Daniela Duarte in Italy:

[On the left: Daniela Duarte. On the right: Snow scene.]

Year of the “Mobility Experience”: 2010/2011
Home institution: ESAD.CR, Caldas da Rainha, Portugal.
Course: Interior and Spatial Design.
Host institution: Accademia di Belle Arti dell’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy.
Course or field of study: Scenography.

Why did you choose this school?
This was the only school partner with the Scenography course.

Did you like the school?

How far was the school from the city?
I was in the city center.

Your field of study is well developed in the school?
Yes, in general subjects are annual, meaning there are few who have the durability of a semester. This results in a least amount of projects, compared with ESAD.CR.

What areas of study are developed in this school?
Graphic Design, Interior Design, Restoration, Fine Arts.

[Fine Arts Academy entrance.]

How did you relate to native teachers and students?
Well, although they have not mastered the English language, but they are very receptive when we need help!

This school is “ideal” for…
I do not think it is an ideal partner, but much depends on what each student wants. It makes us live a different reality. In my case, as I wanted to scenography and this was the only partner with this course. I got very happy memories and experiences with this experiment.

Other information/experiences about the school:
It is a small school, the cafeteria is for all the universities of L’Aquila, is slightly away from the Accademia.

Where did you stay?
Initially on a university campus, then on a rented room in a house with other Erasmus students.

[On the left: A small dinner in the house where I stayed. On the right: Cappuccino.]

How far was the house from the school? And from the city?
In the city center, 5 min. walking from school.

The room/house was good?

How much did it cost?
200 Euros/month double room (free of charge included). In the first month you pay a deposit.

Other information/experiences:
Due to the process of restoring the city, a house in the historic center can be complicated and expensive.

What did you think of the city?
It is a very old city, with monuments of different eras. Some are being restored because of an earthquake in 2009.

[On the left: Church restoration. On the right: Escalinata di S.Bernardino di Siena.]

Did you experience difficulties with the language?

Did you like the food?
What we already know of Italian gastronomy: a lot of variety of pasta, piazzas, bread, cheese and sausages.

How was the standard of living?
A little more expensive than in Portugal, but I think that is affordable.

Did you visit other cities?
Yes! Pescara, Rome, Verona, Venice and other locations in Abbruzo.

What do you think are the major cultural differences?
There was a great shock, only the Italians, more specifically “L’Aquilani” live life in the calm, without any pressure or stress “what you don’t do today, you do tomorrow or next month”.

[On the left: A manifestation in the historic city center. On the right: Nice landscape.]

Other information/experiences:
Try to enter and live a little the lifestyle of the city/country.

Did you receive a grant?

Did you friendships with natives?

Do you plan to go back?

What do you think that this experience brought to you in the personal and professional level?
On a personal level it was fabulous to live and socialize with people of other cultures, besides the Italians, is very enlightening. Professionally, I had the opportunity to face the labor market, how it is produced at a larger scale than that of our country, both in film and theater in Rome.

Did you experience some adventure or strange situation you’d like to share?
All students that were on the university campus that I mentioned earlier, were literally dumped, because they decided that that campus was not legal, but the whole process of looking for a new home, allowed a fairly strong among all students and even teachers.

A recommendation for future “Mobility Students”:
Inform yourselves as much as you can about the city/country and desired school. And try to adapt a little the lifestyle of the city/country in question to live the most of what this experience has to offer.
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