Italian Student joining the ERB at the International Secretariat

Taking part in a highly qualifying international experience in the cross-border cooperation has become a real opportunity for me. I am Valentina Scandola, I come from Italy and on 1st April I started my experience as an intern at Euroregion Baltic.

I found the opportunity to join this organization thanks to Erasmus + & Universities for EU projects culture, managed by SEND Sicilia, an Italian non-profit organization whose aim is to create new job opportunities for the local territory, through vocational training and mobility. A consortium between SEND Sicilia, Eugen, and 9 Italian universities give the possibilities to young students to have a high professional experience abroad. A well-structured database and the detailed description of the hosting organizations facilitate students in the choice that best fit their interests.

Furthermore, the grants provides the students with an On line Linguistic Support, a practical guide to the 2014-2020 European Funds for a technical and professional preparation, and finally the possibility to follow some courses on Project Design, organized by European Academy.

Universities for EU projects culture focuses on European Project Design, and what made me decide to apply is that I find it essential for the completion of my current studies in Local Development at the University of Padova. Local development is a quite new interdepartmental course that has been activated in the academic year 2011/2012 by the university of Padova and aims at tackling specific knowledge about what concerns social, economic, territorial, and institutional dynamics in the processes of local sustainable development. The courses provided by this Master’s degree deal with political economy, governance, social dynamics, social and environmental responsibility, project planning and evaluation, and geography and focuses on development cooperation in different social and territorial contexts. Finding a qualified internship in this field is fundamental for a professional career and Universities for EU projects culture has simplified my research, since it can count on reliable organizations.

I sent my application to Euroregion Baltic because it is a non-governmental organization and I was searching a professional experience that could provide me with a knowledge that could be spendable also in my country, once come back. I am really interested in the INTERREG programs and I think that the cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region can be used as a good example to understand which are the dynamics in the INTERREG as Cohesion Policy. I think that doing an internship in this field will be a good opportunity for me.

Meanwhile, since I am going to spend six months in Elblag, being involved in different Interreg projects, both concerning the South Baltic programme, and the Baltic Sea region programme, I will have the possibility to choose some case studies as starting point to write my Master’s thesis on Multilevel governance and the EU Cohesion Policy.