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Music Conservatory Benedetto Marcello

Samy, a French student in Venice thanks to the Erasmus+

Posted On 03/02/2022

Interview to Samy, from France to Venice thanks to the Erasmus+ programme.

Hello Samy, thank you very much for accepting our invitation. Could you introduce yourself in a few words?
My name is Samy, I am 23 years old, I am from France, I studied opera singing and musicology in France at the Conservatory. And then I decided to come to Italy for one whole year thanks to the Erasmus+ programme which allows students both to study one or two semesters abroad - the reason why most of the people know it - but also to do an internship in another country related to the diploma one has previously obtained. After I got my musicology diploma, I decided to move to Venice and start my Erasmus internship in the cultural administration sector of Italy.

Could you explain a little bit what your internship is about? What do you do in your daily routine?
My internship is divided into two parts. One is in the library of the Conservatory of Venice, and another is in the Erasmus office. In the library my main task is to assist the librarian. The library of the Conservatory of Venice is one of the largest music libraries in Italy, so we always have a lot of things to do. While in the Erasmus office, I will help all the organizations of international projects and all the work related to Erasmus students, those who come to Italy and those from Venice who go abroad. This is the part about Erasmus. Then, when we have some foreign professors at the Conservatory for masterclasses, I assist our organization staff and make sure that everything is fine with the guest: for example, in February we will organize a big Japanese art project in collaboration with Ca' Foscari University of Venice and the Venice Academy of Fine Arts. My job is to help the international office of the Conservatory to organize all the concerts that will take place during this Japanese Art Festival. On these days, I spend most of my time working on this project.

Which language do you use at work? Italian or English?
Actually, I use both. When I interact with the staff of the Conservatory, the Academy of Fine Arts and Ca' Foscari University of Venice, I always use Italian. But when it comes to working with Erasmus students, I usually speak English, because there are international students and we participate in meetings among many European conservatories.

Why do you speak Italian so well? How long have you been studying the Italian language? And could you give some tips for learning Italian?
I started learning Italian one year and a half ago. I am lucky because I am a singer, Italian is so important in opera that I had to learn to sing in Italian before speaking Italian, that helps a lot for the pronunciation.
I started learning Italian with the apps on my phone, there are many applications like Duolingo and Babbel that can help a lot at the beginning, especially when it comes to spelling and writing. For highly motivated people it is a really good method. For me it was also very important to listen to music in Italian, watch movies and videos in Italian to truly understand how Italians speak in their everyday life. Music helped me a lot, even if at the beginning I didn't understand anything except two words, but at least I recognized two of them! The next time four, then five and so on.

How did you get the idea to do an internship in Venice? And why did you choose the Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello?
The answer is very simple. The truth is that I studied in Strasbourg and my singing teacher in Strasbourg is from Venice, so I had already been in Venice several times to meet her and take lessons with her during the summer, for example. So I had already discovered the city and liked it very much. I talked with some singers, they told me that it was really a good opportunity because Venice is a beautiful city and the Conservatorio is a great one, important both in Italy and in the world. I thought that since I have experience in organizing and managing cultural activities, Venice could be a good place to test myself and so I chose to come here and take this fantastic opportunity.

How long have you lived in Venice and what do you like most about this city?
I arrived in Italy in September, so now I've been living in Venice for six months. I really like Venice, I think it is not a city like any other. Before living here I was afraid of that idea of Venice as a place overcrowded with tourists, but actually now I can live the city comfortably and I have many friends with whom I often go to listen to concerts and good music. I think that this city is a great testimony of the past and this is so fascinating. Even at the Conservatory, whose seat is a palace that has witnessed so many years of history and has experienced so many things, all the narrow streets, all the canals and their bridges, each has its own story to tell. I enjoy walking arounded surrounded bu history amd breathing in this magical atmosphere. When you take a walk, when you go shopping, there is always history around you if you take some time to appreciat it. This aspect of Venice is incredible.