Euroculture Spotlight #19: Coordinator in Udine
29 Jan 2019
Euroculture Spotlight interviews Ilaria Zamburlini on her work as the Euroculture Coordinator at the University of Udine, and her recently completed PhD thesis.
The Spotlight focuses on special achievements or activities of Euroculture students, alumni and staff.
Thanks, Ilaria, for answering our questions!
So, what exactly is your affiliation with Euroculture?
I am the Euroculture Coordinator at the University of Udine… and prior to that, I was a Euroculture student! So I can say I know the programme quite well, and from both sides.
Recently, you have submitted your PhD manuscript. Can you tell us more about your project?
Yes, sure! The title of my dissertation is “Human Rights and Foreign Aid Policies. The Role of the European Community (1968-1979)”. I looked at how the concept of human rights got included in the foreign aid policies of the European Community (basically thanks to the European Parliament and, although to a lesser extent, to the European Commission) during the 1970s – a decade of profound transformation. Writing the PhD thesis was quite challenging, but the research question was very interesting and I enjoyed finding similarities between the past and the present Europe.
What is it like to work as a Euroculture coordinator in Udine?
Am I too enthusiast if I say that I love my job as coordinator? I enjoy meeting new students every year, encountering them all at the IP, possibly seeing them back in Udine for the third and fourth semester… I truly believe in the power of education, and I am happy to do my part for such a wonderful programme. I try to put all my efforts in providing support to students and lecturers, in order to offer a pleasant working environment. There are, of course, some aspects that I enjoy less than others, but all in all I can state I am really glad to work for Euroculture. Thanks to the encounter with students that come from so many different places and backgrounds, it feels like I am always travelling and visiting new places – while being stable in Udine!
Would you like to share something special about your Euroculture experience?
I have so many memories related to Euroculture…that it’s hard to pick one! As for my experience as a student, I would say that the most special thing is that some of my Euroculture fellows are now among my best friends. It’s lovely to meet with them around the world and to keep in touch. As for my experience as coordinator, I will always remember how warmly I was welcomed at the first Management Committee Meeting I took part in: it was in 2015 in Groningen. It felt like being part of a family!
What are your plans for the future?
What I learnt during my PhD path is that I enjoy doing research, and I do love teaching, too! So I hope I will be able to continue researching and teaching – and I would see that as my own contribution to create a more open society, ready to encounter and embrace differences. Which is something really close to what Euroculture does, indeed.
Where is the best place you have traveled to and why?
What I love about a place is not how it looks like, but the people that I have the chance to meet there. That is why I cannot tell the best place, because I have always met wonderful people: from India to the US, from Spain to Ireland, from France to Belgium, from Italy to the Netherlands…and many many others!