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Federico Ferri: “The academic environment at CESL is very stimulating. Even if I go back to teach I always learn something new!”

Federico Ferri is Adjunct Professor of EU Law and Tutor of International Law at the University of Bologna and works within the Schools of Law and Political Science. He holds a PhD in European Law from the Universities of Bologna and Strasbourg (2015) and a Masters in Human Rights and Humanitarian Intervention (2011). Federico Ferri is also a civil attorney in the municipality of Bologna and collaborates with companies, institutions and reviews in Italy and abroad. Dr. Ferri has been teaching the Internal Market course at the China-EU School of Law for three consecutive years. We asked him a few questions regarding his teaching experience at our school.

Why did you choose to teach in China and what attracted you to teaching at CESL?

After some academic experiences in Europe, I really felt like I was looking for something that could expand my horizons. China was the ideal place in this regard, as it had long represented such a distant world from my ordinary and professional reality. Luckily, a few years ago I had the chance to take part in teaching activities carried out by the University of Bologna in the framework of a joint program developed with CESL. Well, I realized right away that CESL was the perfect “bridge” to reach what I was looking for.

Why do you keep coming back to teach at CESL each year?

Because the academic environment there is very stimulating. Even if I go back to teach I always learn something new. I can confirm that the organization is extremely efficient, the campus is amazing and visiting professors can meet local academic staff and students in a number of interesting joint initiatives enabling cross-fertilization of ideas. Moreover, I always seize the opportunity to visit lovely places.

Given your experience with CESL, would you recommend that your colleagues teach in a foreign country, specifically in China?

Yes, of course.

Would you recommend our program to prospective students? If yes, why?

Yes, I do recommend this program. Prospective students will have the chance to test themselves in a new dimension which is challenging and suggestive at the same time. I think it is priceless when, after carrying out such an experience, one can say “at the beginning everything looked hard, but step by step I adapted to this new reality and finally I made it!” I met some European students after a semester at CESL and I found out that they were more open minded, smarter of the average, ready to work in many environments… just one step ahead. To me it’s not surprising that the best LLM thesis I have supervised so far was written by a student who had spent a semester at CESL.

What is your fondest memory from teaching in Beijing?

My office hour at the end of my first year as a member of the Flying Faculty. I was supposed to leave the campus at around 3 pm to go to the Ming Tombs, but at 5 I still was in my office talking to a dozen students who were willing to know something more about Europe and to teach me many things about China. It was their way to show me that they were happy after some days of hard work with me in class. And I was not at all upset to miss my trip. Two worlds so far away were suddenly getting closer and that was simply wonderful.