Universita degli Studie di Roma, La Sapienza

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1 exchange/placement application process preparation This was organised spot on! Surprisingly also the University in Rome cooperated really well and I received all my documents and information on time. When I had to send the international office of LUISS an e mail (Scambi Internazionale) they always responded on the day itself or the day after! The only down side was that I couldn't choose all the courses when I arrived at LUISS, that I had seen on the provisional list whilst still being in Utrecht. counselling/support at home university I'm really pleased with the way my coordinator of the International Office (Hester van der Ven) guided me through the whole process of applying for studying abroad. The partnership between Utrecht University and LUISS University was completely new, offered for the first time in So for her and for me it was a new experience, since I was the first Law student going to LUISS. Whether I had a question about doing master courses as a bachelor student, a question about a semester course Italian or I just wanted to share my experiences with her, she would always respond and help me out! academic preparation No specific preparation. I didn't need to pass certain courses at my home University to start courses in Italy. It was even possible for me as a bachelor student to apply for master courses there. language preparation I've made a fairly small beginning with an Italian Course during the summer that was provided by the LOI (Leidse Onderwijs Instellingen). I was really enthousiastic for learning Italian in the beginning, after a while my summer plans got in the way and I didn't finish the course. It was perfect though that when I arrived in Rome, I could do an Italian Crash Course for a few ECTS to see whether I had actually learned something from the course of the LOI and to step up my game in learning Italian. It was a lot of fun, since I met so many Erasmus students in this course and I made my first friendships here. finances I was obliged to make a financial plan before I could complete my application for studying abroad. Looking back on this plan, it roughly corresponds with my expenses in Italy. However, my general advice is that you need to save up to be able to live the Italian way of life. This implies going out to dinner twice or even three times a week, partying in bars and clubs where a drink could cost you up to 10 Euro's and going on weekendtrips and ESN trips which is about Euro's for a weekend. Consequently, you need to save up to be able to make the most of your Erasmus experience. study/placement abroad period study programme/work plan (concerning content and organisational issues) Before I went on exchange to Rome, I decided on doing 4 courses and the Italian Crash Course. Judging from the provisional list that I had received, I chose: European Labour Law, Politicial Science, IO & Competition theory and one other course of economics. However, when I arrived in Rome it wasn't possible for me to follow all these courses, since it simply wouldn't fit in my time table.

2 So I decided to change this almost ''360 degrees'' around. My priority laid with achieving the best schedule possible with interesting courses that were different from Law. So I decided to go for 4 Master Courses: European Labour Law, Luxury Management, History of the Americas (North and Latin America), Islam History and Politics and an Italian Semester Course. In the end I had to go to the Uni way more than I would in Utrecht, but this was no problem, since all of my friends were there a lot too. I had to follow lectures for about hours a week and I had fun with my friends during lunch breaks and coffee breaks. academic quality of education/placement activities In my opinion the quality of the lectures really differed from subject to subject. For example, the lectures that were given by professors in Luxury Management were really good! I could definitely compare this with the standard that we have here in Utrecht. My professors were managers of Bulgari in Rome and New York and they had a lot of expertise and practical knowlegde of the field they were working in. On the other hand, the quality of the lectures for History of Latin America was really poor. My professor's English was fairly basic and his pronounciation was really off He would only read out the slides and this was just a story from a study book that he typed out on the slides. Furthermore, if you studied well right before exams, you could achieve high grades. The system of grading in Italy is from 1 30 and I got a 28 three times, a 24 and a 25. counselling/support at host institution/organisation This was fine. I didn't need the international office that much, only for some signatures. transfer of credits It's really convenient that the ECTS system in Italy is so comparable to the system in the Netherlands. The professors didn't have to adjust my grades on any point. welcome/orientation programme student life The first day of orientation was on Wednesday the 4 th of September for the Italian Crash Course and a welcome speech of the board of ESN. This was where you could meet your Italian Buddy who would guide you through the first weeks of studying at LUISS. Unfortunately, my Buddy didn't show up and I have never really met her After this the lessons of the Crash Course started and that went well. Although, we all weren't prepared on going to the Uni 5 to 6 hours a day for a language course It was a bit too much if you ask me. The welcome week of ESN was amazing! They organised a broad range of activities, such as sports, an Italian aperitivo on a boat, a kick off party, a day trip to two beautiful villages, a movie night and a typical Italian dinner with lots of wine in Ariccia. The board members were really spontaneous and out going, but the organisation was really ''Italian''. So we weren't surprised that we had to wait for drinks at the bar for at least 20 minutes and that the chefs ran out of food so quickly at the Italian Aperitivo. All in all though, I wouldn't have wanted to miss this for the world! accommodation I was extremely lucky. I didn't look for an apartment before I came to Rome, so I stayed in a hostel close to the Colosseum for the first 7 days of my stay in Italy.

