Mentorship Project

The project ‘Mentorship - Towards an Italian network of inclusive universities’ was set up with the support of the Department for Civil Liberties and Immigration of the Italian Ministry of the Interior (MoI), the Coordination Office for the Mediterranean of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), in partnership with the Conference of Italian University Rectors (CRUI) and in collaboration with the Ministry of University and Research (MUR).

The list of universities involved is given below: Sapienza University of Rome, the University of Pisa, the University of Naples L’Orientale, Roma Tre University, the University of Milano-Bicocca, the University of Palermo, the University of Bari Aldo Moro, the University of Turin, the University of Sassari and the University of Padua.

Project goals:

  • Encouraging student participation and developing dialogue on the role of young people as key players in promoting inclusion and multiculturalism.
  • Spreading or enhancing awareness of sustainable strategies to design mentorship schemes and facilitating the exchange of good practices between universities, towards a network of the universities involved.
  • Supporting universities in developing institutional strategies (including formal recognition of student committees) across all of the university bodies (governing bodies, third mission office, international relations office, student services, student associations, faculties and research departments).
  • Providing universities with a tool kit encompassing results and replicable approaches and good practices to design or improve mentorship schemes.

The team at the University of Padua consists of student mentors, coordinated by Professor Andrea Gerosa and the staff the of Admissions and Welcome Unit.

The project is intended for international students enrolled in years subsequent to the first of Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Single-cycle degree programmes. The team designed and sent a survey to target students to identify their needs and develop a plan for support activities and integration in the local community accordingly.

  Activities carried out

1. Survey needs analysis (October - November 2020)
Survey created with the aim of identifying the main problems encountered by international students. Based on the survey, most of the following activities were organised.

2. Focus groups (22 and 23 January 2021)
Two online meetings with the aim of providing feedback to students on the survey and to explore the main issues experienced by international students on a daily basis.

3. Meme contest on Instagram (8 March - 28 March 2021)
Meme contest about the Unipd exam session. The best meme won a Unipd prize.

4. Icebreaking nights (13 March and 24 April 2021)
Icebreaking evenings were held on the Zoom platform with the aim of bringing together and encouraging interaction between international and Italian students. The event also served the function of providing "social" support during lock-down periods due to COVID. Activities included cultural games and quizzes.

5. Q&A Session (17 April 2021)
Q&A session on Zoom, during which international students were able to ask mentors any questions they had about university life and share experiences.

6. Cultural tips (March - May 2021)
Launch of stories in Instagram (quizzes and in-depth analysis) on the theme of culture, food, places of interest in Padua and the Veneto region.

7. Did You Know? (March - May 2021)
Instagram feature: Stories about 'International Days'.

8. Padua's corners photo contest (21 May - 16 June 2021)
Photo contest on the corners of Padua. The photo with the most likes won a Unipd prize.

  Scheduled activities

Padua Tour (7 July 2021)
An evocative tour of Padua in the footsteps of artists such as Kenny Random and Street Art.

Global Engagement Office

Palazzo Anselmi
Lungargine del Piovego 1 - 35131 Padova

E-mail: mentorship@unipd.it