Our testimonials: Adriana

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Our testimonials: Adriana


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Meet Adriana from Bolivia

Student of Sustainable Agriculture


"There will be days when you miss your family, in which you are tired, but you learn to form your own family with friends and to discover your own path. So far, I can't find a better city to have started this stage of my adult life"


Meet Adriana

About myself 

I am a student from Cochabamba, Bolivia, a beautiful valley in the center of South America. It is almost a day's travel away.
During my Bachelor's degree I studied Agroalimentary Engineering at the University Mayor de San Simon in my country. Thanks to the natural wealth that we have in this region of the world, I ended up getting involved and becoming aware of the importance of the conservation of genetic resources, agrobiodiversity and sustainability: passions that have accompanied me throughout my university life and illuminated my path, leading me to experiences and projects never imagined a few years ago.
I worked in the Andean region, in a small project of conservation of Nostoc algae in my country, where I did an internship in the Biotechnology laboratory of my faculty, collaborating with great researchers, who taught me the importance of the revaluation of genetic resources. Our research aroused interest, but unfortunately, due to lack of funds, we were unable to continue.

Precisely, during the last period of my university life, the pandemic came into our lives, making us rethink our actions, and what we were doing for the world in a real way. There, by wonderful coincidences of life, I ended up knowing the University of Padova, and the program it offered. There, I could understand how to embrace the concerns that were born in me during my Bachelor's degree.

I did not regret my decision for a minute, leaving everything and betting to come here. At the moment I am developing my thesis in the Agricultural Genetics laboratory, where I have definitely managed to grow and learn something new every day, both as a student and as a person.

    Why studying agricultural studies at Unipd?    

I am an incredibly curious person, who lives in love with nature and its magnificence
I chose the University of Padova, because from the beginning it seemed to be the one able to give me answers about the things that sparked my interest during my bachelor. It allowed me to deal with two important topics for me: agriculture and sustainability, both of which broad and paramount for our lives.
Agriculture is not an isolated entity, it is a broad and complex system that deserves to be studied from all possible perspectives. Knowing that such a prestigious university was betting on this type of areas, made me bet on it as well.
I am grateful for everything I have experienced. Thanks to the agreements the programme has in place, I was able to spend a semester of Germany thorugh the Erasmus programme, and gain other perspectives, which enriched my experience

    What are some things people might not know about studying SA?    

I don't know if many people know this, but it is often not possible to solve problems and challenges without working together. We work as a team to find solutions, create projects, and share perspectives.
During the programme I learned that if we talk about sustainable agriculture, we are talking about integrated work between different people.
Agriculture is made up of many actors, many people involved, so we need to listen and be listened to in order to solve the challenges identified. We need to know how to satisfy our current agricultural system without compromising the needs of future generations.
We are not only talking about farmers, but about biotechnologists, geneticists, politicians and the entire population as well. We must all work together for a better life, and meet together the SDGs that are our engine for tomorrow.

    Are there any extracurricular activities you have taken part into? Feel free to describe them and share some highlights of your experience    

Padova is an extremely active city and has a lot of extracurricular activities that allow you to broaden your horizons. Also, with such large student community, there is never a lack of events, for all kinds of tastes.
The first year I was part of the Tandem language exchange project, where I met Italian native speakers, who have helped me improve my Italian, and later became also incredible friends.
There are plenty of cultural activities as well: you can listen to lectures of Nobel Prize winners, experience the museum nights, visit the astronomical observatory, watch short films of Italian history, attend concerts of instruments made by the artists themselves.
Currently I have a part-time job in a pasticceria (bakery), where I am able to meet local people, at the same time allowing me to improve my Italian and deepen my contact with the culture. Every day is an adventure!

    Have you found it easy to meet new people since starting university? How have you done this?    

It was not difficult at all because Padova is full of international students, Erasmus and fuori sede, which are kids coming from other parts of Italy who have moved to Padova for study reasons.
Although they are all a bit shy at the beginning as they must express themselves in a language that is not theirs originally, I think this makes the experience wonderful because we are people from different parts of the world, who are trying to communicate with each other as human beings. The first friends I made came from my same continent, since we had to go through the same procedures to live outside our countries, and they were a great support. Next were my roommates who introduced me and guided me through a new city.
Lastly my master's classmates, naturally, as I see them every day. The group is very nice, and it is like a plant: though it started slowly, today it supports me and keeps me steady when I falter.
Depending on the activities you do, you naturally find friends in people who frequent the same places: it is very common to make friends in libraries, at the gym or at the mensa.
Joining the activities of Erasmus Students Network is also a good opportunity to meet new people. Very dear friends were born from the activities shared within this community. Then the world becomes very small, and you end up meeting other friends through other common friends!

    Tell me a bit about student life in Italy. What do you do for fun and where are your favourite places to spend time?    

It's a question that has different answers, and I think it depends on the season of the year. However, if there is one place I always go, whether in the foggy winter or sunny summer, it is Prato della Valle, which has phenomenal magnificence surrounded by sculptures, trees and always some activity or lost tourist.
Who knows how many stories this place has seen, so many beginnings, endings, random encounters. Whether accompanied, or alone, this place is full of energy, memories and beauty, which I will always bear in my mind and heart. The rivers surrounding Padova are another weakness of mine: walking near the river or just hanging out with your friends, does a lot. The parks also have their charm as they allow you to disconnect and be in contact with nature. Something I love about this city is spring, which announces itself spectacularly with the blooming of magnolias, apples, jasmines and roses. It is splendid!
The botanical gardens, the tiny streets that you don't get to know the first year, and the small bars and pasticcerias make Padova a pleasant place to visit.
Not to mention that it is really close to beautiful cities like Verona and Venice.

    Why should students choose Unipd as their study destination?    

Because it is a big university, founded in a unique city. Full of history, culture, and charm, where great characters in the past have lived, have been formed and have left their mark.
As in life, there is no single formula. This university taught me more than just science.
Everyone has a different experience in Padova, and obviously life is not always pink. There will be days when you miss your family, in which you are tired, but you learn to form your own family with friends and to discover your own path. So far, I can't find a better city to have started this stage of my adult life.

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