“I would like to explain first of all my choice for coming to Sophia. The main motivation is the substantial difference I met with between the traditional academic world and the world I live in now in which it is not enough to finish a course of study in order to be able to feel fully satisfied....one needs something more.
We were already nearing the end of summer and I was still undecided on the road to take, after the Degree in psychology and a volunteering experience in Africa; I couldn’t stop asking myself what could truly satisfy my expectations in this area of study, but also in life.
The last few years had brought many doubts. To continue to study following an itinerary that I felt to have little to do with my expectations, in which a strong “technitization” of knowledge often reigned supreme, and the overwhelming competition from other students.
I also felt saddened because, notwithstanding my wish to return to give a hand to the people I had begun to love in Africa, I knew that, before buying a plane ticket, it would have been more useful to take the time to acquire a better formation so as to understand anew and in a less superficial way the numerous facets of the African reality, often very problematical due to external influences, coming from outside the continent.
After having informed myself on the project offered at Sophia, I quickly understood this to be the best answer to my expectations. And now, six months away from this new experience, I can say for sure that I wasn’t wrong in thinking thus.
From the teachers, to the students and the staff: the IUS is a new academic itinerary, differing from others we know, in which one acts... for the other; in which the objectives everyone aims at are brought into relief in their most exquisite collective traits.
In politics as well, at the centre of the study plan there is the possibility to learn about other areas of knowledge and to develop inter and trans-disciplinarian competencies. And the constant search for this complimentarity is an essential trait not only in the dialogue taking place in the classroom between different disciplinary fields, but also in the personal relationships that are interwoven throughout the day. The challenge of the Institute, which I have made mine from the moment I arrived at the IUS, is that of being able to experience a new way of studying and doing research, of elaborating culture and sharing it. To demonstrate through facts that it is possible to put relationships between people at the centre of the university experience.
At the IUS, this brings about a specific didactic methodology which, one could say, re-echoes the Socratic experience, where the exercise of thinking requires tranquillity, not hurry, to give space with transparency to the questions, so as not to feel quashed by imprecise conclusions or by imprudent ideological answers. One is invited to attempt to take a further step forward each day, to ask one more question, until one finds the root to a problem, to understand it better and to re-elaborate it through a different route, one that will empty the ideological solutions we have become used to.
Each one then becomes the author of social and political change, looking problems in the face to see them as they are and aiming towards undoing the most complex knots at the service of our cities, and of our peoples.
Along this road, there is a growing ability inside me for a global vision, a thought that is becoming ever more open, able to embrace whatever political topic, and to learn to compose into unity the most diverse contributions. It is a commitment that is renewed each day. If the tension guiding us is the aspiration to universal fraternity, we know that in order to fly this high we need to start from the test bench of daily life.”
Text: Fabio Frisone