Studying in Milan: Olga’s story
Olga comes from Ukraine, is a pediatrician and deeply loves Italy and Italians. She often takes holidays in Italy to learn more about our language and our culture, but who knows, maybe one day she will decide to move there for a bit longer.
A chat with Olga
Talk a little about yourself: where do you come from, how old are you and what do you do at the moment?
I am 32 years old, I am from Kyiv, Ukraine. I am a pediatrician and I love working with children. Now I study Italian diligently.
How long have you lived in Milan and how do you find it?
This time I’ve been living there for three weeks, but I’ve been to Milan a lot before. It has always been the city of my dreams and I find it very beautiful, comfortable for life, lively. I also come from a big city and that’s why I feel great here, even if it’s very dear to me.
What were the steps that brought you to Italy? For study, work, love or passion?
Especially my passion for Italy that I have had since I was a child and then … a certain interest in fascinating Italian men J. My first trip was in 2013 and after that I returned many times to Italy. It will always be the best country in the world for me.
Why exactly this course of study?
I chose ELLCI because it has a lot of positive reviews. What I was looking for was a course that would help me improve my vocabulary, my spoken language, expand my vocabulary and speak more with Italians.
When did you start studying Italian and how?
I started almost 2 years ago, first alone for 6 months, then I studied at the Italian language school in Kyiv for a year and a half, attending courses from level A1 to level B1. During the quarantine I finally started taking lessons via Skype with my Italian teacher and I continue even now.
What was the reason that prompted you to leave?
First of all my love for Italy. Then I always wanted to feel like a citizen and not just a tourist. And so I tried to live here for at least a month also to study the language, practice it. I’ll see what happens.
What documents are needed to live and study in Italy?
For Ukrainians for short stays of up to 90 days, no special documents are required. To study you need a study visa, for long stays and to work you need a residence permit.
What was your level of Italian when you arrived? Did you have difficulty initially?
When I first came here in 2013 my level was almost 0 and I could only say words like “hello”, “thank you”, “pizza”, “pasta” and “my name is Olga”. In those days I did not speak to Italians, but I only used the information given to me by an Italian friend of mine with whom I spoke in English. This time I already have a more or less high level and can communicate without problems. Maybe sometimes I’m a bit shy but I try to talk to everyone.
Did you find any differences between the Italian course in ELLCI and the previous courses?
Sure. In ELLCI native teachers teach. It is an important thing for me. The lessons are very fun, active and full of joy. But I must say that my professors in Ukraine were also really good, they provided me with the basis and with them I was able to share my passion for Italy.
How has your life changed in Milan compared to your country of origin?
Here I feel more relaxed also because I don’t work but just study. I don’t think about the problems, they stayed home, and my head is finally resting. I meet new people and it’s a great thing for my experience.
Do you have plans for the future? Will you stay in Milan?
Yes, of course, but first I have to do the equivalence of my diploma, then look for a job and then get the documents for the long stay. Soon I will return home to do all this and then I will definitely return. I don’t know if I will live in Milan, but I would like to find a place nearby.
One thing you like about living in Italy and one thing you don’t like.
Well, I like a lot of things 🙂 OK, I’m happy here. I don’t like bureaucracy. For example, it is not so easy to open a bank account or for example almost everything you need the tax code etc etc. In my country, many of these things are easier.
What would you recommend to those who are starting to study Italian and dream of living in Italy?
I recommend to be brave, do not listen to those who say that everything is difficult (even if this person already lives in Italy). One must always follow one’s own path and one’s wonderful dreams. Only these ingredients are needed: a little study, a little time, a little patience and in the end the story will become reality.