On the importance of speaking the language of the country you live in

[By: Valentina Barone]

When we decided to become a part of the MOTION Project, it was clear to all of us we would move from our own country. We knew we were leaving there our families, our friends, our favourite food, our MOTHER TONGUE.

From my point of view, the first elements were the ones I was worried about: how much I would miss my mom, my grandma’s pasta, having “aperitivo” with my friends. The idea of living in a country of which I couldn’t understand the official language was almost completely ignored by the naive Valentina I was in the Autumn of 2018.

I thought it was something completely normal, something not that relevant, that could have been overcome without difficulties. Many people I know emigrate to countries where the language spoken doesn’t even share a word with their own mother tongue. How could that possibly have been tough for me, moving to the Netherlands, a country where the language has so many common elements with my beloved Italian? Well, it turned out I was mostly wrong about it.

Read moreOn the importance of speaking the language of the country you live in

Learning is a fundamental activity for children (and for ESRs as well!)

[By: Valentina Barone]

By the time you are hired as a researcher everyone expects you to be an expert. There’s no way you would get that position if you weren’t smart enough, right? Researchers – also the early stage ones – are supposed to show a high level of expertise and trustworthiness, associated with multiple skills like initiative and independence. A self-standing person who is able to dive into the intricate ocean of science and who can return to the surface with extraordinary results to share with the mainland. It sounds so fancy and respectful to read the initials “PhD” beside someone’s name. “Yes, I must definitely own enough competence if I got to this point, as a PhD candidate I am part of an intellectual élite after all”. This is what I sometimes tell myself in one of the rare excess of self-esteem I have.

Read moreLearning is a fundamental activity for children (and for ESRs as well!)