A USEFUL BLOG POST FOR FUTURE STUDENTS TO PERUGIA

featured image taken from: http://www.unipg.it/

Realising that this Blog is actually meant to help and give advice future students, I’m going to throw everything that you need into one blog post. This blog post is pretty long so I’ve split it up into smaller sections.
1. Money & Bank Accounts
2. Accommodation
3. Local Transport (Walking, MiniMetro -MM, Buses and Taxis)
4. Long Distance Transport (Coach, Train, BlaBlaCar, Flights)
5. Phone Contracts & Phones
6. International Mobility Office & Erasmus Co-Ordinator/ Mobility Officer at UNIPG
7. Where to get Learning Agreement Signed
8. UNIPG Student Online Platform – Moodle
9. Getting Stuff Photocopied or Printed
10. Erasmus Groups in Perugia
11. Shopping (Clothes Shopping, Food Shopping & Supermarkets, General Stuff for Your Flat)
12. Poste – Post Office
13. Codice Fiscale
14. Università degli Studi di Perugia – Modules
15. Italian Classes and Opportunities
16. The Exam System
17. MENSA Card and Canteen

1. MONEY & BANK ACCOUNTS

I’d only suggest opening a bank account if for any reason you must do it, if not you can get by without one. The way I’ve managed my money here is getting a Post Office Currency Card from the post office at home, it’s a free card that you top up using the app taking money from your normal bank account and then use it as a normal debit card with no extra cost for euros. I’d also suggest a Caxton FX Currency Card which I believe is better than the Post Office Card but as I’ve had a Caxton FX card in the past whilst traveling I was unable to order another card from them. The only downside to the currency cards is that it costs to take money from a cash point. I also use my normal Santander Debit Card from the UK to make cash withdrawals, each time you take money out it’s a £1.99 fee. So, when I have been taking money out I usually get out my whole weekly budget or my rent etc., taking out larger amounts of cash to reduce the amount of times I have to pay the £1.99 fee.
Many places here don’t have a card machine so you pretty much always need to have cash on you, cashpoints (Bancomats) are located all over the city centre and there is also one inside the Univerista’ di Stranieri building if you need a cashpoint during the day. During the evening and night, they close the main doors to get into the cash points and you have to use a bank card to enter. Once you realise it’s there you can get in fine but for the first couple of weeks I just thought you couldn’t get money out during the night!

It’s also fairly common here for landlords to be paid in cash. When I rented my flat, I was told that I could pay by card in the office every month but when I went to pay in the first month, I was told that my landlord only accepts cash during her month visit to my flat. It wouldn’t have been that much of a problem if I hadn’t waited until the last day to pay and I have a daily limit for taking cash out of 250€ meaning I had to pay the rest in the second month, it’s probably best to double check to see how you pay each month as I now get told on the day what time she is coming to my flat so I don’t have much time to get the cash out and clean etc.

UPDATE: There are cashpoints dotted all about the city centre and most charge you £1.99 to withdraw however I have noticed that Deutsch Bank charges you a percentage rather than a fixed fee so that is a bit more expensive than the rest.

2. ACCOMMODATION

I found my accommodation here using Perugia Student Living. Their office is located near Piazza Grimani (Università’ di Stranieri).
The address is; 10 Via Fabretti Ariodante, Perugia, PG 06123, Italy and their opening hours are 08:30-12:15/14:30-18:15 Monday to Friday, they are closed at the weekends.
I went in with my dad on the second day of arriving in Italy after struggling a little bit with finding accommodation on the Facebook groups. As the Università di Stranieri offers courses varying in length many rooms and flats in Perugia have different availabilities so many of the flats that I liked were only available from the first of March meaning that I would have had to find accommodation for one month elsewhere. The office is English speaking and once I had let them know of my requirements and budget they were able to show me a few flats online with pictures and then I chose a couple to go and view in person.
My main requirement for my flat was to be within a 10-minute walk of my university building (lettere – morlacchi) and to have a max spending of 300€ per month including bills which I was able to achieve with the studio flat I’m now in.
The one downside to Perugia Student Living is that they charge an agency fee, mine worked out to be 140€ which is annoying however it is also nice to know I have a little bit of security if I’m unable to contact my landlord for any reason.

