BIMM Berlin is a melting pot of cultures, with students from 27 countries studying with us. Many of them moved from around the world to enrol, and each one has their own unique story. Emanuele Verga relocated from Lugano in Switzerland to study Music Business at BIMM Berlin. Lugano is a city in southern Switzerland, in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, surrounded by lakes, rivers, mountains and red-roofed buildings. Here Emanuele tells us about the differences between his hometown and Berlin, and offers advice for others coming to study at BIMM Berlin.
What’s the biggest difference between Lugano and Berlin?
The biggest difference is certainly the size, but also the multiculturalism. Lugano is more homogenous, while Berlin is more varied and spontaneous. I remember once reading about someone who compared Berlin to a teenage girl who is not good at organising, but very good at improvising… exactly what Lugano is not – it’s more schematic and strict. Something in between would be perfect.
How does the music scene in Berlin compare to Lugano?
The music scene in Lugano is infinitely smaller than the one in Berlin, which is like a big growing family where everyone knows and supports each other. In Berlin the scene is mature and well established, which means there are more opportunities and venues to play at, but definitely more competitors wanting to take their spot in the scene.
How did you make friends in Berlin?
I made friends in Berlin very quickly! I went to live in a house with three other BIMM students. My classmates were (and still are) very friendly too. I had a few friends from Lugano studying German in Berlin and they introduced me to other people as well. I think that a good way to make friends in Berlin is to take part in events – for example, as a volunteer you can end up in a team with people who share your interests and in this type of situation, it’s easy to make new friends.
How does the food in Berlin differ to Lugano?
In Lugano, the food is mostly the same as Italian, except for a few ‘Swiss’ exceptions, such as the raclette, fondue… and I consider our BBQ to be the best. In Berlin, traditional German food is rare compared with the exotic cuisine served in restaurants. I mostly eat Italian, Vietnamese, Arabic and Greek food.
What’s your favourite thing about studying at BIMM Berlin?
I like that the teachers are not ‘just’ teachers – they all work in the music industry and thanks to this, they all teach using real-life examples.
What advice would you give to someone moving to Berlin to study?
Berlin is the place to be and the place where magic happens… but, on the other hand, it’s also easy to lose track and focus while you go down the ‘rabbit hole’. My advice is to make sure you have healthy friendships and goals to achieve.