A semester at LUISS Guido Carli
Rome, Italy
Jonas Myrman Grundell
Master student, Management studies
Stockholm University School of Business
WHEN I FIRST visited Rome I was 13 years old traveling with my family. I had never encountered
such a mess before. People shouting, cars honking; the smell of diesel, ice cream and sweat. The noble
buildings and well-dressed people in seemingly perfect harmony with the little pickpocketing girls
living in one of many camps scattered even in the central parts of the city.
I am now some years older than 13 and knew that I did not wait to get back to Rome during my
Management Studies master’s program at Stockholm University; Rome stared at me, shouted at me:
ehi! ragazzo mio, torna subito! I started telling my friends of this. It turned out I had friends in
common with a Roman couple here in Stockholm. The husband’s grandmother had an empty
apartment in the residential area of Collina Fleming, a stone’s throw off cozy Ponte Milvio and a
twenty minute bus ride away from LUISS at Viale Romania in the heart of the Parioli. Rome had
changed – rumor has it an unholy alliance between Berlusconi and Kaddafi cleansed the streets – or
perhaps I merely see things differently now.
As a soft start to my exploration of Rome I found that the small town of Perugia offered four week
courses in Italian. I couldn’t resist. In the center of town there is a square which makes a phone
useless. You just go there and hang out with your classmates and practice your first Italian sentences
while sipping a wonderful Umbrian wine from a plastic cup. These were days of intense Italian studies
and a social life bursting with joy. I made many good friends from across Europe during this vibrant 39
degree August of 2013 in Perugia.
Taking a train in Italy is an inexpensive and to me very
delightful experience. Everyone is up for a chat and you get to
see, hear, smell and participate in the Italian life in the midst of
beautiful landscapes while reaching your destination, in my
case Rome.
Going to the seaside is easy, water worth
swimming in until October
I WAS ONCE AGAIN exasperated by the
enormous and frequent social events, this
time arranged by the ESN of LUISS.
Aperitivi, art tours, wine festivals, night
clubs, city tours, bus trips, more arts and
architecture… during my first month in
Rome I used to fall asleep at eight thirty in
the evening, if I had the rare experience of
being at home in the evening at all.
The courses I took – International Business,
International Marketing and Digital
Marketing – were mostly of the hands-on
practical sort so I did not need to spend
much time on conventional studies. It was
all about group work, field studies, nice presentations, collecting data, drawing diagrams… I dearly
recommend the Marketing department of LUISS. It is no wonder Confindustria are the founders and
board of LUISS Guido Carli, they know which solutions a crisis ridden Italian business world is looking
Due to my interest and skill within languages I was put in the most advanced group during my studies
in Perugia. I had taken the summer beginner’s course at Stockholm University during a month in 2012
(recommended course by Paolo Sancini and Maria Tikka) and was placed among people who had been
studying Italian for 5 or 10 years. When choosing courses at LUISS I was for this reason disappointed
to see that no proper Marketing courses at Master level were held in Italian. I therefore chose courses
in English and did not improve my language skills as planned.
My goal was to be able to speak to people on any familiar topic anytime without pauses or stutter. This
is not the case. I am still B2 level, write Emails with ease, speak to Italian friends and saw Il deserto
rosso and La mafia uccide solo d’estate recently with no problem, not more than that. I therefore felt
towards the end of my stay in Rome that maybe staying with an Italian family would have been better
for my language development. But, who knows? After all I did not get a serious impression from the
student accommodation service CTS in Italy. Eventually I realized the service may function well after
all; although I never used it I had the pleasure of having an ice cream with my would-have-been
landlord. He told me an ice cream in Rome contains all the things you need for a healthy diet and thus
never eats the ordinary meal anymore.
Living in Rome is a buzz if you, like me, are open to the unexpected encounter interfering with and
enhancing your everyday life. The whole city is a temperate living room in the autumn. A bus ride
easily turns into a nice conversation or two. If too tired to engage in this, there are always a thousand
stories to overhear. Romans do not look for an excuse not to say hello to a friend, they look for an
excuse to talk for thirty minutes to people they never met before.
In Rome there are more
friendly people, good food
and breathtaking art than
any human being could ever
digest. However, don’t expect
a totally crazy nightlife. The
downtown clubs are like
Stureplan but friendlier. The
underground clubs in the
outskirts are better, but still
similar to of the ones you
would find in the industrial
zones of Stockholm.
La mafia uccide solo d’estate
During my time in Rome I had the privilege of making good friends with a number of Italian students.
They are just as nice as you thought. I was invited to all kinds of events, from the casual coffee to
excursions by train and car to the surrounding villages and towns of Viterbo, Bagnoregio, Marino,
Ostia and Gaeta. Golden rule when in Italy: never say no to an invite and never leave a coffee break or
a party in advance, as this even more than in Sweden gives the impression of being bored by the
company, being boring, or just thinking you are too important to hang out among the ones you’re with.
