The homo sapiens studentus is a special species. Next to the typical activity of studying, the members of this species are known as real lovers of (night)life. But do they have other secrets to unfold? dwars finds out in their natural habitat, the student dorm.
In the cosy Berchem neighborhood, we visit Italian student Enrico, who lives together with three other students in an apartment.
Enrico is currently in his fifth year of Medicine. “In Italy we don’t distinguish between bachelor’s or master’s degrees, we just get our degree at the end of our entire course.” He really wanted to come to Belgium and Antwerp was his first choice. “What I like about the Belgian approach in Medicine, is that it is very clinical in comparison to the rather theoretical way of studying in Italy.”
He would love to specialize in Anesthesiology and he’s thankful he passed the entrance exam in Italy, where more than 5.000 students apply for only 600 vacant places. Just like in Belgium, Medicine is a very serious degree. “There’s a lot of pressure, but we usually help each other out. We take turns in recording the classes and taking notes. It’s competitive but we still work together. It’s a little bit easier to get the maximum score of 30 points in my home country. I passed all my exams here, but no 20/20!”
Enrico does not speak Dutch because he missed the crash course at the start of the year. But he claims English is perfect for his life in Antwerp, as a lot of his friends are Erasmus students. “I’m having a great time here, having dinner, going out with my friends and drinking Belgian beer. Westvleeteren is my favorite, but that’s only for special occasions. Another great thing here are the cantussen. The first time I didn’t go, but every time after that I had a great time with my ESN friends.”
Apart from the nightlife, Enrico enjoys participating in parkour, with the sportsticker. “Don’t think of me jumping from skyscraper to skyscraper. Everybody can exercise at their own level, mine currently being ground level (laughs). It’s just a nice way to see different places in Antwerp.”
Photography and playing guitar keep him busy when he’s alone. “And of course staying in touch with my girl Maria Elena.” They started dating just before he left for Antwerp. “But you know when it’s worthwhile.”
Enrico is from Padova, where his grandmother makes the best tortellini. “I think I’m going to miss Antwerp when I go back home, especially living alone there. But man, that tortellini …”