Sabrina Colombo

Sabrina is a first year PhD student in the Department of General Pedagogy, Social Pedagogy, General Education and Subject Didactics at the Free University of Bozen/Bolzano (Italy).

Formerly employed in Rome as a Primary School teacher Sabrina faced the high presence of children with migration background in classes and was engaged in extra work supporting children with language difficulties. She organised a language course for the migrant mothers of her pupils, alongside a school director. Furthermore, Sabrina taught Italian and other matters to young migrant people in a course organised by the School Office of Rome (U.S.P.) in order to prepare the students to get a school diploma (licenza media). Through these experiences Sabrina developed awareness of the social, working and bureaucratic issue facing migrants.

In 2012, Sabrina relocated to South-Tyrol, an autonomous region located in the North-East on the border to Austria and Switzerland. This region, that once was part of the Hasburg Empire, was annexed to Italy in 1919 after the First World War and the sense of belonging is still a matter strongly influenced by the politic annexation. German and Italian are both official languages of South Tyrol, but in some eastern municipalities Ladin is the third official language. Whilst employed in a German-speaking Primary School as a Second Language Teacher Sabrina worked with migrant children and parents, most of them coming from Albania. The presence of this community, which is one of the largest in South-Tyrol, and in particular the presence of the future “Italian” citizens, shaped Sabrina’s interest in understanding more about their sense of belonging. Sabrina’s doctoral study explores these interests focussing on second generation Albanian girls in this particular bilingual and bicultural context. Specifically, the study is on the second generation and how culture, transnationalism and ethnicity factors influence the identity formation of Albanian young girls and how they perceive themselves in South-Tyrol.
In this ethnographic, qualitative research in-depth interviews with 15 participants aged between 15 and 20 years will be used as data collection method.
Visiting Edge Hill’s Migration Working Group (MWG-NW) presents an opportunity for Sabrina to exchange opinions, doubts and questions with academics, organisations, practitioners and other PhD students working on migration in U.K. and elsewhere.