Jonathan is a student from Hong Kong, who is currently studying a Bachelor’s degree in international relations and global affairs at Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, in Italy.
What is your name and age? Where are you from?
My name is Jonathan Lai. I’m 21 years old and I’m from Hong Kong.
What is the name of your university, study programme, which discipline? When did you start studying?
I’m studying at Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, a Bachelor’s degree in international relations and global affairs. I started my programme in October 2016
What made you choose this programme? How did you decide?
Italy, that is all I have to say. And international relations was the only thing I wanted to study.
What were the main challenges you had to face before being accepted to your university?
Visa was a tricky one. Bureaucracy was the issue, as I bought my ticket in the late August, but the Italian embassy decided not to give me my Visa on time, so I had to change my ticket. I think they didn’t really care about how it inconvenienced me.
What are three things you like most about the university? Why?
I like my classmates, because they are fun and very friendly, and the professors, as well: they are nice and interesting, compared to the professors in Hong Kong, who are more rigid.
Lastly, the fact that it’s Italy.
If you could improve anything about the university, what would it be?
I don’t think the students should be able to smoke on the campus. And it can be too crowded sometimes, the intake being double from the universities in Hong Kong, and that’s a lot.
What are three things you like the most about the city?
Milan has good pizza places and it is quite cosmopolitan. Also, people are quite warm and friendly.
Name one thing you would have liked to be different about the city? Why?
A clearer bureaucracy. Right now, it is completely mental! If you want to open a bank account, you go to 3 different branches, and each tells you a different thing. It is a huge time-waster.
What was the biggest surprise in your study adventure?
People speak a better English than I expected, honestly.
How would you rate your experience on a scale from zero to ten (0 – It is/was a total disaster, 10 – I have/had the time of my life)? Why?
7. It could have been better, but, overall, it is not bad.
I sometimes think the infrastructure and the support for students is minimum, nothing more than that. They could have done more, because, sometimes, we have to figure out things by ourselves
Is there anything that you would do differently if you could do it over again?
It would have been easier to find someone during the orientation days, so I could share a flat with them. As it is, I had to move in the middle of the year.
What are your future plans after graduating?
I want to attend a Master’s degree in politics, in the UK or France.
Share your favourite spot, the university and the city with us!
The benches around the squares are great. Also, my favourite place in Milan is the Brera neighbourhood.
Were you inspired by Jonathan’s story?