The studio that I live in is just off Via della Viola, just down from the square with Meta and Coop on. It was advertised for 250€ + bills per month but I got it in the end for 230€ + bills. I would always suggest asking if they can do the rent for cheaper as I’ve been told it is common here. My studio is fairly modern and has what I think is the best bathroom of any flat here in Perugia.
My landlord can’t speak any English so it’s a good practice for me every month when she comes round to collect rent and bills. For bills, we are given a copy of how much we have used for gas, electricity and water and then the monthly fee for the bins and Wi-Fi.
I think my studio flat used to be a 4-bed flat and it has been converted into 2 studios and a 2 bed as I split the bills with 2 south American girls and 1 Chinese boy. The only downside to my flat is that the Wi-Fi router, heating controls and the washing machine are all in the 2-bed flat with the girls. So, if I need to wash anything or the Wi-Fi goes off I have to message and wait to see if I can get into the flat! I’ve not had any major problems yet though so hopefully it should all be okay! On the up side, the girls don’t speak English so its practice for my Spanish!

The Facebook groups to find accommodation in Perugia are:
– affetti studenti Perugia
– AFFITTI PERUGIA – Studenti/Lavoratori/famiglie/agenize
There may also be some offered on the Erasmus and UNIPG groups
– Universita’ degli Studi di Perugia UNIPG
– Erasmus Perugia 2016/2017 – Incoming students – ESN Official Group

Most people I know live in and around the city centre; many students live on Viola, Cartolari, Roscetto, Morlacchi, Priori, Garibaldi, Pinturrichio and around these areas. However, Elce is also the student area which is about a 20/30-minute walk from the city centre. I don’t know many people that live in Elce but I know you get more space and often a more modern flat for less money so it’s worth weighing up if you want to spend less but walk a lot further.

3. LOCAL TRANSPORT

3.1 WALKING

Getting used to it is your only option. Perugia is without a doubt one of the oldest places I’ve ever been. Think typically Italian in the 1500’s and you’ve got Perugia. Roads are uneven, thin, often without paths and roads aren’t wide enough to drive a car down (yet the Italians still do!!).
Perugia is also essentially the top of a hill, so each road is pretty steep, often so steep that the road has been turned into steps. Because of this, your only option whilst in the city centre is to walk but a positive is that I’m definitely fitter and have stronger legs now than when I arrived!
The general rule in Perugia is that if you’re ever lost, walk up and eventually you will get to the centre, Piazza Novembre, however some of the staircases and roads can be deceiving and what you thought was a shortcut has now taken you somewhere else! Near to my flat there are two roads right next to each other, going downhill in the same direction yet somehow one of then takes you underneath the other one. It took me a couple of times of getting lost to realise that they weren’t the same road and they led to different places!

Perugia is also small enough to walk everywhere, even the furthest places are a max 20-minute walk!

3.2 BUSES

Bus tickets can be bought from the Tobacco shops and are 1.50€ for a single or you can buy a 10-trip card that can be used on the buses and the MiniMetro for 12.90€ from any of the tobacco shops or also the MiniMetro stations. The machines can be switched to English which made the process a lot easier the first time I got one.
If you don’t pre-buy a ticket for the bus you can buy one from the driver for 2€.
The bus system here has routes and lines that are named by letter (A, B, C etc.), number (101, 102 etc.) or Z followed by a number (Z2, Z18 etc.). The confusing system pretty much reflects the little organisation and lack of straightforwardness of Italy! The only bus I have used since being here is the Q2 that goes to Collestrada, the ‘big’ shopping centre (think much much smaller than Broadmarsh…).

Google Maps has all the bus times on, so it’s also easy to pop in your destination and that will give you the locations of the bus stops, what bus it is and what time it comes.

The actual website is www.fsbusitalia.it you then need  to select Umbria > Servizi urbani, here you’ll find the options;
– Orari servizi urbani – The top PDF is Perugia which is a PDF of all the timetables of the buses in Perugia with all of the stops. Its 165 pages long so I’d suggest that you know what bus you need before going onto it. If you know what route you need, each of the routes have a hyperlink to take you to the correct page.
– …orari web accessibile… – Again the top option is Perugia, exactly the same as the above option yet you can click on the line that you want and get direct access to the timetable without scrolling.
– Tariffe – Explains the prices of the public transport in Perugia. There are also options of unlimited travel for month, trimestrale and year travel.
– Punti vendita – Basically information on the locations where you can buy tickets
– Mappe dei servizi – through the Perugia PDF link there is the map of Perugia with all the public transport in Perugia, it’s confusing but has all the info on.

