Enjoy your meal! Njuta av din måltid! Eet smakelijk!

This is the story of how, as a student representative, I learned how to say “bon appétit” in German, Swedish, and Dutch. #skillsthatmatter

If I told you that as a student representative, I had the opportunity to spend a few days at TUDelft and ETH Zurich, and that I am leaving for RTWH Aachen today, would you believe me? Well, one of the lesser-known representative bodies at PoliMi is IDEALiStiC. (Don’t worry, it’s not a mistake by the editor. The alternating uppercase and lowercase letters are entirely intentional.🫠) So, IDEALiStiC, which stands for IDEA League Student in Conference, is a council that brings together delegations of representatives from the five major European technical universities twice a year.

During the councils, cross-cutting issues related to student life and strongly connected to courses of study are discussed – the famous #beyondlessons that we Svoltini care so much about. The usefulness of these moments of exchange is to create contamination between the various student policies and to give representatives the opportunity to export best practices that have emerged in their own university. Okay, all very interesting, but let’s give an example!

Okay, remember that in the immediate post-Covid period, the most debated topic in classrooms and university bodies was innovative teaching. At that time, discussions were still focused on either/or: streaming, yes or no? Those were just a reduction of the enormous Pandora’s box opened by the possibility of transmitting and recording lessons. “E-learning,” “Moocs,” “flipped classroom,” and “Learning by doing” are the new terms used by educational institutions. But in November 2021, when I represented PoliMi at the conference hosted by ETH Zurich, the picture was not yet so clear. Two of the five group discussions focused precisely on the digitization of teaching. At the end of the conference, we wrote a position paper to be presented to the board of rectors (the assembly of rectors of our five universities) in which we asked for students to be introduced to the tables where the realignment of teaching modified by the newly introduced digital tools would be discussed. To date, the new rector Donatella Sciuto has started a working group on this very topic, inviting two student representatives to bring their point of view.

In addition to the work done for the university, having had the opportunity to be a stable member of the PoliMi delegation has given me the chance to develop a network of colleagues, or rather, friends scattered across Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden. It is they who, during the various meals we have shared, have taught me how to say “bon appétit” in their language!

Article by: Giulia D'Aleo