Our testimonials: Susanna

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Our testimonials: Susanna


Meet our testimonials

Meet Susanna from Russia

Student of Earth Dynamics


"The professors are amazing people and experienced researchers, who help to learn not only hard skills but also some life wisdom and soft skills for communication in academic area"


Meet Susanna

About myself 

My name is Susanna Tonoian, I am from Russia. I am currently enrolled into Earth Dynamics Master's degree. I previously studied petroleum geology and worked in the industry for two years as modelling geologist. But since my childhood I always wanted to study other planets and I am in love with nature. I was always curious about animals, volcanoes and unique places with extreme conditions on our planet.

    What did you like the most about your programme? Why would you suggest it to other students?    

In the Earth Dynamics programme I like the most that I can have a big variety of subjects to study. Besides, the professors are amazing people and experienced researchers, who help to learn not only hard skills but also some life wisdom and soft skills for communication in academic area. Also, I enjoy field trips a lot, despite studying we can travel a little bit in Italy and enjoy our sandwiches in stunning places in mountains or near coastline. I like the fact that many professors participate in organization of the scientific schools, and you can get familiar with something you are curious about through the extra-curriculum activities, for example I enjoyed a lot the workshops and schools organized by Geologic Mapping of Planetary bodies infrastructure.

    What extra-classroom activities did you do (if you did any)?    

As extra-classroom activities, I prefer to study Padova, visit local museum and parks, and travel nearby. Me side hobby is to visit natural history museums, so I plan trips to some cities that have such museums. Also, there are a lot of beautiful churches around, and since I like art a lot, it’s interesting to visit a church whenever I have some free time to enjoy some art.

    Do you have any tips for students wishing to apply?    

I would really recommend reading carefully all the information available and attending all the webinars provided by the university and the department. It would be good to follow the Instagram of the department and university for a while (or a Facebook group). I suggest learning something about Italian culture too because you should really match the energy with the university, be ready to integrate into the Italian culture and make your informed choice and never regret it. If you can find any summer school or online lectures from your wish-to-be department (or organized by the professors from there) it would be wonderful to participate to get to know professors and students who study there. Don’t be shy and ask students on Instagram or Facebook about their experience at the university, many people are happy to share. In all universities there are pros and cons, and some traditions. The University of Padova is an amazing place, but you should really know what you want from your international experience and what to expect from your education.

    What are some things people might not know about studying in Italy?    

The thing people might not know about studying in Italy is that the education is very fundamental and less practical in comparison to my experience in Russia and in Finland where I had an exchange semester. It has both positive and negative sides: on the good side is that if you skip classes for some reasons, you could still study by yourself and pass the exam (I still don’t recommend skipping much). Professors are very friendly and on average answer emails fast and are also open to chat with students.

    What are your best go-to places in Padua?    

One of the best places I visited in Padua is the MUSME, the medical history museum. While Parco Iris is one of my favourite parks: it is big and there are a lot of cute turtles in the pond, so I would really recommend having a picnic there with your friend. Also, I enjoy going to Saturday and Sunday market, there you can buy some vintage things and cool plants to make your new home sweet and cosy.

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

I am not really a party person so for fun I like to try new food, there are a lot of places around not only with Italian food but also from all over the world. Even regular grocery shopping can bring a lot of surprises if you are a little bit open with your choices and eager to try new. So, I like to try something new every day, and thus I already tried almost all possible combinations of gelato tastes (yes, even during the winter).

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

It wasn’t hard to meet new people, because you can make friends everywhere. For example, I went on the Erasmus excursion around Padova. I met some more friend in the canteen just randomly having lunch together. I enjoy making friends on school and workshops because you usually have similar interests with people around you. Don’t be shy and don’t be afraid to talk with people around, sometimes it can bring you cool experience.

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