The buses in Perugia are either normal single decker buses, coaches or mini vans which I think are just for the Z+number lines but I’m not 100% sure. For the main single decker buses, you get on and there is a machine on the left, where you put the ticket in at the top, it then scans in and then spits it back out with the date and the time printed on the back. I’ve never been checked on the bus but I’ve heard that occasionally inspectors do get on.
During April 2017, they have just started the night bus service that runs from Fontivegge (main train station) to the city centre. It only runs 22:00-02:00 on Friday and Saturday nights but for Perugia that is a modern breakthrough! It’s called the GIMO 1 and GIMO 2.
It’s currently only a trial bus route but it will continue until at least 30 June 2017.

GIMO TIMETABLE

3.3 MINIMETRO (MM)

The MiniMetro in Perugia is the cheapest and quickest option to get to Fontivegge (the main train station) and Pian di Massimo (Piazzale Umbria Jazz – one of the Flixbus stops).
You can buy tickets for the MiniMetro at each of the 7 stops. Its 1.50€ for a single trip or 12.90€ for 10 trips. The 10-trip ticket can be used on buses and the MiniMetro, and each time you use it a countdown is printed on the back so you know how many you have left.

With the bus and the MiniMetro you have 70 minutes valid once you have scanned your ticket, so if you’re quick, it’s possible to get there and back on one trip.

The MiniMetro is essentially the weird shuttle train thing you get in Alton towers and other theme parks from the car park to the main site. It kind of looks like a mini rollercoaster and train hybrid.
The MiniMetro usually runs from 9:00-21:00 (I think) with the occasional day it runs to midnight.

3.4 TAXI

I’ve only used a taxi once here when I arrived back in Perugia from Las Fallas in Valencia at 3 am. The only option was to get a taxi from the last MiniMetro stop to the city centre and it cost 20€. I shared the taxi with another Spanish Erasmus student here but taxis here are expensive.
I’ve been told that taxis from Fontivegge to the city centre cost around 10-15€.
I have internet here and there is an app called ‘it Taxi’, I think it works all over Italy. In some places, such as Perugia, it just gives you the taxi number to call and in other places such as Firenze (Florence) now, it’s acting a little bit like Uber. If you have internet whilst you’re in Italy I think it’s a pretty useful app to have!

4. LONG DISTANCE TRANSPORT

4.1 COACH

The Flixbus app has become probably my most used app. It’s cheaper and faster to get to Rome by Flixbus than by train and the bus also has Wi-Fi and power outlets so for me it’s definitely comfier too! You can also buy all of the tickets in GBP so you don’t have to pay the Euro to GBP conversion fee from your home bank!
Some of the tickets I have bought from Flixbus are; –
– Perugia – Rome £4.50 (£4.50 is the cheapest but normal is around £8/9 compared to the train which is 12-15€)
– Perugia – Siena & Siena – Perugia £10.90 each way
– Perugia – Florence £5.90
– Perugia – Naples £13.90 each way

There is also another bus company called Sulga (I think) that has a direct route from Perugia to Rome Fiumicino and you can get 25% off every ticket with your ESN card (the details are online www.esncard.org ). I’m not 100% sure how to buy a ticket but I’m sure there is information online.

4.2 TRAIN

TRENITALIA is the website to buy train tickets in Italy. You can change the website to English which is useful and the train tickets are quite well priced. It’s worth checking everyday though as when I first looked at train tickets for Milan they were about 40€ each way and then after a few days of looking I found some for 12€ and 18€ each way!
When you buy tickets online you get an email with your ticket attached as a PDF which has a barcode on it which the ticket inspector scans. I have read online that some trains you need to scan your own but I’m not too sure how that works.

Trenitalia also has an app which is useful to check train times etc., however you need to have an account to buy tickets on the app whereas online you can skip that option.