This many times means coffee breaks of one hour, before work has even commenced, and going to bed
at 6 in the morning after going out. Be patient and have fun or don’t get invited again.
Regarding my communication to LUISS administrators and professors I was always happy with the
ease of getting answers or recommendations to other people or organizations to turn to. The info
sheets and emails that LUISS sent out during the initial phase of registering were however often blurry
and containing overlapping information. I kept my head cool and thought, if I find these sheets too
confusing, Italy is not my country.
The political system of Italy is one
of the most expensive and one of
Europe’s least functioning, the
legal system one of the most overly
bureaucratic in the Western world.
There is a reason so few people
care, and there is a reason LUISS
felt to me and my fellow students
like an isle in the sea. High walls
and armed guards made sure no
water flooded in.
Bagnoregio – the dying village
Rome is a treasure for anyone interested in the history of the human being.
Benito Mussolini’s name to the left, Raffaello Sanzio detail to the right
Living and living costs in Rome
My total spending during my time in Rome per month was the same as it is in Stockholm. Rents and
groceries in Rome are the same as here, petrol and electricity more expensive than here. The monthly public
transport card costs only 35 euro, but since you will have to take a taxi more often due to cancelled buses or
underdeveloped transport routes the total ends up the same as here, roughly a 80 euro transport cost a
month. Taxis cost about the half as in Stockholm, but Rome is a big city with a bad congestion situation so
you might end up with the
same bill either way. Clubbing
is less costly but no dramatic
difference; cheap wine is
cheaper, good wine the same.
Only thing that always is a
bargain, even though the
quality is world class, is a coffee
and a pastry. No matter if you
are in the poshest part of town,
a cup of coffee fresh from the
machine served in a wonderful
Roman bar costs only 80 cents,
with a fresh baked pastry you
still spend less than 2 euro.
Heartwarming and energizing
chats with barista and other
guests included in price. With
my 700 euro rent I spent a total
of 1200 euro a month.
New Year’s Eve
What I learnt at LUISS Guido Carli
My greatest areas of development due to my studies at LUISS in Rome are to do with the practical
sides of marketing. Professors like Matteo De Angelis and Maximo Ibarra made sure my confidence
grew and believed in my ideas no matter where I got them from. At LUISS the aim of studying is to get
a job, research and academic life seems to come second. The projects I participated in on companies
such as LEGO (toys) and Metrans (rail transport) were therefore carried out as if I were a consultant,
which is in direct opposite to the rules and philosophy of SUSB Master Programs.
In fact, we were not asked to
even provide references in
any of the courses I chose.
The progress all lay in
acquiring the capability of
analyzing a real life business
issue, compare it to other
issues, and write a report
and make a presentation
out of it.
Bicycle mafia on their way to get
some lunch revenues, using
LUISS Bicycle and Helmet Share
System. LUISS Exchange Office
and schoolyard in the background. From the left:
Miso Luptak, John Buccoliero, Diana Rossi, Alessandro Catalano, me, Sofia Scoglio, Lorenzo Lanaro De Vito
Ancora non so come ringraziarvi. Comunque, grazie di cuore!
On the personal side I feel a deep sense of gratitude towards everyone who helped me pursue my stay
in Rome and everyone whom I shared great moments with during my stay and studies. Although I
knew there is a lot of love in the world I would say that my four months in Rome is my ultimate proof.
To be saluted with a smile in the morning by a senior professor, to hear Gabriela and Alessandro cheer
my name from the other end of the campus canteen, to be invited to amazing trips inside and outside
Rome every week by adventurous and recklessly generous Italians, will linger like a big chunk of
homemade cherry ice cream in my mouth forever.
My warm greetings to my friends: Alessandro Catalano, Gabriela Pietras, Paola Ceruleo, Sofia Scoglio,
Francesco Sbocchi, Miso Luptak, Lorenzo Lanaro De Vito, Camilla Cicchetti, Lucia Moretti, Diana
Testaiuti, John Buccoliero, Alessandro Cassini; my professors: Matteo De Angelis, Rosella Baldelli,
Alberto Marcati, Maximo Ibarra; my Stockholm friends for their patience, visits and warm welcoming
me back: Vide Ohlin, Anna Källman, Kalle Eklund, Oscar Rydman, Oskar MacGregor, Tomas Lauffs,
Adam Fransson, Peter Gebauer, Sebastian Nilsson, Emelie Juberg, Emmy Moussavian. And my
mother and my sisters. And my father and my aunt. And to Viola Lind, Natalie Nielsen and Lisa
Rannikko at Stockholm University School of Business administration for encouraging me and helping
me get the papers right.

What I learnt at LUISS Guido Carli