Italy Experience

February 15th, 2024
Janine Wegh
Italy Experience

I have now completed my first period back in Nijmegen, but I would still prefer to take the plane back to Rome. I had the honor of studying at Luiss in Rome for the first semester this year. Since I am from Nijmegen and continued to study here for my bachelor's degree, this was the first time I was away from home for a long time. I actually found this quite exciting, but afterwards I can say that it was the best choice of my life.
The university and the city of Rome were very different from Nijmegen. It took some getting used to hearing cars aggressively honking at each other every hour of every day. There are also police everywhere, even in my residential area which was not near the center. There were even fences around the university campuses and you could only enter the campus by scanning a QR code on the Luiss app near a pole at the entrance. What I liked about the university itself was that they had great lecturers and guest lectures, for example there was a guest lecture by an Italian journalist who had recently been to Ukraine, and I had a permanent lecturer who had previously worked for Italian UNESCO.
But besides being at the university, my biggest activity was sitting on the terrace. With much lower food prices than in the Netherlands and delicious cuisine, apperitivo or dining at a restaurant was an activity that took place many times a week. This often happened while enjoying a delicious drink. At the end of my stay I drank almost a rainbow of spritzes.
In addition, a regular activity was walking or scootering through Rome in the nice sun (public transport turns out to be a case worse than the NS). Since there was plenty to discover, the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, but also lesser-known attractions such as the Basillica di san Giovanni and sunset at passeggiate del Pincio, you never had to be bored.
What makes the exchange so much better is all the lovely people you meet. Although the Italians were not very open to chatting, unless you were in the club, there were many approachable foreign students. In a city like Rome with so many foreign students and several organizations that arranged activities and parties for these students, you can easily find people you can join. I soon had a few good friends together. With these people we started making further trips outside Rome at the weekends, such as to Florence and Naples. The central location of Rome certainly makes it ideal to visit other cities and villages in Italy by high-speed trains, which of course completes your exchange period! I would definitely recommend everyone to go on an exchange!

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