Carolina Castagna, daughter of the well-known and beloved television presenter, Alberto Castagna, is now studying medicine in Tirana:
"I, like many others, did not pass the test in Rome, but this did not prevent me from brilliantly taking the exams here in Tirana."
In Albania, early October 2013, Italian students were about 600 to participate in the admission test to the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry. At the University Our Lady of Good Counsel of Tirana the degree is, of course, equivalent in Italy.
Meanwhile - in addition to the new arrivals - in Tirana there were already other Italian students who had previously shared and continue to live this experience.
One of them is an Italian student, her name is Carolina Castagna and she is the daughter of the well-known and beloved television presenter Alberto Castagna, who died in 2005.
Hi Carolina, we have the pleasure of having you among us. Welcome to Albania News.
Hi everyone, my pleasure to be here with you!
How did the idea of moving to Albania to achieve a university degree come about?
To tell the truth, the idea was not born specifically, but rather by chance ... Two years ago I took the admission test for the faculty of medicine at La Sapienza, in Rome, but unfortunately I did not pass it. I knew of the existence of the university Our Lady of Good Counsel, so I decided to try the admission there and it went well.
When did you arrive in Albania? Before evaluating your stay for study reasons, what did you know about this country?
I am not a person with prejudices, I have no preconceptions about foreign countries, rather I love to travel, I do it frequently; I am a curious girl who loves to learn about different cultures and peoples.
Before arriving in Albania, in November of the 2011, I didn't know much about it, except that unlike Italy this is a country in strong economic growth and development. But I didn't know how many wonderful places there are.
The first impact with Tirana. How does life in the capital reveal itself for a young Italian girl?
The first meeting was, to tell the truth, a bit traumatic!
The wires hanging in the sky, old buildings and neglected next to modern buildings ... I felt like I was catapulted into a neorealist film by Rossellini!
It took me very little, however, to understand that people were wonderful, hospitable, helpful, young and alive and this coincided with my needs. Not to mention the nightlife, which surprised me enormously.
The admission test at the University in Tirana and the one at the University in Rome in comparison: differences, criteria, difficulties ...
Admission tests I think, primarily, which are an absolutely fallacious criterion for assessing students' abilities. Unfortunately, our system does not work very well, like my country, everything. I, like many others, did not pass the test in Rome, but this did not prevent me from brilliantly taking the exams here in Tirana, with the exact same professors as Tor Vergata ... this certainly conceals a "snag" in the test method of admission. Having said that, I believe that in reality the test in Tirana is not so different from the one in Italy, simply the request, the number of competing students was smaller when I supported it. It is often also a matter of luck!
How do you consider the level of learning in your university Our Lady of Good Counsel in Tirana?
The University Our Lady of Good Counsel she is excellent, very qualified, with great names and strict criteria. It is also a beautiful structure, built for us students. It's a really comfortable environment and I'm sure that the same Italian professors, when they come to teach in Tirana, are enthusiastic about it.
What did this transfer generally mean for you, what has changed in you: has it disappointed your expectations or on the contrary, turned out to be positive?
Coming to Tirana was one of the most beautiful and amazing experiences of my life! I will leave a piece of my heart when I leave Albania to explore some new reality, because I will certainly not return to Italy! To the students who arrive for the first time, terrified in taking the test, I would say that they do not imagine how lucky they are to be able to undertake this experience.
In a few days, new Italian students will be arriving in Tirana for the admission test in Physiotherapy and Nursing.
What do you think of the current economic and social situation in which Italy finds itself, where the hopes of young graduates and graduates are increasingly struggling to be realized?
Italy is facing a dramatic situation from many points of view. For the students there is a gray and uncertain future that frightens to death. On the one hand, I believe it is not right to leave Italy and flee elsewhere, but on the other hand, I realize that the right to study, to pursue one's dreams, the right to be ambitious and desire the best for us is disappearing. students. It is a very complex subject and I am confused about the subject myself. What I can say for sure is that I love life in Tirana, here I found true friendships (Albanians, Greeks, Kosovars, Italians) and I feel this place, by now, like a second home in all respects. The more I return to Italy, the more I feel lost and not understood.
Has this alternative ever made you think, once the course of study has been completed, that you could possibly stop working and continue living in Albania?
As I was saying, Albania has a special place in my heart ... Sometimes I like to think I can maintain contact with this country that has proved so hospitable to me ... who knows, maybe in my career as a doctor I'll be able to work even for Albania. I really hope so, but I love to continually explore new places and still haven't found where to take root.
What do you like most about Tirana?
In Tirana I love his "being alive", it is a city that exudes vitality everywhere .. I like to think that Tirana is a bit like me: in continuous inner evolution, strongly restless and restless, but with a great desire to be heard and understood .
At what point are you now with the knowledge of the Albanian language?
Albanian is a language very far from Italian, from English, from Romance languages in general. I understand many phrases anyway and I like to try to "parly" by often making many mistakes. Unfortunately it does not help me that all Albanians speak Italian perfectly (they are very good with all languages and I admire them to death!). But I strive, much more than many Italians who still say "thank you" and not "faleminderit" after years in Tirana!
Your favorite Albanian food specialty?
I am a great lover of food in general (unfortunately !!!) and absolutely fearless and fearless; taste anything! This teaching comes from both my parents: they didn't admit that I said "I don't like" even before tasting something!
In Scutari I ate wonderful liver and lamb entrails, I love Albanian dates, I like the byrek.. I only have a bad relationship with garlic !!!
Is there an Albanian singer you particularly like?
Albanian music allows me to learn a lot of the language, I like it so much !!! I listen to everything, Elvana Gjata, Vedat Ademi, Ermal Mamaqi, Capital T .. but I have a secret love for Alban Skenderaj, I love all his songs and singing for whole days!
Which Albanian television host do you prefer?
On television I can say little: I do not like TV either in Italy or in Albania, anywhere! I don't look at it and I don't like those who belong to that world ... including my father's colleagues.
A thought for your dear father, the great television presenter, Alberto Castagna. A great professional, very popular, loved by the Italian public, but also known in Albania.
What was the relationship like between you and dad?
What I think (I'm biased) distinguished my father from others was his strong humanity, never feeling "first woman" or VIP at all costs. It takes great humility to do that job and this is a quality that made my father extraordinary in my eyes.
Our relationship was special: he was madly in love with me and I with him, madly. No conflict, no resentment, no cause for argument or confrontation (which instead happens to me with my mother, but I think it's physiological between mother and daughter), so much complicity and respect.
When the first few times in Albania it happened that my surname came out and I was asked "But you are a relative of Alberto" I was incredulous; I am flattered that his person has come this far and his memory is still so alive, so I very willingly participate when I am invited to broadcast, radio ... It fills me with joy to remember him with beautiful people like you!
Finally, Carolina, wishing you all the best for your studies and for everything, I greet you. Given that I, currently living in Italy, would you greet my Tirana with affection?
Thanks for the greetings!
At our Tirana I will send a strong kiss from you, and I know that you will reciprocate!
It was a pleasure to converse with you!
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