Triin Paavel - Trento, Italy

Enjoying your time in Trento as a student depends a lot on yourself. If you are the type of person who loves Newcastle nightlife, city lights and a lot of choice, the Trento is not for you. Yet instead if you love going on day trips to near by towns (Verona, Bolzano, Venice, Milano), hiking in the mountains, cycling along the path next to river Adige and taking advantage of the pros of living in a small town (You'd be surprised how creative people can be when there isn't anything to do) and last, but not least, hop on the 15 minute bus ride which would take you to the nearest skiing slope.

Accommodation

The situation with accommodation in Trento is a bit chaotic. There are the main student accommodations in Vela, Roncafort and some little ones in the centre, but as of now, they have also opened a new huge student accommodation called St Bartolomeo, so they have been moving around many students. The is also a gossip going about that the locals want to get all the students together in one place, so there would be less noise spread over the town. The accommodation is in double rooms, but I know that in St Bartolomeo the rooms are brand new, single, with wireless connection and en suite bathroom!

The prices are around 200 Euros. Nevertheless, the kitchen has to be shared with other 15 people. I know that last year all the parties were in Vela, but this year they seem to have arrived to Roncafort, which has caused all the students residing Roncafort receive a warning from Opera Universitaria. I would say though that for the next years it would be very likely that Erasmus students will be accommodated in St Bartolomeo. Finding a private accommodation though is not as difficult as they say, surely more expensive though.

Leisure

Just to make it clear - there are no nightclubs! The ones that are there are just quite small and expensive plus the music isn't really that good. Instead, people spend more time on organising cultural events. Like a series of films about immigration, film marathon at Trento train station, rock concerts in freezing cold at piazza Dante.

Among local students it is very popular to spend weekends at a local squat Brunos, listening to reggae concerts. The university has created excellent opportunities for sports, there are many fitness centres, swimming pools, it is possible to rent a bike from the university and there are also a bunch of sports teams to join. I, for example, am taking part in a documentary workshop every weekend - for people who are into filmmaking/ films, there is quite a choice of things to do. There are also many nice cafeterias, many of them have wireless connection and there is also an Irish pub, that serves Guinness and Italian pizzas.

University

I just have to mention, that something you would have to get used to coming in Trento is that everything is always either closed or opened only for 2 hours a day.

I am very content with my lectures though. The professors are helpful and read their subject very well. I would recommend taking lectures with Paolo Rosa and Mark Gilbert. For SPIE students (Sociology department), the first exams are already in November. It is also possible to take exams in English, if you speak with the lecturer. It is always better though, that you try to do everything in Italian and there is also a very good Italian course provided by the University.