If you buy a physical ticket at the station through a machine or the office, you need to validate it on the platform using the little green machine, all you need to do is put the ticket in and it prints the time and date on it.
I think you can be quite heavily fined if you don’t validate it but I’ve heard if you forget and go and find the ticket officer on the train and ask then it’s all okay.

If you have to change train, usually there is a board on each platform that has every train scheduled and the platform that the train will come into. Any changes will be announced over the speakers too.

4.3 BLABLACAR

I haven’t used BlaBlaCar here in Italy but I did in Spain and I know it’s an option here in Italy but trains and coaches are cheap enough not to have used it as an option.

On my blog post for Spain I wrote “They’re really easy to book and all you need to do is head to the BLABLACAR WEBSITE and make an account, you’re then able to book a car. Once booked you get the drivers mobile number and you are able to contact them (usually by WhatsApp) to confirm the meet up and drop off points as well as the time of departure.
Once the journey has ended, you give the driver the code you received in your confirmation of booking text and you’re all done. If anything, it’s also an amazing way to practice your Spanish as you’re stuck in a car with someone for an extended period of time!” In this case, it would be a good opportunity to practice your Italian! I have a heard of a few horror stories in Spain where cars broke down etc. however I’ve not actually heard of anyone using one here! I have looked online though, as getting from Perugia to Venice is extortionate and takes forever!

4.4 FLIGHTS

PERUGIA to and from STANSTED, there are Ryanair flights directly from Perugia to London which can be as cheap as 16€!! However, Perugia airport to Perugia centre can be a bit of a pain to get to. It’s 30€ I a taxi or there is one bus to the airport and one bus from each day (doesn’t seem a lot but Perugia airport has about 1 flight in and out a day and its smaller than most bus stops in England!)

The best option is Rome, getting a coach to Rome Tiburtina and then metro to Termini or a train to Rome Termini and then coach for 5/6€ to Ciampino or train or coach to Fiumicino.
I haven’t been back to England this semester and I don’t have any plans to but my parents have visited me and I have flown from Ciampino to Valencia to visit everyone from first semester.  

5. PHONE CONTRACTS & PHONES

I changed my UK phone contract to include Unlimited EU Calls + Texts, alongside EU & UK Internet, although it is pricier than buying a rolling local SIM only contract here, I am able to continue with my contact at home, keeping my number and I was also able to get my upgrade at Christmas. I know people here have got Italian numbers and there are many phone company shops dotted around Piazza Novembre (TIM, 3 etc.), I have seen some advertisements outside the shops such as 80 mins, 80 texts and 8 gb for 12€ a month but I’m not sure how you’d go about getting one. I’m assuming that you’d need a Codice Fiscale though, which is explained further on.

6. INTERNATIONAL MOBILITY OFFICE & ERASMUS CO-ORDINATOR/MOBILITY OFFICER AT UNIPG

To get to the international mobility office you want to go into Piazza Univerista’ and walk towards the main university office buildings, just before you go in there should be a staircase outside on the left, go down there and turn right at the bottom on the staircase, there’s another staircase and go down there, turn right at the bottom, and the building that is currently on your right is the right place. There should be a white door on your right which has the international student mobility offices. There’s also arrows all over the courtyard directing you which way to go.
Once you’re inside the building, turn right and the last office on your right should have the head of international mobility in there.

Alessandra Tunno – International Student Mobility Office
TUNNO Alessandra
Qualifica: Personale Tecnico Amministrativo
Area: Amministrativa
Telefono: 0755855173
Fax: 0755852352
Email: alessandra.tunno@unipg.it
Struttura: Ufficio mobilità studenti, Area relazioni internazionali, Direzione generale

Sonia Trinari – Head of International Relations Area
Università degli Studi di Perugia
Piazza dell’Università n. 1
06123 Perugia (Italia)
Tel.: +39 075 585 2106
Fax: +39 075 585 2352
Email: servizio.incoming@unipg.it


 

7. WHERE TO GET LEARNING AGREEMENT SIGNED

Head into Piazza Morlacchi and then go left just past the library, follow the road around to the right and then in the little piazza on the left will be a UNIPG building, second floor is Annalisa Volpone’s office.
Bear in mind that she only has office hours for 2 hours each week. I went when it opened at 10.30 and I sat there for over an hour and a half before it was my turn!

