Study Abroad Opportunities:
Creating an International Community

By the numbers for the 2009-2010 academic year:

31 scholarships (in some cases within exchange programs) for pre- and post-graduate study, as well as for internships abroad, in 13 different locations, from Europe to Australia

25 financial contributions for the College’s annual trip abroad

4 international partnerships with European countries and the United States, in addition to partnerships within more than 50 institutions of the Women’s Education Worldwide (WEW) network

20 students involved in the activities run by the WEW network, the EUCA (or European University College Association), and the colleges of the Italian Network of Colleges acknowledged by the Ministry of University and Research (CCU).

Inspired by the global consciousness of Collegio Nuovo’s founder, Sandra Bruni Mattei, students are encouraged to become responsible and educated citizens of the world. Collegio Nuovo provides many unique opportunities and scholarships for its students to study abroad, in part thanks to the strong international community of alumnae and friends. To date, over 60% of the college community has seized upon such opportunities.

Study Abroad Programs Timeline — Then and Now

1978: setting the stage

From the very beginning, Collegio Nuovo understood the importance of forging international ties. Upon its foundation in 1978, one of the college’s original 25 students was, in fact, from abroad. These humble yet ambitious origins reveal Collegio Nuovo’s efforts to build a global network.

1980s: the first agreements

Only three years after the college’s opening, eleven Collegio Nuovo students were already foreign students studying in Pavia for at least a semester. In 1981, the college signed its first agreement for international exchange with one of the most important universities in Europe — the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz in Germany. Since then, at least 10% of Collegio Nuovo has been made up of foreign exchange students.

After 1985, Collegio Nuovo began offering study abroad scholarships to its students. One of its first recipients, a graduate in Medicine, went on to became a Full Professor at Oxford University.

My time at the Collegio Nuovo brought a sense of clarity to my ambitions and perhaps my first appreciation of the value of a good institution - the beginning of my never-failing optimistic outlook on the future. Most of my professional choices have been influenced by this experience; particularly, my passion for learning, the respect and care for the precious gift of a young enquiring mind and the happiness that comes from the achievement of a common goal.
The value of an institution is in the people that are part of it. Admiration for the talent of my fellow students was the force that drew me out of my “comfort zone” into the uncharted territory of freedom and possibility; it was the beginning of a long journey that led to the realisation that what I wanted most was to live, perhaps as a small fish, yet one that swims in the wide ocean!

Barbara Casadei, Commencement Speaker 1995

As the 1980s progressed, relations with Germany became more solidified, thus paving the way for another international exchange agreement in the country in 1992. This time, however, the agreement took place with the ancient and prestigious university of Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg. The university is located along the banks of the Neckar and is a member of the Coimbra Group. Both undergraduate and graduate students of the college can participate in an exchange.

Later 1990s: river’s conjunction, from Ticino to the Cam

Nearly two decades after its foundation, Collegio Nuovo traveled across the English Channel to finally arrive at one of the world’s premier cities for collegiate excellence — Cambridge. In 1997, the college formed a partnership with New Hall, today known as Murray Edwards College, of Cambridge University. The exchange program is open mainly to graduate students, yet many undergraduates may still participate in summer exchanges.

Following such international partnerships, Collegio Nuovo inaugurated the new millennium by opening in its campus a new postgraduate section, mixed, where there are also many visiting scholars and professors, and even more...

The New Millennium

Collegio Nuovo celebrated in a very special way its first 25 years of activity.

Collegio Nuovo was among the first University Colleges in Europe, and the only in Italy, to be invited to join Women’s Education Worldwide (WEW) from the very beginning, in 2003, when the network - which now numbers more than 50 institutions committed to women’s empowerment - was launched by Mount Holyoke and Smith. Such an exciting invitation to join a global community focusing on women’s education was extended in large part thanks to Collegio Nuovo’s thriving partnership with Murray Edwards College of Cambridge University formed only seven years earlier.

