After my thesis presentation in march this year, my university career now ended officially with the degree ceremony last saturday. I remember when I first inscribed myself about 5 years ago, at the Free University of Bolzano at the faculty of computer science. The faculty (same as the university itself) is quite young. It actually celebrated its 10 year birthday a couple of days ago. And this was reflected also on the number of students, 5 years ago, when I first entered the Analysis class with about 70 people in total. Nothing compared to the really big universities. And after the 1st semester the number even diminished until, about a year later, we were a small, constant group of about 20 to 30 people in total.Three years later I successfully concluded the Bachelor in Applied Computer Science and decided to start working. I was interested in applying the learned stuff and collect some experiences. But still, there was always the desire to continue and so, after working full-time for a year I was given the opportunity by my employer to switch to part time and to inscribe in the Master of Computer Science..always at the FUB. It was though, really tough. When you sit at the university for studying in the morning and then in the afternoon you go at work, doing your job there, then, in the evening, you need to catch up with what your study mates did while you were at work. Thats challenging and most importantly, you need to be well organized. Nevertheless, I never neglected my girlfriend or my hobbies and thats a major important thing. This is what keeps your head above water ;). Now, about 3 years later I'm here, just concluded my MSc studies getting 110/110 points (which I'd never been imagined) and having a good work place offering some interesting challenges.
Looking back, I would always again inscribe me at the Free University of Bolzano if I'd have to. A lot of people are somehow often looking at the university in a devaluating manner, mainly given its low number of students compared to other, more established universities. But that's not a disadvantage, differently, its an advantage in my eyes as you have direct contact to the professors which gives you the unique possibility to dive into interesting discussions. And the number of students is growing from year to year. Another major important fact is the internationality of the university in terms of its language model. Although being in a region where there are nearly just italian and german native speakers, the official teaching language of the computer science faculty is English. Even if this might sound pretty irrelevant, it is definitely not. English is the computer science language and it is so extremely useful in your professional career as I just experienced recently when we had a phone conference with a guy in America, reviewing parts of our code base.