I am Vittoria Mallia, one of the 15 members of the PROTECTED family.

I come from Bettona, a small pretty town in the green heart of Italy. I am working on my PhD project about endocrine disrupting compounds in cyanobacteria, based at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute of Oslo. This is my 10th month here in Norway (already 10 months…it seems incredible!).

So, I could write about my work, my courses, my funny green bacterial friends…but I think it would be better to talk a bit about me and how my life has changed after this big decision to move to Norway for this important project.

Until a year ago I had never thought to move so far from home for such a long period, but life is made to surprise people. It was a great opportunity and I got it. A very small countdown and I have been catapulted into this new amazing city (maybe a little cold for an Italian warm heart).

Oslo is a dynamic city, projected into the future. It offers several opportunities and excitements. I feel both a tourist and a city dweller and I really love to live in a Capital, whilst having at the same time the forest, the sea and lakes at close distance! It is a perfect nature-urban mix!

It is not always so easy, of course. To be far from my family, my boyfriend, my amazing friends (and Italian food as well!) is hard, but it is making me stronger than I have ever been…and their love is supporting me over and over again.

To be part of this important project is a privilege and to do my best on my PhD is the main goal, however what ITN is offering me is a 360 degrees’ experience of life; to have the possibility to interact with different people, cultures, work environments, languages, cities and Countries, is a unique gift.

I am trying to get the best from everyone and everything, developing myself, learning from differences, without losing my roots. Day by day, I am becoming a little bit prouder of myself.

I am looking forward to the next meeting with my ESR-friends in less than two months. Belfast will wait for us for the first summer school and to have some fun as well!

Keep in touch!

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