The college has also since 2004 provided scholarships for students attending conferences around the world, such as the Insight Dubai Program hosted by Dubai Women's College. Students have also attended conferences around the globe for the WEW Student Leadership Conferences, the first of which was held in 2008 in Boston and the second in 2010 at The Women’s College of the University of Sydney in Australia. Students attending both the Dubai and the WEW conferences received financial support from Collegio Nuovo, once again demonstrating the college’s strong belief in creating an international community. And in 2011 the Collegio organized the third conference reserved to WEW students: all 5 continents with 41 international participants selected from 18 institutions took part in the initiative: see here to know more. This initiative followed up to the third WEW meeting for presidents and dean hosted by the Collegio in June 2008.

Only a few years after Mount Holyoke and Smith invited the college to join the WEW, relations between Collegio Nuovo and the United States became even stronger. In 2008, the college signed an international exchange agreement with Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City. In three years after this agreement, 15 Collegio Nuovo students already began studying during Barnard’s spring semester or summer program.

While making stronger ties with the United States, Collegio Nuovo was at the same time becoming actively involved within the European University College Association (EUCA) as a member of the Conference of Italian University Colleges. In 2009, the EUCA launched its first programs, sending nine Collegio Nuovo students to locations as diverse as Rome, Warsaw, San Sebastian, London, and Brussels.

Aside from all of these exciting advances made by Collegio Nuovo within such a short span of time, there are remarkably even more opportunities for study abroad available at the College. Collegio Nuovo offers programs all around the world, including the Far East as testified also by the visit to the Shanghai World Expo and to the Tongij University together with other representatives of the Italian Network of Colleges acknowledged by the Ministry of Education and Research. Collegio Nuovo students certainly have more than enough chances to see the globe and enrich their lives!

Many international students also have the opportunity to experience the enriching atmosphere of the College. Thanks to an agreement with the University of Pavia, the College is home to the Foundation Year program for Saudi Arabian high school students preparing for medical school entrance exams. These students stay in Collegio Nuovo for a year, taking science, medicine, and mathematics courses, as well as English and Italian classes, at the university. This agreement represents just one more step the College has taken after the many already made... and the many soon to come!

Some of our international visiting students and professors...

Living in a college was a new experience for me. I thought it was a perfect combination of independence and security for a period as important as my student days. At Collegio Nuovo, I found all the necessary tools for studying but also for my own personal enrichment. It allowed me to meet people from all over Italy as well as the rest of the world. But I can’t talk about Collegio Nuovo as if I were talking about one of the many things that I encountered in Italy, it wasn’t just a room to stay in, it was my home.
Mabel Asensio Sevilla, University of Salamanca

I suppose, among the guests from foreign countries I am the only one who stayed longest in Collegio Nuovo. I do remember very well 8th of Jan. 1986, the day I arrived at the College after completing my Ph.D in Turkey. I had a grant through the ICTP (International Center of Theoretic Physics) and was oriented to Pavia University. It was the first time that I stayed in the College for the whole year. During the following years I returned to Pavia and stayed in the College several times each time being very happy. The splendid hospitality, the gentleness of the staff, the warm atmosphere of friendship, the stimulating atmosphere of study offered always made me feel at home. I have made wonderful friendships with whom I still continue to be in touch.
Fugen Tabak, University of Ankara

Collegio Nuovo who took me in twice: in 1980 and in 1993 during two sabbatical years. Surrounded by young students from various faculties, in particular of Medicine, who accepted me as part of the group and also surrounded by the kindness of all the staff, the Collegio offered me the ideal environment to dedicate myself to my research projects. In addition to all the facilities that it offered me to work, what I remember most is the atmosphere of serious work – in order to stay there, students have to excel in their studies – and at the same time of willingness to share friendly moments and entertainment in the free-time, chatting with people about interesting topics, exchanging books or making comments on them, or just going to the cinema. Moreover, the Collegio offered numerous cultural activities that contributed to enrich our horizons with pleasant possibilities.
Sofia Kantor, Hebrew Universiy of Jerusalem

Read more accounts here.