By Ida Owens,2014-08-13 11:11
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    ERASMUS Name …………………………

    Date of birth ………………………………1987

    Birthplace…………………………….. Brussels

    It is already more than 20 years since the first Erasmus students went abroad for

    their exchange programme. Why not become one yourself?!

    Reasons to become an Erasmus student in Italy:

    ; The Erasmus experience, either for a short few months or the full year, is

    very beneficial to the growth of the mind, in gaining knowledge of other

    cultures and also as a life experience. It is a fun way to meet new people

    from all over the world and expand your circle of friends. Whether you go

    to a small town or a large city, you are guaranteed to have fun and learn

    a new language at the same time. My memories from my year abroad are

    priceless and I will never forget them, the people I shared them with or

    the places I visited! (Carol-Anne, Erasmus student in Macerata)

    ; ‘Getting to know another culture is amazing. Meeting new people and,

    above all, learning their language and traditions.’ (Alice, Erasmus student in


    ; Macerata is a small city in the mountains on the east of Italy, and it was

    so extraordinary, almost a world of its own, the people there are very

    much home birds and proud of their heritage, and welcomed me with

    open arms, it takes a few days of getting used to but soon everybody

    knows your name. I was happily surprised to find myself so comfortable

    in a town where I was the only Irish person. (Carol-Anne)

    ; ‘From a career point of view, employers view you as: independent, mobile,

    adaptive and highly skilled.(Stephen, Erasmus student in Verona)

    ; ‘To experience new cultures and meet new people and exchange ideas,

    broaden your horizons and cultural awareness.(Aisha, Erasmus student in


    ; To get away from Ireland and live away from your family if you have not

    already done so, to experience a new culture, to get away from the safety

    net of friends you have had since school and meeting new people from

    other countries, and to learn the language of course!’ (Emma, Erasmus

    student in Rome)


    What to do before leaving Ireland

    ; First of all go onto the website of the University where you have been

    given a place. It is important to assimilate as much information as you

    can. Usually the information is also available in English.

    Università degli studi di CAGLIARI (Sardinia):

    Università degli studi di MACERATA:

    Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (MILAN):

    Università degli studi di Roma III (ROME):

    Università degli studi di URBINO:

    ; Make sure that you choose the courses that you are interested in before

    you leave for Italy. It will save you time and stress when you arrive.

    You need to gain at least 45 credits, and it is important to choose

    courses carefully, as they do not always correspond to the Irish system

    of credits.

; Keep in touch all the time with

    Eric Haywood (your UCD coordinator for academic matters):

    tel. + 353.1.7168244


    International Office (for practical matters):

    Catherine Convery: tel. +353.1.7161776


    later with the coordinator you will have in Italy.

; Go to the meetings organised by UCD International Office, as you will

    need to be updated with information regarding the Erasmus grant and

    the learning agreement that you need to sign.

    ; Look for the language courses that are offered by your host University;

    you should find all the information on the University website.

    Otherwise, there are also free Erasmus Intensive Language Courses

    offered in Perugia and Siena in September. They not only offer the

    chance to improve your knowledge of Italian, but also to gain 6 credits,

    and above all a great chance to meet other Erasmus students from all

    over Europe! They are very efficient and well organised! For more

    detailed information check:

; Think about accommodation. If you prefer to find campus

    accommodation, there is usually an application form on the host

    university website, that you should access during the summer months:

    keep the dates in mind! You can also start searching yourself on

    internet, or else stay in a hostel for the first few days and try to find

    something. From my experience, it saves you a lot of time and stress if

    you do it before!


    What to do upon arrival

Make sure that you have all the papers that you need to submit in the

    International Office in Italy; you will also need a few passport photos.

    Go there as soon as you arrive, as that will provide you with the

    orientation you need on the first day. You also need to get a student

    card from there, as it will provide you with many discounts for

    travelling, and above all it is indispensable for all the museums. Italy is

    very good for student discounts! Make sure you have it with you all the


Sometimes you might need to get a ‘PRSI’ Number (codice fiscale) in

    order to get your canteen card (tessera mensa). Having your lunch in

    the mensa is very convenient, as you can eat very well for very little. For

    more detailed information ask in the International Office.

     Make sure that all your lecturers know that you are an Erasmus

    student. They are usually very helpful and they understand possible

    difficulties you might have with the language. Just simply go and talk

    to them; ask questions about the course content, and especially about

    exam regulations for Erasmus students (often they have a special

    syllabus for Erasmus students).

Italy is quite a cheap country to live in, especially compared to Ireland.

    The cost of living differs considerably between Rome or Milan and other

    smaller towns. To rent a single room in Rome costs around 400 Euro,

    while in Macerata it is around 200 Euro. The Erasmus grant is around

    1400 Euro for all your time in Italy and that will not cover all your

    needs, since your total expenses will come to 5000-6000 Euro for the

    year. Wherever you are, you should have savings to help you get

    through the year.

     Continuing on the money topic, a good piece of advice is not to buy

    brand new books for University courses, but try to save the cash and

    look around the University notice-boards where you will probably find

    at least some ads for second-hand books. You can also sell them before

    leaving Italy. That’s the ‘Italian way especially that libraries are not

    always very well stocked!

Travelling in Italy is quite efficient … if there are no unforeseen strikes

    (scioperi), but always make sure that you check and compare all the

    offers for buses, trains or even domestic flights! Sometimes you can

    find very good deals (my trip to Sardinia cost only 40 Euro!).

Join the Erasmus Network! It is a great way to meet other Erasmus

    students, go on the trips around the city, but also travel all over Italy!

    They will also be very helpful with any problems or difficulties you have.


    What to do before leaving Italy

    o Make sure that you have passed all your exams! It is very important to

    get a minimum of 45 credits, otherwise you might have difficulties later

    on. You will need a transcript of your results in order to have your

    Erasmus year validated by UCD, so make sure that you visit the

    International Office before your departure, and that your exam results

    will be forwarded to UCD.

    o Before leaving you might need to find a way to have all your belongings

    sent back to Ireland. You can look for any discounts for Erasmus in

    services such as Mail Box:

    I believe that you might have many other questions regarding the specific University and town you are going to. Therefore please e-mail me (Kasia, Erasmus Student in Rome: and I will put you in touch in

    with one of the returned Erasmus students, who will be happy to help you with any questions! Do not hesitate to do so, as it is one of the best ways to get crucial hints that you will never find on any website or in any city guide!

    Enjoy your Erasmus in Italy as much as you can!!!!!!!!!


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