New Edition Personnel Magazine UGent’ers Now Available!

The second edition of UGent’ers will arrive in your mailbox this week. Sneak-preview: Claudia and Wuxia compare Ghent to their hometown, Napels and Guizhou.

It doesn’t matter how much we love our city and alma mater, there’s no chance of ever catching a sultry Mediterranean sea breeze in the hallways here. Yet, still, Claudia Crocco left her beloved Naples behind some 14 years ago to pursue a career at Ghent University. Wuxia Bao also traveled 8.597 kilometers to do her doctoral studies in Ghent. What are the differences that stand out the most for them?

Claudia Crocco, professor of Italian Linguistics at the Department of Linguistics (Faculty of Arts and Philosophy)

5 things that I miss or find different:

  • I miss the chaos of Naples and the Mediterranean Sea, that feeling of ever-present beauty and history.
  • I miss the feeling of going all-out in my own language, its humor, cultural references and dialect.
  • In Belgium, young researchers are allowed more freedom and student-supervisor relationships are much more relaxed.
  • For someone who studies Italian, it would be better to live in Italy and come into contact with the language on a daily basis. That way, you can spot interesting trends and phenomenons much faster.
  • I miss the possibility to quickly gather Italian-language data.
Wuxia Bao, doctoral candidate at the Center for Persuasive Studies at the Department of Communications Sciences (Faculty of Political and Social Sciences)

5 things that I miss or find different:

  • The biggest difference is the lifestyle and work-life balance. I studied in a city of millions in China and things move much faster there. So it was a bit of an adjustment to the slower pace of things when I arrived in Ghent, with its shorter workdays and more free time.
  • The student-supervisor relationship. In China, these relationships are very formal. It’s much more amicable in Ghent. You’re supposed to help your supervisor with his work in China. In Ghent, the only thing that’s expected of you is that your finish your doctorate.
  • Belgians are very environmentally aware and recycle all the time. People pay less attention to this in China.
  • It’s easier to enjoy nature and green areas in Ghent. In a city of millions in China this is not at all the case.

Want to know why Claudia and Wuxia chose Ghent as their professional base of operations? Read their stories in the new edition of the personnel magazine UGent’ers, in which select articles are printed in English.

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