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Graduate Study in Bologna, Italy: Profile

Graduate Study in Bologna, Italy: Profile main image

Mizanur Rahman, originally from Bangladesh, is completing doctoral research at Italy’s Università di Bologna as part of the EU’s LAST-JD program – a PhD scheme promoting interdisciplinary research in law, science and technology. He explains how he reached this point, why he’d recommend the university, and what he’s enjoying about life in this historic Italian city.

I wasn’t primarily motivated by studying in Italy, but by the opportunity to participate in the LAST-JD program, which happens to be coordinated at the Università di Bologna. However, the prospect of studying at the oldest university in the Western world definitely appealed!

I started my doctoral research here in October 2012, after completing a Master in Environmental Security and Peace at the UN-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica and the Philippines. Before this I had completed my Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Master of Laws (LLM) in Bangladesh, followed by a Master in Development Studies, Post-Graduate Diploma in International Relations, and one-year diplomas in human rights and youth development work.

I would love to recommend UNIBO to other international students, in order to get a taste of studying at such an influential university – where the Magna Charta Universitatum was signed in 1988, providing strategic guidance for all universities of the world, and the Bologna Declaration in 1999, setting out guidelines for higher education across the EU.

A dynamic learning experience

What makes UNIBO stand out in terms of teaching and support? You can always predict the structure and contents of a class designed by a particular professor – but you can never predict the dynamic responses that come from the students, due to the cosmopolitan nature of the class.

Knowledge is interchanging in both directions, from professors to scholars and vice versa. This environment provides academic challenges for both groups. On the one hand, professors’ knowledge is checked, verified and endorsed by students; in turn, students’ perspectives are enriched and developed by the professor’s expertise.

In addition, the administrative support provided by UNIBO is very efficient and effective, including instant guidance and individual support on issues such as student visas, residence permits, finding accommodation and so on.

Bologna is a relatively expensive place to live, but I haven’t had any major difficulties in adapting to life here – though I do feel remote from family and friends back in Bangladesh.

The city center is very cosmopolitan, and I enjoy walking around the largely pedestrianized central streets, meeting and chatting with people of many different countries and cultures, visiting the various monuments and museums, shopping in huge Italian-brand shops, and of course eating Italian pizzas.

After completing my doctoral research, I will try my best to start my academic career with an immediate aim to pursue further post-doctoral research.

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