By Malak Faraj, UCBM

After completing my Master’s degree in Biology, I had the opportunity to pursue my PhD in Rome. When I decided to study and work abroad, a lot of questions crossed my mind and I felt scared. It’s perfectly normal to have these feelings because making this decision means that I am going to change my whole life and I will start from scratch far away from my parents, friends, and my home country in a place that I have never been to before. However, I was so excited at the same time to start this amazing adventure, experience new working environments, integrate into a new culture and make new friends.

My gorgeous colleagues


Moving abroad to study and work has been one of the most beneficial and life-changing experiences for me. It has taken me out of my comfort zone and has shown me what I am capable to do and how much I can do. It made me stronger, more self-confident, and independent in solving issues and making important decisions that influence my life as well as the people around me. Also, it taught me to appreciate each and every day, even the bad ones. From working abroad, I gained a lot of skills and I learned plenty of new things. So, is there any better way to learn life lessons that can add a boost of confidence in your personal and professional life than to dive into a job overseas?


One of the biggest advantages of working abroad is the chance to become immersed in a different environment. This enriching experience enables me to meet new people and make friends who have grown up in a different culture. To adapt more to local life and to be closer to people, I started taking Italian classes to learn the native language. I am also gaining more knowledge every day about the Italian lifestyle, culture, and language from my lab teammates and roommates.

My first dinner with the team

Moving to Rome has been one of the best opportunities I have ever had, not only an opportunity for my work, but also a chance to discover the beauty of Rome and its culture. I love the people here, they are so friendly and nice and remind me of the Lebanese people. I like the unique history, the extraordinary ancient architecture, the unique vibes, and the beautiful nature of the city. And definitely, I like the Italian cuisine – it’s so delicious! It’s an amazing city, I am having lots of fun and am creating unforgettable memories.


Do you want to know more about my life as an EU researcher in Rome? Follow me on twitter!