We asked our international student Gian Marco Palazzoni, who is enrolled in the Bachelor’s Programme International Business and Economics, why he came to Klagenfurt and what he likes about studying here.
Why did you come to Klagenfurt for the Bachelor’s Programme International Business and Economics?
I went to High School in Central Italy, in Siena, which is in Tuscany. My brother studied in Villach and I really wanted to study economics, but I did not want to study it in Italy because I honestly think it is a topic that has to be embraced in a global way – and an English study programme with a focus on international economic relations represents the global way. So, I started to look for universities in Europe, because my parents did not want me to move too far away. I also looked at universities in Austria because had a good feeling about the country. The University of Klagenfurt was one of the possibilities I considered. I decided to try it, and I am really glad I did, because there is an entrance test for the IBEC programme and I passed!
Did you consider other universities, too? Why did you choose Klagenfurt in the end? Was it something special about the programme or the university?
I had some options in Italy at universities with English study programmes, but I really wanted to embrace the opportunity of gaining an intercultural perspective as opposed to the national perspective. As I wanted to stay close to my home country, the choice was either Vienna or Klagenfurt. Add the fact that the IBEC programme is so specific and a really good size, because we are just 50 students in the programme: this really helped me make my decision, because I like the fact that you can have a kind of relationship with your professors, where they remember your face, they know who you are. You are made to feel that you matter, that you are important. So I gave it a shot and I think it is just great.
How long have you been here now?
I arrived at the end of September, so I am in my second semester.
So now that you have already started, are you enjoying it here? Would you like to tell prospective students something about Klagenfurt?
What I really think is great about the programme is that the professors know who we are and the professors have a good relationship with us. They give us assignments every week, they stay focused on us. They guide our development and follow it closely. And about Klagenfurt in general, I think the city is great. I am not the kind of guy who likes big cities. I love the fact that it is a city, but it is also manageable in terms of size and it is safe. Just the fact that the buses are always on time and the city is very clean and very green, there is the beautiful lake… I love it. I really think it is a very international city, because I have met people from all around the world, South Africa, Canada, Australia…
One of the mandatory classes at the start of the programme was called “intercultural skills”. We had the opportunity to meet people from around the world, and I worked on a project with a girl from South America, from Brazil. Working with someone who comes from an entirely different place than I do and, let’s say, meeting in between, in our methods, in everything, was a really good experience. In this class, we had the chance to meet each other and get to know each other, it was really great. Then there were classes, like scientific skills, where they taught us scientific English, and of course there’s also the business and economics side, which is the core of programme.
Your Master’s is still a few steps away, but let us also talk about the prospects that the IBE Bachelor’s programme gives you. Are you thinking about staying in Klagenfurt for the Master’s programme?
For sure, I am regarding that as a possibility, because I think it is very interesting. I have already informed myself about the programme. First of all, I am thinking of the Master’s programme in Management, Economics and Data Science. And especially the Data Science part is becoming more and more important nowadays. And basically, it is very much related to everything, capturing data, analysing it and everything else. I am looking forward to it, because it gives prestige to the university, it is a Master’s, it is in English, and it is very specific in terms of topic and I think it will be very interesting.
Which career do you see for yourself in the future?
I really enjoy the economics part, I have just started with macroeconomics, and I also enjoyed the microeconomics part, especially the topic of game theory, which I hope to explore in greater depth, because I loved it. But I don’t know yet, which career path I will choose, and I am also thinking about an academic career. I could end up anywhere because the study programme offers so many opportunities
Do you have any recommendations for prospective international students?
One of the best recommendations that I can give is this: make friends as soon as possible. It may not seem to be related to the study part, but the study part, which is of course the important part, that is why you are here, this part becomes so much easier, if you are not alone. Let me give an example: I discovered that I am not very good at studying at home, alone. Because in a way, I get distracted. Coming to the university library with a few people, that’s when things become clear and I can really focus. When you are studying together, everything becomes easier. The library is great, that is the only word I have for it, and the opening hours are exceptional. Probably, I would not have achieved what I have achieved, without such an open environment in the library and the people I study with.