Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology
Caterina feels well at home in Lund, but she would have liked to have a "buddy" to be able to ask things, big or small. When asked if there is anything lacking in Lund she mentions a place for PhD students to socialise – just like the other students have their Nations.
Hello Caterina, who are you, and where are you from?
I am a PhD candidate in Linguistics and I live in Florence, Italy – where my home university is.
How come you decided to visit Lund University?
I first came to Lund University as an Erasmus student. I was attracted by the courses offered in Linguistics and I guess I was also attracted by the Scandinavian scenery and culture. At that time, I got to know the Humanities Lab thanks to Maria Graziano and I became interested in Swedish – and also got familiar with the scenery!
What was the purpose of your visit? How long were you here?
As a PhD candidate, I decided I wanted to continue working with Swedish. I first came to work on one part of my PhD project: annotating Swedish to a language resource that was developed at my home university. I worked with prof. Carita Paradis for the annotation and we kept the collaboration for the remaining parts of my PhD project, which included an experiment I conducted in the Humanities Lab, using the video-recording facility, the eye tracking equipment and the help of experts of data preparation and analysis.
I initially came for one month, but then I extended my stay. In total, I have stayed in Lund as a guest researcher for seven months.
Do you remember your first impressions of Lund University?
The first impression was of a very welcoming and trusting institution. I felt included in the life of the department from the beginning, in formal and informal ways.
What was the most positive thing(s) about your initial period in Lund?
Definitely the lively academic life and the warmth of colleagues, which are the reasons why I stayed longer than initially planned.
What was the most negative thing(s)?
Maybe the lack of a social circle for doctoral candidates, as it is the case of nations for students.
Would you have enjoyed a mentor during your first period here?
Yes, absolutely. There is a lot to know about getting around the university as a visiting person. Of course, I had all the support of my supervisor in Lund, the colleagues in my corridor – professors, researchers and PhD candidates – as well as from librarians. They were always very helpful and welcoming (plus, I knew my way around from my Erasmus time). However, there is a lot to learn and know about the arrival, administration and other day-to-day tasks: from requesting an ID card to using the coffee machines in the staff rooms. The trickiest part is not figuring out how to solve a problem you encounter (the dreaded printing account?!) as you can always ask colleagues. Rather, it’s getting to know what you can and can’t do, or have an overview of the services offered – which you wouldn’t get to know at all.
What do you bring with you into the future, from your transition to Lund?
I bring a refreshing view on academic life and practices. And most of all, a number of fruitful relationships with fellow PhD candidates and researchers.
What are your plans next?
Now I am continuing my research in Florence but Lund is still in my plans: I’ll be coming again in the autumn semester!