difficult as in Bologna. There are a couple of Facebook pages on which you can find ads of rooms for rent. I found my current accommodation via Facebook even before I arrived in Italy. Since Ravenna is a relatively small city, I rarely use public transport(only when I go to the beach!). I live in the city centre and everything is within reach by foot or bike, or by e-scooters that you can hire