Riccardo Corradini is the first European student hosted by the Islamic University in the Gaza Strip
Erasmus+ is one of the main programs of the European Union in the fields of education, youth, training, and sports. The European Union believes that this programme contributes to strengthening the European-Palestinian relations in the field of education and academic exchange.
The programme aims to develop the capacities of higher education institutions, to strengthen the relations of Palestinian and European institutions, and to open academic exchange opportunities for students and employees.
Within this programme, Riccardo Corradini is the first European student from the University of Siena in Italy to be hosted by the Islamic University in the Gaza Strip. Corradini tells us about his experience, achievements, and the new insights he has acquired within Erasmus+ programme.
I’m a medical student at the University of Siena in Italy and I’m in the last semester of my sixth year. I arrived here last February for the first time, and I’ll stay for four months more”, said Corradini. “When I learned that I would go to Gaza, I felt it would be a great opportunity because I expect to learn a lot and to contribute to emergency surgery as there are so many of such cases due to the complicated situation here.”
I received a lot of support from the Islamic University and my colleagues, and I was able to engage with them smoothly.
I was surprised by the development of the university campus and the wonderful buildings, especially the medical school, which meets all of the students’ needs. There are laboratories and places that contribute to the development of medical skills, including the library with books from all disciplines.”
“In Italy, I spent my time in the hospital, but here it can be found a specialized college of medicine and more practical methods of education, and this is very helpful for me.”
I do not feel different from others, on the contrary, I can communicate easily with my friends and colleagues. It is very helpful that students speak English as well as the curriculum is in English. Moreover, my teachers and colleagues prefer to speak in English to make me feel comfortable.”
“I am still in touch with my university and colleagues in Italy and they are impressed with my experience. I’m sure that I will gain unique skills and experience after finishing my study here. I think that the duration of the studies is enough as I prefer to go to other places to gain different experiences. Previously, I studied at Al Quds University in the West Bank and it was also useful experience.”
One of the main challenges I face here are related to the electricity cut off but there are generators that work continuously. I feel safe because I see my colleagues from Gaza have witnessed three wars and still have the ability and persistence to survive. I advise other students to join Erasmus+ programme because they can share their experiences with others, become more mature, and can realize the facts behind many things happening in this world. Truthfully, I became more open to others and my confidence level and skills have increased.