My Erasmus Experience in Girona, Spain
Why did you decide to go to Girona, Spain?
Mainly because I didn't want to go and study in a really big and chaotic city, like Barcelona. And so I fell in love with Girona just from the photos!
How long does the bursary last? How much money is received as help?
This depends on the university, . I was there for one semester and I received around 260 euros a month. The first part (around one third of the bursary) I received in November, whereas the second part I will receive after July.
What is the student atmosphere like in Girona?
Girona is a city made for students. There are lots of bars and lots of young people. Therefore, the Erasmus group is a special thing: it becomes your family!
Would you recommend the city and University of Girona to other students?
Absolutely! It was a marvellous experience and I would do it again in a second! At university everybody is available to help you and tutors are available to meet with you if you don't understand the lessons. The International Relations centre is always open and if need be, it gives useful advice and suggestions to live your experience fully.
What's the food like in Girona?
I got too used to the food! Above all, I love Pantumaca, which is bread with tomatos spread on top and a drizzle of olive oil. In Catalonia every sandwich you find will have tomato in it! Now that I'm back in Italy, sandwiches seem really dry and flavourless!
What was accommodation like?
I was in a university residence, I was placed in a single room in a flat with three other Erasmus students. It was an excellent solution even if it was a bit expensive. I really enjoyed it, also there were other Erasmus students in the other flats, we used to meet up in the evenings and go out together.
Other Erasmus students arrived in Girona who still didn't have any accommodation sorted and they settled in a hostel whilst they were waiting to find a flat. Almost everyone found one during the first week, thanks to the excellent Girona University website which gives you a space to search/ offer flats for rent.
How much does rent cost? What are prices like in general?
I paid 360 euros per month, but I was in residency. Other students paid around 200-250 euros.
How did it go with the language? Did you attend any courses at university?
I attended a Catalan language course at the beginning of my Erasmus experience, although I didn't finish it because I started other lessons in the meantime and I didn't do the exam because I didn't need the credits for my home university. Having said that, the course was really good. Other Erasmus students attended a Spanish language course for the entire year, for levels A1, A2 and A3 (this course costs around 100 euros).
During my experience I spoke English nearly all the time, but I also learnt some Spanish, which is another language I study at university.
What's the cheapest way to get to Girona from your city?
Taking a Ryan Air flight. This costs around 7 euros.
Where would you advise people to go out at night in Girona?
Michigin, Sala Royale, Pixel, McKiernans (Irish pub) and Lux.
And what about eating in Girona? Can you tell us about your favourite restaurants?
Along La Rambla there are lots of tapas restaurants. However these are all tourist places and you have to travel a bit to find the places where the locals go. I almost never went out to eat, unless it was for pizza or kebab! =)
What advice would you give to students going to Girona in the future?
If you go to study in Barri Vell then you will notice straight away that there are millions of steps to go up every morning... well... there's an escalator! This is some really useful advice! =) Someone discovered this at the end of the year and every morning going up those steps left us all out of breath!
Until the end of October, the Festa di Sant Narcís is celebrated in Girona, which takes place in La Devesa Park in the north of the city, don't miss out! It's spectacular!
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