Opinion / Style

From Italy with hope! Brain drain all around the World

Young Italians need and especially want to work.

As it happens all around the world, the most motivated ones dedicate all their life to study and specialize: they graduate, take a PhD, or enroll in the best Master of specialization and always try to do internships or any kind of stages and even not paid jobs. They are good chances to catch. Carpe diem! Their goal is to learn how to work, by studying and working at the same time. They study in English, participate in any International events, set their SKY (cable tv) menu on English, to learn some words in a different language, by only watching tv. They download free English- French- Spanish courses online. If they have some extra money, they sign up for a language course. They know that Italian is not enough to work in Italy, neither outside their Bel Paese. At school they meet some Erasmus students. On the other hand, today, a high number (25.000 in 2012) of Italian students get the chance to take part of the Erasmus program and finally, they get to know different cities, realities, cultures and to experience new education systems and costs of living.

However, studying is a privilege, SKY is a privilege, as well as moving to a different town to look for the best university in one’s field of interest is a privilege. Not all our Italian students can afford some of these high expenses. Scholarships offered by public funds or institutions are almost unreal and our students’ main sponsors become their families – when there are any.

Once our Italian student has finished his school, his PhD, his Master of specialization and he has done more than two, three, four internships… is the time to work! Here the real life starts and our student starts thinking of how much money and time he and his family spent to specialize, to increase the lines on his resume and to “learn how to knot his tie”. It is the time to remember when he experienced the Erasmus and discovered a “different world”, where meritocracy is evaluated. It is time for the family who gave him some hopes, to say goodbye. He is leaving the country. At home – in Italy – they do not count the lines on my resume, they do not read between the lines how many hours of study I spent, they do not experience what I learned working without a regular salary.

I am a biologist and I need to work in a coffee place or in a bar at night because, spending 3 years studying for my PhD and some extra years of researches, still do not give me any hope for a guaranteed monthly salary. I am a journalist and I cannot write and be paid because I still have to publish other hundreds of articles to finish my “praticantato”. I graduated in Law, and I want to become a notary. I took the State test you need to pass to achieve the title of notary in Italy; however I had to retake it a year later because the ranking was not out yet when the second call opened again. The commission is composed by professors, lawyers and notaries, who are not able to correct our more than 4000 papers in a full year and I cannot know if I passed the first test or not. I retake it and pay the fee again, probably I passed the first time.

I am leaving guys! And my brain is leaving Italy. I love my city, I love my country, I love my people, but I also love myself.

Today the number of Italians outside of the country is really high: in 2012 we counted 4.208.000 people. This number does not include all the Italians abroad for short term jobs or internships or trainings. It means that the 7% of our population is abroad at the moment and half of them are between 20 and 40 years old: our Youth. The most rated destinations are Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland and of course, USA.

Once our young students leave our country it is very rare that they will be back and, most of the time, we lose connection with them and “with their brains”, that are working on innovation and contributing to the global development from and for a different country. Why not thinking of a Ministry for Diaspora, as suggested by “Girlfriend in a Coma”, then?  The Ministry will be able to connect, evaluate, integrate with international development policies all our talents abroad. It will help Italy to maintain its relationships and interactions with its own brains and allow the interaction in the opposite way, too. The Ministry of Diaspora is not a dream. It already exists in Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Canada, Georgia, India, Israel, Serbia and in Syria.







One thought on “From Italy with hope! Brain drain all around the World

  1. I write to say you wrote an interesting article.
    There are responsabilities for this enormous disaster. But, maybe, many of us who went abroad, don’t think these responsabilities will ever be identified.

    I think it’s much worst than we think. It’s “population displacement”. At the TG1 it was said, a few weeks ago, we should look for work even in India. There are programs by the Government to let people come to work here from egypt.

    According to some papers over 2.000.000 italians left italy since 2002. I dont’ think that the people that remaind here at home have a clear idea of what it meas living the home soil and the family and all and live abroad for years. They have no idea at all.

    At this rate, the native italian population will decrease quite rapidly in the coming years.

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