I visited Italy for 22 days, one week in Venice and two weeks in Asiago. In the summer school, which is a partnership of ShanghaiTech University and the University of Padova and is run by the University of Padova, we enjoyed the scenery- the wide and boundless Mediterranean Sea and the rolling hills in Asiago. We also learned a lot from the general courses introduced by the University of Padova and had a lot fun in the activities planned for us.
The University of Padova designed interesting courses in general culture, art, astrophysics, physics, biology, neuroscience and interdisciplinary studies only specifically for the students from ShanghaiTech University. Theinstructorof each lecture was different. Each instructor taught us on a certain topic. For example, Professor Denis Bastieri gave us a lesson on ‘Why is the sky black? The Olbers’ paradox.’ This led to the question of why little stars will twinkle first. We learned it is because of thebubblescaused by hot air above the earth, we can’t always see little stars in one direction, so the little stars twinkle. He also introduced the theory of the universe and the cosmic redshift from the question ‘why is the sky black?’ The lectures were really comprehensive and each was interesting. I’m a student majoring in electrical engineering. However, this summer, I learned a lot about other fields. At first, I was confused to learn the lectures which had no relation with my major. However, after several days’ getting along with the Italian teachers, I found that they all knew a lot in different fields and had an interest in learning what they didn’t know. From this point of view, we really need to learn their attitude on knowledge. In all, the lectures were all very good and give me some new ideas about different fields.
Besides the lectures, the University of Padova also arranged many activities for us. We visited famous spots such as San Mark’s square, Doge Palace, Boat museum, painting on mask, watching ‘how glass is made’, BBQ on the beach, tasting wine and so on. Combining the visits and lectures, we could more deeply understand the general culture of Italy. Combining the lecture and watching glassmaking, we appreciated the structure and glass blowing on Murano Island. Because of the BBQ on the beach, we saw the outline of lightening for the first time. After hiking, we were surprised that their mountains are really natural. There were no stairs or walkways made by human beings. We just hiked on the grass. We also went to Waister Farm to taste jam, cheese and honey and went to Malga Porta Minazzo to see how cheese is made. The activities were really rich. The most important thing was the activities were arranged just for us were hard for normal tourists to discover.
I am really grateful to the University of Padova. They offered us the best courses and activities. They gave us a really unforgettable summer school and let us to learn their attitude on academics, knowledge and life.
---By Li Yunting, School of Information Science and Technology