Talking courage with a student in Italy

(3 minute read) 


Jasmine Garbino, is currently a student of Psychological Sciences at the University of Padua, in Italy.  Next year, Jasmine will apply to the “Erasmus & Traineeship” programme as she is keen to broaden and deepen her learning and experience by working abroad.  An internship abroad will allow her to grow professionally, being exposed to multiple viewpoints and learning from different people.  Her interests are mostly focused in the work psychology field.

As you read Jasmine’s interview, notice her courage in her vulnerability.  Notice also how she applies positive practices to build positive mood to enable her courage.

 How would you describe courage?

comfort zone J2

In my opinion, courage is an intrinsic value that everybody owns.  Courage is an element that allows people to go beyond their limits created by their comfort zone.  People are courageous in various ways, because each individual has got a different comfort zone.

Moreover, I believe that when people push their limits, using courage, they learn something more about themselves.  They add something to their personal growth, and they may discover personal qualities that they hadn’t considered before.

What does courage look like as a student? 

As a student, most of the time courage means doing a presentation in front of the whole class, doing oral exams in order to achieve a higher grade or even take part in projects where there are a lot of responsibilities in play.

All these activities require a small amount of courage since you are performing actions different from your daily activities such as going to lectures and study. This entails being exposed to people.  Not everybody is comfortable in these situations and they need courage to push themselves.  Personally, I am always involved in presentations, projects, etc., because I think that in this way I can expand my comfort zone and always learn something new.

Please describe 1-2 examples in which you have been courageous.  What did you do?  Who/what enabled you to be courageous?  What was the outcome?  

The high school which I went to was really tough.  I had to stay in school from 8am until 6pm every day, and I had lessons on Saturday morning as well.  I was only 14 and during the first year I had some downfalls, I was away from home all day and I had to study when I got back.  I was always thinking about how many things I was missing due to my rigid school schedule.

Anyway, I did not stop, I knew it was hard but I could see my effort’s results, and that was what kept me going.  I had a lot of beautiful experiences which the other kids couldn’t have because they didn’t attend my school.  Overall, I learned so many things about myself because I always tried to look for the positive outcomes of it.

How has courage helped you in your studying in Padua?

The first night I got to Padova I cried. I was far from home, I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t like the house where I was, I had to live with strangers and everything was new.  I was scared, so I took a notebook and wrote down all the positive things I had with me.

I remember a couple of examples such as:

  • “My family is always there for me”
  • “I am going to meet a lot of interesting people”
  • “I am finally studying what I am interested in”

I filled two pages of positive things I had, which gave me the courage to go to sleep relaxed and awake full of energy for my first day at uni.  In the end I was right; now I love the city, I have a lot of new friends and I am happy with my study choices.

How will courage help you in seeking an internship in a Scandinavian country?

Courage will help me to be flexible in the research of a place where I can do an internship.

Thanks to my previous experiences, now I know that I am able to take care of myself and the next step will be to feel comfortable to live and work in another country away from home.

Being courageous towards new experiences, either positive or negative, will only enrich my personal sphere.

If you would like to learn more about Jasmine and her study, you can contact her at

Jasmine is the daughter of my dearest friend.  I clearly remember the day I met Jasmine when she was only a few months old living with her family in Holland.  Although Jasmine and her family do live overseas, I am fortunate to spend time with her every 1-2 years.  Her enthusiasm for learning and her passion for working with people is contagious.  I enjoy my time with her immensely and look forward to seeing her again soon. @CourageChick

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