She was born near Como (Italy) in 1984, she has been studying Modern Literature and Philology in Milan and then she attended Walter Tobagi School of Journalism. She lived in Jordan and Egypt where she had the opportunity to study arabic and she started working for Linkiesta writing about youth, work and society. Silvia lives from January 2015 in London writing now about the migration of young (and older) italian people to the British capital.
When was the first time you moved to another city/country?
I firstly move to Rome for an internship during my Master in Journalism. I also spent few months in Amman, Jordan, and Cairo, Egypt.
Have you always had the desire to move or did it come up later?
I moved to London to boost my career in Journalism. Here, I can find opportunities that Italy is no longer providing to my generation. But to be honest, I’ve always thought of leaving my country in order to move to a more vibrant and diverse reality.
What has been the most difficult aspect of your expat experience so far?
When you move you have to restart everything from the bottom: new friends, new routines, new hobbies. During the past few years, however, I have been traveling a lot and it became more and more easier for me to get used to new environments and to get in touch with new people. The most difficult part for me now in London is to find the best way to achieve my professional goals.
What is the most difficult thing about making friends in a new city?
I don’t think it is difficult to meet new friends. You just have to assume that It takes time to meet people you get along well and with whom you share interests and purposes. You have to be resilient at the beginning, and determined. And everything will come.
One thing that helps, anyway, is to start making new connections before leaving. When I arrived in London, I already had a friend: I had contacted him from Italy some months before moving. He has been very important during the first weeks here, and thanks to him I never felt alone and lost in a foreign country.
How were you able to stay on a budget and how did you manage your finances, communication needs and health care in a new country?
Before leaving, I planned my budged considering the amount of savings I had and what I would have earned. I know how much I can spend weekly and I try not to exceed the limits I set. I constantly revisit my plan, to be sure that I’m not running out of money.
The fist time you moved to a foreign country, how hard has it been to learn a new language?
My English is good, and I have no problem in understanding people and in making myself understood. However, the first few weeks in London were tough, because it took a while to get used to the local pronunciation. When something like this happens, it’s fundamental not to give up and to keep on talking to people, even if you feel dumb.
Which cultural differences (positive or negative) surprised you the most and why?
British people like to plan everything in advanced. For us erratic Italians it can be a problem!
What is your ideal city to live in?
3 suggestions for those who, like you, would like to move to London.
Prepare as much as you can in advance, before moving. Try to get to a good level of English, look for some local acquaintances, and give yourself mid-term goals.
Looking back, would you do everything you did and would you live in all the places where you’ve been?