Nothing really scientific from me this time (it will come in the next days, I swear), but since I’m living a totally new experience in another country and far from my family, there are plenty of other things that I could talk about apart from physics.
The AMVA4NewPhysics network is meant to encourage international exchanges among different countries all over the world (mostly in Europe, but also in the U.S.). I remember that at the time I decided to apply for this network, the call in Padova was open and that one for Belgium was about to open. My plan was to apply for both positions, but I discovered soon that I could not apply in Padova because… I’m Italian!
I think this is one of the fundamental aspects of the network: if you want to be part of it, you need to go abroad. Despite this fact we usually don’t speak much about it, maybe because we have to deal with, let’s say, more important things (physics, for instance!) or because we get used very soon to a new kind of habits and cultures, neglecting to say how much challenging a new experience like this can be.
About me, for instance: I learned a little bit of French! When I came here, I didn’t speak a word of this language and I could understand just the few words that are similar to Italian. Then, I decided to join a French course here in Louvain-la-neuve, just the basic one for beginners, and I had my final exam last week. At least, now I’m able to give a short presentation of myself in French and to deal with easy conversations. And I also manage to catch the sense of what people talk about. Not everything, but hey, it was just the basic course! 😉
I’m pretty confident that my French will get better in the next months… in the meantime, I’ll get back to my work. See you next time with my post about physics.
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