Going abroad to Napoli

How it all began

Somewhere in the second quarter of 2018, while I was doing an internship for my software engineering studies, something on the internet caught my eye. It was a post about the Apple Developer Academy in Naples on some popular Dutch Apple related blogs, see https://www.onemorething.nl/2018/05/apple-developer-academy-aanmelding/ and https://www.iculture.nl/nieuws/apple-developer-academy-napels-nederlandse-studenten/.

Now, I already was familiar with the existence of the academy since the beginning. The blogs wrote about it too. The difference now, is that the Academy arrived at the right time during my school career. After the internship I have half a year of “free-to-spend” time. You can do anything that enhances your learning, whether is studying Spanish in Spain or a leadership course in another city in your home country. This is always at another partner university. After the this so-called minor time, I only have half a year of school and followed by half a year of graduation.

Rooftop view of Paris from the Apple HQ.

Via the website of the University of Naples, Federico II, I applied for the academy. Part of the application were two assessments: an entry test and a skype interview. For the entry test, I choose to go to Paris. Since I only have been to Paris one time before, I also did some sightseeing ?.

After some weeks, the results of the assessment were published and it showed if you were through to the interviews. I wouldn’t be writing this post if I didn’t pass the test of course, so a few weeks later I had a short interview over Skype. The results of the both the both assessments are at the time of writing on the website of the developer academy.

A few weeks after the call, when I was playing some ping-pong with a colleague of mine during the afternoon break, I got the email! I was accepted! They wanted to know if I wanted to attend the standard track or the enterprise track. The enterprise track is an extension of the standard track in which more advanced topics are addressed, that are not in the standard track.

Since I already have a software engineering background, I choose the enterprise track, as I liked a more challenging experience.

An apartment and flatmates

As soon as everyone got accepted, people were searching each other online, me included. Nobody knew exactly what to expect. Naples and Italy is for the majority of the people a completely different world than their own. Fairly quickly I came into contact with other people and with four others I found a nice flat in the centre of Napoli, which is not too far from the metro, the supermarket and the gym. Even de shopping street and the boulevard at the sea are nearby. We were lucky to find a close-to-everything place.

Downtown Napoli. Near Centro Storico and Quartieri Spagnoli.

Most of my fellow students are in the morning cohort, except one. Me as enterprise have to be present from 0900 – 1800, which can be difficult sometimes, especially when the sun is asking me to come outside. ☀️ In the first two weeks before the start, I mainly focussed on getting to know new people and and getting to know the city, by trying out a lot of food and restaurants.

Starting at the academy

Like almost all universities, the first week is about getting to know the place and your fellow students. So that is exactly what we did! I’ll end this post with some nice pictures of the people I met here and of Naples.

Furthermore, I’ll use this blog to post information about our projects and achievements.

Written by Dennis