3 Halfway through the week I met two Danish girls who had just confirmed with a land lord that they would rent his new furnished apartment. They asked me if I would like to live with them. They showed me the apartment and it was perfect! Really new, spacious and clean! Furthermore, the location was amazing. We lived really near Piazza Bologna, which is a popular safe student area and really close to the metro and several bus lines. It was such a coincidence that a lot of good friends of ours also lived in the area of Piazza Bologna, so we could meet for dinner! It was really convenient as well when we went out, because we could take taxi's home together and no one had to feel unsafe when walking through the streets at night time. leisure/culture I came to Rome for a reason. That was to live the Italian, relaxed, Mediterranean life style and to explore the culture of ancient Rome and its surroundings. This city amazes you and surprises you every single day while you are there. The atmosphere is so friendly, laid back and the buildings and statues and churches are beautiful. I could have showed someone around in the city every day if I had the time and if the occasion would have been present! It's just great that people are outside on the streets and in restaurants throughout the whole year! I've been on three trips during these five months in Italy and these were the most memorable experiences. The first one was in October to the Amalfi Coast and Napels. The second one was in November to Sicily (in short my best experience while abroad). This island is breathtaking and I was there with my closest friends which made it even more special. The third one was in January to Venice, Verona and Florence. suggestions/tips A tip that I can give anyone is to be open minded when you go on exchange and do everything that comes to your mind and that you would love to do when you are away. The worst part would be if you have any regrets!! Another tip is to try not to be too home bound. That is to your home city, but also to the place where you live now in the host country. My last tip is to make as much pictures as possible and to keep some sort of diary while you are away to write down all your amazing experiences. Myself, I wrote down short notes in my agenda and I'm trying to make a diary in a word document at the moment. conclusions would you recommend this host organisation/destination to others? please explain I would definitely recommend LUISS University, since the University is fairly new, well equiped with computers, printers, beamers in the class rooms and all that sort of things. The University has a good mensa and a really nice bar, where you can chill with a cup of coffee or have a sandwich. Besides this, you can easily reach it by tram, bus or with the shuttle from the Law Department to the General Department and back. I think the level of education is well in general and the University offers loads of really interesting courses which you can easily, without the need of prerequisites, apply for! Furthermore, I couldn't have imagined a better city than Rome to go on Erasmus. The Italian way of life is amazing, the weather is good, the food is sooo delicious and it's charming that you have to learn a bit of Italian to make yourself heard. Moreover, it's wonderful that you can travel around the country, since flight tickets are not that expensive and

4 you can hire a car or do a lot by train. Lastly, the ESN team was great and the people that I have met were amazing! I have my own Roman Family now that I will visit soon and hopefully often in the future! do you have any additional advice or comments? exchange/placement application process preparation make sure to update your check list at all times. don't hestitate to contact your own exchange coordinator, but also the coordinator of the host institution. counselling/support at home university very helpful! quick response and clear answers. academic preparation was fine, but some of the courses at LUISS were quite specific compared to the more general law courses i had at Utrecht University. language preparation a lot of courses are taught in English and you can take an Italian language course at LUISS (which is very nice to do) finances save up money because the Roman lifestyle will cost a lot: more expensive apartments (around 500) and social activities. study/placement abroad period study programme/work plan (concerning content and organisational issues) if you take 3 5 courses you still have plenty of time to enjoy yourself. however, if you take master courses you may have a lot of work load. academic quality of education/placement activities not amazing. even though the teachers are educated at universities like yale and harvard, the italian approach on teaching is not very academic. it does not challenge you to be critical on the study material, but you just have to learn facts. counselling/support at host institution/organisation the host institution will help you, but you have to ask for it. transfer of credits just ask the international office. welcome/orientation programme student life i really recommend participating in the welcome programme (especially of ESN) since this is the perfect opportunity to meet a lot of new people in the beginning. accommodation great! i lived together with 2 other erasmus girls and we lived in a very safe and quiet neighbourhood that was close to university. a lot of students lived there as well. leisure/culture i was already in love with the italian culture, but now even more! having dinner, parties and just do as the locals

