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Erasmus experience in Bologna, Italy by Elionor

Why did you choose to go to Bologna, Italy?

I didn't choose it, Bologna was the only option I had, but when I arrived there I was greatly surprised.


How long does the scholarship last? How much money do you receive?

The grant lasts five months, I receive 1500 euros in total. But everything in the city is quite expensive and you need more financial support on top of the grant.

How is the student atmosphere in Bologna?

It is an excellent city for Erasmus. There are a lot of places for students, there's something for everyone... nightclubs, social centres and street parties...

Would you recommend the city and Bologna University to other students?

Absolutely! It is a beautiful city, I never thought that it would be so nice! It is full of arches which give the city a special atmosphere combined with red colour of the houses.

The university is really good, lots of Italian students come to Bologna just because of the university and its atmosphere.

How is the food of the country?

Bologna is known as the kitchen of Italy. So, I warn you, you will leave Bologna with some extra kilos. You'll enjoy eating like never before!


Is it difficult to find accommodation in Bologna?

There are many Erasmus students and finding a flat is a bit challenging. I recommend finding an apartment before coming. Don't come without having anything. You can spend weeks and weeks searching for a place to stay.

There is a variety of sites where you can look for a flat, from Erasmusu to Facebook, where there are thousands of groups. One of them is: Erasmus españoles en Bologna, which can be helpful in finding a place to stay and people who want to share a flat or a room (your future flatmates). Another page on Facebook is called "Affitassi! Cerco/offro casa a Bologna". There are so many ads from people who are offering or searching for a house. I found a flat via one of these pages. They are rather trustworthy. But it's better to find a flat before coming here to avoid problems like searching for a place which could take weeks. I would also recommend not to pay anything until you arrive in Italy, because you can be easily cheated. Make it clear that you want this apartment and pay once you have signed the contract.

How much does it cost live in Bologna?

For accommodation around 300 euros and then food and outings... Be prepared to spend around 500 euros a month in total, it's quite expensive.

Although I recommend looking for flat inside the walls, since the universities, the bars, and the whole atmosphere is there, you can get from one end to another in 10 minutes with a bike.

How is the language? Did you go to any course in the university?

Before coming I hadn't studied the language, but it can be understood immediately. However, I took a course to improve the language. But it is not something that will close all the doors for you, because it is easy to learn the language quick.

I suggest you to get informed about free courses provided by UNIBO before coming (the University of Bologna). When I arrived, all the places were full and I had to go to an academy which cost me 250 euros for 2 months. But, if you are well informed, you can book your place and have a free course in addition to meet Erasmus people.

Which is the cheapest way to come Bologna from your city?

By plane.

Which places do you suggest to go out in Bologna?

There are lots of places. I recommend getting a ESN and ESEG card. There are lots of associations who organise parties for young people. They normally take place in nightclubs, during trips or excursions. Then, there are social centres like LÀBAS, el XM, el VAG, etc., where many concerts are organised.

You will discover new places on your own, because there are a lot of them, you won't be bored!


What about the food in Bologna? Can you mention about your favourite places?

Honestly, it's a bit expensive to eat out, but there's a place with home-made pizzas from firewood ovens to take away, the margarita is 2. 50 euros. It is very popular among young people - it's called Pizza Casa.

there is another cheap restaurant nearby called "La Osteria de L'Orsa", where you can try pasta and typical plates from Bologna.

(If you want bolognese sauce in Bologna, it's actually called "al ragú"! )

And how is the cultural visit?

Bologna is a city with a long history; especially from the revolution times - it's a student city practically, thus revolutionary atmosphere is lived there every day. It also has lots of curiosities, among them the 7 Secrets that not everyone is familiar with.

The good thing about Bologna is that everything is very close - Venice is 2 hours away by train, Florence only one hour and a half. There are thousands of places to see that are very close to Bologna. The train (Trenitalia) is quite cheap, but I recommend checking a lowcost bus company (FlixBus) which has very cheap tickets, from 5 euros.

You'll see that there are so many things to see in the north of Italy, and with this bus company you will be able to travel cheap.

what advice would you give to future students in Bologna?

Bologna is the best city in Italia to go on Erasmus, do not hesitate!

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