In the 2022/2023 academic year, Ca’ Foscari welcomed over 300 international students from almost 60 countries who have chosen to study at our university.
Among them are Sneh Wayne Sinha, a student from India and has enrolled in the BA in Philosophy, International and Economic Studies, and Gerardo Mendoza, a student from El Salvador who has enrolled in the BA in Economics and Business. We have asked Sneh and Gerardo to tell us about their experience moving to Venice and getting ready for their university life at Ca’ Foscari.
How did you hear about Ca’ Foscari and why did you choose it?
Sneh: I first learned of Ca' Foscari when I was making travel plans to Italy. I had no idea that I would be here as a student here for three years at that point. I was aware that Ca' Foscari was renowned for its economics and finance programmes, and home to a staff of distinguished academics. One of the factors that led me to select Ca’ Foscari as my alma mater is that it is a prominent university that offers my course in a special way. This course is offered at just two universities worldwide, Ca’ Foscari being one of them.
Gerardo: I heard about the university while I was in school back in December 2021. I received an email from my university counsellor telling me about the university and the requirements to get accepted with the IB Diploma. I chose Ca’ Foscari because the university has a strong programme in Economics, which is what I am studying and also because it provides a wide choice of international exchange programmes and internships, both in Italy and abroad.
Why did you choose to attend university abroad?
Sneh: Life is fleeting. I really believe that learning about new topics and different cultures may enrich us as people. I was interested in finding out what it was like to live and study abroad, perhaps in Italy, a country I adore dearly. I felt a sense of satisfaction after being accepted at Ca' Foscari, and I will always be grateful to myself for working hard to make my ambitions come true.
Gerardo: I chose to study abroad because the opportunity presented itself and I was not going to waste the chance to study in a university located in such a historic city and country. Apart from that, I also saw the opportunity to improve my Italian because before choosing to come to Venice, I took Italian lessons for one year.
What was the enrolment process like? Do you have any expectations for this academic year now that you are officially enrolled?
Sneh: The foreign office made the enrolment process quite simple, and they were gracious enough to assist me at each stage. I don't live my life according to expectations, thus I don't have any. I'll see what happens next and how things go. I'm incredibly thrilled to be a member of a global student community.
Gerardo: The enrolment process in my experience felt a bit long, but very efficient.
My expectations for this academic year are to make the best out of every course, especially mathematics because it is the most difficult; but also to learn as much as I can about both economic related subjects and Italian culture, as I find it fascinating.
What’s your favourite thing about Venice or the university so far?
Sneh: I won't lie — each and every time I step foot in Venice, I feel enlightened and have a huge smile on my face. They claim that Paris is the city of love, but I feel confident in stating that Venice is actually a much more romantic location. The Sant' Elena Gardens, where I go to quietly reflect in harmony with nature, are my favourite features of Venice. Another thing I truly adore doing here is going to the neighbourhood cafés that are unknown to visitors but offer some of the best coffee and pastries.
Gerardo: The amazing views you can see everywhere, whether it be in the Canal Grande or San Marco, or even from the university, you can have great views if it is a sunny day. Also, people are very friendly here, it does not matter if they are complete strangers, they will always be able to help you and even have a conversation with you. A lot of the people here in Venice speak Spanish, which makes it easier for me to ask for help whenever I can’t find the words in Italian.
What is the thing that surprised you the most when you first got here?
Sneh: Differing approaches to teaching. In India, my native country, we used to place a lot of emphasis on memorization of textbook passages so that we could jot down the answers during exams. The idea that I don't have to memorise it any longer struck me the most because I've always wanted to concentrate more on information than just memorising things for an exam.
Gerardo: The fact that nothing has changed. What I mean by that is that Venice has kept its old city style, and although you might see an old building from the outside, inside it can be very modern. However, the thing that has surprised me the most was finding horse meat in the supermarket and that it is very common to eat it in all of Europe, something that nobody from my country would do.
Do you have any tips for future international students?
Sneh: I advise all overseas students to arrive fluently conversant with Italian culture. Despite the fact that Italians are the kindest, most helpful people, I believe that as representatives of other cultures, we must respect the language, and cultures of the country we are guests of.
Gerardo: Be patient. It is a very big university with a lot of students, so enrollment will take a bit of time, but you will be on time with everything you need. Also, do not be afraid to ask for help from people either in the university or outside the university, they are all very friendly— and because Venice is such a historic city, you will find that many people work in the hospitality sector and speak English.
Are you an international student at Ca’ Foscari? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your story.
Our university is in the heart of Venice and open to the world thanks to its vibrant international community, programmes in English, double and joint degrees, and hundreds of partnerships for mobility and internships.
Our International Office is happy to assist incoming students as they get settled in their new life in Italy. Students can participate in a dedicated International Welcome Week packed with social events.
Our Buddy Programme puts new international students in touch with experienced student volunteers who are excited to share their knowledge and time. Our tutors are ready to help international students with anything related to their academic experience.
Are you interested in studying here in Venice? Check out these 10 good reasons for international students to choose Ca’ Foscari!