5 do. suggestions/tips make sure to go on several trips while your staying in Rome. You can go to Napoli, Firenze, Amalfi etc. That will really make your stay extra special! conclusions would you recommend this host organisation/destination to others? please explain yes, Rome is an amazing city to live in and LUISS is a very pleasant university with all its facilities. do you have any additional advice or comments? preparation exchange/placement application process All lot of paperwork has to be filled in before departure, this made me sometimes a bit stressed with coming deadlines etcetera. But at the end it worked out and I was accepted at the University of La Sapienza, in Rome. counselling/support at home university The International Office is open for you to answer your questions and most of the times they give you a good advice, but still you have to figure out a lot for yourself so don't underestimate the paperwork. academic preparation At La Sapienza all the courses were taught in Italian, so I had to prepare my Italian language. 1 year before departure I started taking language courses and this helped me in the beginning. language preparation All together I took 2 courses in Italian, level B1 at the end. I took courses at the 'Volksuniversiteit Utrecht', they were really usefull. finances I received a state grant(studiefinanciering) and of course the Erasmus grant and this really helped me out. My room was very expensive, more than 500 euro per month, but really worth it because it was in the centre, imagine that the Colosseum was 5 minutes walking. I think you can also find cheaper rooms but Rome has a lot of 'bad' neighbourhoods in which I really didn't want to live so I had to choose for spending more money but I think living more save. study/placement abroad period study programme/work plan (concerning content and organisational issues) The content of the courses were totally unsure and unclear. I just had to attend some courses to figure out what they were about. And so i figured out which 3 courses I wanted to take, the teachers gave me the programme about the courses in the lessons. I would have been better and also more logical if these programmes where just online so that you could figure it out already before coming to Rome. A problem was, that these programmes were used to explain the content of the courses and they were only in Italian. So I had to translate them all to send them back to Utrecht, to explain where my courses were about. academic quality of education/placement activities I think the teachers and the books we used were very professional. They know what they are talking about. The courses were clear and interesting and I can really say that I learned a lot. All the exams I took were oral AND in Italian. This was so though for me to do, the teachers were so strict and at the moments of the exams I really hated them. But when I think about it now, these orals really learned how to fight for a good grade and for the

6 points. counselling/support at host institution/organisation l really big thing they have to work on is organising, having structures and clear procedures. Ofcourse La Sapienza is a huge university that make organising difficult but it really goes in the Italian way, which means that there are a lot of unclear procedures who, I think especially for Dutch people, seem really unusefull. transfer of credits The credits they use in Italy are comparable with ECTS so that was no problem. student life welcome/orientation programme La Sapienza organised a Welcome day, they explained a lot about the university, life in Rome etc etc. This really helped and already in this Welcome day I came to know people so that was cool. accommodation Via Facebook I came to know someone who was searching for 2 other roommates for the period that I was coming to Rome. so I send her a message, we stayed in touch and I got the room. So for me finding a room was not a diffulty. I really felt happy in this house and my other roommates were 2 girls, one from Argentina and 1 from Paris, France. So we had a real international house which I really liked. leisure/culture Before departure I was stressed and Rome and the people who are living there made me see that life can be easier if you really take it easier. It made me sometimes frustrated, this behaviour of domani, domani (tomorrow, tomorrow) but at the end they were right, you can stress about all the things you have to do or just do them, or tomorrow, but it will be fine. And if I didn't know something and asked my Italian colleges they directly helped me, I wanted to thank them but then they say 'No, di nulla', like no no thanks come on it's nothing. So open and kind. suggestions/tips Be prepared for the language if it's clear that the courses are in Italian for example. I was prepared but when I arrived I almost forgot everything I learned at home, so in Rome I learned the most I think. Watching movies helped me a lot. conclusions would you recommend this host organisation/destination to others? please explain Yes, if you really want to be 'Italian' for a moment. You will really meet the culture, the real Italians. You can not compare it with a weekendtrip to Rome. Rome is so much more. I really feel proud that I've been at La Sapienza. Maybe because I 'survived' it, while I really had to study a lot and do my best and fight for my points. But also because that I was one of them, one of the cool Italian students. I learned to look different on subjects in Law but also on subjects in life. do you have any additional advice or comments? Yes, that you really have to go if you're in to a total new way of studying and living!

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