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The best year of my life in Cagliari

Why did you choose to go to Cagliari, Italy?

I chose it because its economics course had a good reputation. The professors help you quite a lot, the weather's good all year round, there are beaches... and also there's the opportunity to learn a third language (after Spanish and English). This isn't too hard, especially for the Spanish students.

How long did your exchange last? How much were you paid?

I was paid barely anything and it wasn't enough to live on. I received 370 euros a month from the University of Leon, which is nothing compared to the prices in Italy.

What's the student life like in Cagliari?

Really good - if you're a girl, you won't have problems getting the guys to help you in class, pass on notes to you, etc. If you're a guy, well... good luck.

Generally, the people there are very friendly, especially the younger ones, who are more open-minded and less conservative than the older Italian people.

Would you recommend the city and the University of Cagliari to other students?

Definitely. It's a fantastic Erasmus destination since on most courses they make it very easy for you, since the University of Cagliari is delighted to host Erasmus students. There's also great weather all year round apart from between November and February, meaning you can always take a trip to the beach if you fancy it. The city itself is beautiful - in the context of Italian cities perhaps it's not the cleanest or best paved, but it has some lovely things to see. Its biggest charm is its location on the island of Sardinia, and the fact that a bus, train or car ten minutes away from the city will take you to amazing countryside and virgin beaches.

What's Italian food like?

It's not bad. University students can use the 'mensa', a university cafeteria where the Erasmus students can eat for 2. 50 euros a meal. There are two menus, the normal one with a first course (usually pasta) and a second one (usually meat or fish), then yoghurt, salad, or fruit. The other menu (higher in calories) is a sandwich or pizza with chips and soft drink.

How did your find your accommodation?

I found it through recommendations of Erasmus students from past years.

What are the accommodation prices like?

Very high, mostly since the cheapest rent you'll find is about 250 euros (and that's if you're very lucky) and even then you'll probably be living in the outskirts, which you won't like much. Renting a house in the city centre (where 80% of the Erasmus students live) costs between 280 and 320 euros a month, meaning you won't have much if anything left over from your grant. You'll need financial support from your parents if you haven't worked beforehand and brought your savings with you. Life is expensive, supermarkets especially. Most Erasmus students end up spending between 800 and 1, 000 euros a month (including rent). This depends on the individual however.

How are you finding the language? Have you signed up to a language class at the university?

The language is fine - there are plenty of similarities with Castilian Spanish. You have to really try hard with speaking and writing Italian though, so I'd really recommend the Italian courses. I went to a 60 hour course the summer beforehand in the Central Languages Centre in León, and when I arrived I attended another one in November which was 100 hours long. I still don't think this was enough!

What's the cheapest way of getting to Cagliari from your home city?

The cheapest way of getting there from León is to catch an ALSA bus to Madrid Barajas Terminal 4. When you arrive, walk (or get a bus, if there is one) to Terminal 1 and then get a cheap Ryanair flight to Cagliari in two hours. The airport is called Elmas and (if you're just about to start your Erasmus year) the ESN workers will be waiting for you there and will give you a lift to your new flat or halls.

What are the best places for partying in Cagliari?

It depends on the day. On Thursdays people go to K-LAB, not sure about Fridays, on Saturdays to Chalie (also called Invida), or to JKO. What's funny though is that I don't find the bars or clubs the best places to go - the botellones above the Bastione and on Piazza dell Carmine are the best. When the good weather arrives, the beach clubs start to open.

What about eating out in Cagliari? What are your favourite places?

Lots of nice places, the pizzas are good. My favourite places are: El Fantasma, El Zodiaco, Francis Drake... etc.

What does Cagliari have to offer in terms of culture?

You've got El Bastione de Saint Remy, the Bonaria Church, the castle area, San Michele castle, Monteclaro park, Monteurpinnu park, Poetto beach, and loads of museums. When you leave the city, there are also loads of places and corners to explore, with loads of archeological ruins, beaches and coves.

Do you have any advice for future students coming to Cagliari?

You won't regret this Erasmus destination!

Share your Erasmus Experience in Cagliari!

If you know Cagliari as native, traveler or as exchange student... share your opinion on Cagliari! Rate different characteristics and share your experience.

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