Erasmus Experience in Verona, Italy by Natasha

Published by Natasha Keily — one year ago

0 Tags: Erasmus experiences Verona, Verona, Italy


Why did you choose to go to Verona, Italy?

I had heard from previous students at my university that it was the best place to go out of all our options

How long is the scholarship? How much money do you receive to help you with living costs?

I stayed in Verona for 1 semester, if I remember correctly the erasmus grant was around £1,000 for the semester and UK maintenance loan was also about £300 higher for each semester I was abroad

What is the student lifestyle like in Verona?

Student lifestyle is excellent in Verona! There are plenty of students so there are lots of events taking place. The ESN group was amazing and organised so many things for erasmus students, for example we went to a wine festival at Lake Garda.

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

I would definitely recommend the city of Verona as a destination, it’s one of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever visited and has excellent transport links to visit other parts of the north of Italy- it is only a 30 minute train journey away from Lake Garda, an hour from Venice and Bologna and just a bit further to Trento to see the mountains.
The university is good, however it is incredibly different to UK university- you have to arrange your own timetable and receive no assistance in choosing modules (i.e. you’re expected to know if they’re too hard for you, which is a hard task considering you know nothing of the modules) and a lot of lecturers are slow to email back. Whilst it’s a very relaxed setting, I did find this quite hard to study in as I am very used to emailing my lecturers about any problems I have with the curriculum and receiving a lot of help in return.

What is the food like?

Heavenly.

You might find it difficult to eat out if you’re vegan, but there’s usually a veggie option everywhere. My friend used to order the vegetarian pizzas with no cheese to make them vegan.

Did it cost you to find your accommodation in Verona?

It didn’t cost me but it was very difficult to find suitable accommodation within my price range (€350 max). I would say definitely make sure you live within walking distance of the university and make sure your landlord is okay with guests beforehand as some can try and charge you for having a friend stay overnight. Don’t let yourself be pressured into an agreement, even if you are starting to panic about finding somewhere- it’s always best to find the perfect place, even if it takes a bit longer.

How much does it cost to live in Verona?

I would say it’s fairly expensive considering it’s not a capital city- it’s just about knowing the right places, for example don’t eat or drink right outside the Arena, find a bar on one of the side streets. The average drink is €3-€5 and average pizza is €7-€11.

Is the language easy to get to grips with? Are there language courses available at the University?

The university offers FREE language courses at the Centro Linguistico di Ateneo, in Spanish, Italian, German, Russian... whatever takes your fancy. You choose your level and at the end take a test and if you pass, you receive a certificate.
I speak Spanish and Italian, and in general I find italian hard to get to grips with as there’s so much to think about at once! So much harder than Spanish. However after living in the country for a while, some things become second nature. So whilst it’s super hard at the beginning, things do start to slowly make sense.

What's the easiest or most economical way to travel to Verona from your city?

Ryanair flights. I live in the midlands so I have to go all the way to London to catch a flight from stansted as they flight more frequently (Birmingham is once a week and they are either £9.99 or £100, no in between). It’s also handy to note that you don’t have to fly to Verona if you can’t, it’s very easy to fly to Milan Bergamo or Venice (either airport) and get to Verona from there.

Where would you recommend to go on a night out in Verona?

There’s not a lot of clubs actually in Verona city centre, there’s only one (Club Love). To be honest, none of them are the best experience, but alcohol usually helps improve that. Amen is a good one as it has lovely views over Verona. Club Love is the easiest and cheapest. Dorian Gray is an experience you must have but a treck as you have to get a bus and they’re quite often unreliable.

And for eating? Can you recommend some good restaurants in Verona?

San Matteo is a pizzeria in an old church and they have the BEST pizza in Verona. Buns is the best for burgers. Ichiban has the best ramen in the world. Also La Tradición is very close to the Arena and has €3 aperols and their own twist which is divine!

What good cultural sites are there to visit?

In Verona: the Arena, Castelvecchio, Ponte Pietra, Juliet’s balcony (however it is not as grandiose in person- go in with low expectations) San Xeno church
Day trips to do around Verona: Venice, Bolzano, Trento, Padova, Bologna, Mantova. Also do Lake Garda: there are many different towns to visit there but an absolute MUST is Sirmione del Garda on a sunny day with clear skies- it will be the most beautiful thing you will ever see.

Is there any other advice that you could give to students going to Verona in the future?

The culture in Italy was a lot different to home and shocked me a lot when I got there, as I thought it would have been very similar to Spain, however don’t let this put you off if you do feel like the culture is not the one for you. Just enjoy Verona as a city and the spectacular views it has to offer and enjoy meeting lovely people along the way- my erasmus friends are some of the kindest people I’ve ever met and I can’t imagine an erasmus group being run better than the Verona one is.


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