Annalisa Volpone
VOLPONE Annalisa
Telefono: 0755854812
Fax: 0755854822
Email: annalisa.volpone@unipg.it
Ricevimento studente – Orario: Il ricevimento riprenderà giovedì 12.01.17 dalle 10.30 alle 12.30 e proseguirà per tutto il secondo semestre secondo il seguente orario
giovedì 10.30-12.30
Sede: via degli Offici, 14, Primo Piano, Stanza 10

When I had been accepted to UNIPG my learning agreement was signed and returned to me from Annalisa Volpone, however I don’t think that they actually look at it because all of my modules clashed and one wasn’t offered this year meaning her signature was pretty much useless and I had to start again.
To find the available modules I went onto http://www.lettere.unipg.it/didattica/calendari and selected the PDF ‘Calendario Lezioni Lauree Magistrali II semestre A.A. 2016-2017 (pdf)’ this gave me all of the modules offered by the faculty and the times and locations.
If you can’t find it online, it’s also printed and displayed in the faculty.

I haven’t yet worked out how to fully enrol. I have been told I have completed it and I think here you just turn up to lectures and then enrol for the exams.

UPDATE: Turns out I am fully enrolled, who knew?? The organisation at UNIPG doesn’t suit me that well but I’m getting used to it. We’re currently on Easter break (Thursday-Wednesday… why would you have a week break that includes the weekends???) however it’s nothing like the UK. Some lecturers are just having the set time off whilst others are having 2 weeks, some took off a little bit of time before and others take some time after instead. If the lecturers wrote down their holiday time somewhere, that would be great but instead they mention it as everyone is rushing to leave the end of the lecture so all I managed to get was the dates, but I couldn’t work out if we would have a class or not. So again, emailing is the way forward (that’s if you’ll ever get a reply!!).

8. UNIPG Student Online Platform – Moodle

The other thing I have finally worked out (it’s only taken me 2 and a half months) is my student login for their online learning platform Moodle. After going to the International Mobility Office and sending a couple of emails all to get the same reply of ‘we will email it to you soon’.
It turns out that we received an email with our login details at the beginning of our mobility period! So, it was sorted quite quickly. The main thing I’ve learnt from Erasmus is that other Erasmus students will be able to answer your questions so so so much better than anyone else!

Unlike NTU and in Valencia, your online learning platform is empty when you first log in. Even though you have enrolled at the university and you have completed and submitted your learning agreement. This information is not passed onto the lecturers and courses. I’m not sure how its controlled because inevitably there must be at least one instance where a very large number of people have turned up to a class on that first day.
For Erasmus students. You turn up to the class and write your name at the bottom of the register. They WILL call you out mid lecture and ask where you’re from etc. but it isn’t that bad.

As for the online learning platform, you have to search the course name and click ‘enrol’ this will allow you access to the online course information once the lecturer has accepted your request to be enrolled.
Depending on what modules you have chosen, you will have an insane amount of information online for some modules and absolutely nothing for others. For some of my modules before I found the login in for the online platform I went to talk to the lecturers in their offices. Both Spanish Language and Spanish Literature couldn’t have been more helpful! Both asked me to being a USB and transferred straight from their laptops onto my USB so I wasn’t missing anything. In fact, for Spanish language I think I have more materials than the other students now!
It’s the complete opposite for Contemporary History, the site is completely bare and the lecturer has said in class that he does not use it at all. The most frustrating thing is that even when I attend the lectures, he reads from a text book at the front. The majority of the Italian students write down his dictation and then they revise from these notes. However, my Italian is nowhere near good enough for that so I can either listen and try to understand and jot down the occasional note. Or attempt to write down his dictation and then end up with no notes at all.

Moodle is the main online student platform I think for most universities so it’s very straightforward and easy to use, you also have the option to change the navigation to English so you can easily get to where you need to be.

9. GETTING STUFF PHOTOCOPIED OR PRINTED

During my first semester in Valencia, I realised how many things I should have printed but I had forgotten about.
The university does have printers and computers to use but I have no idea where they are or how to use them… (I’m assuming the library but I haven’t ventured in there yet!)

However, along Via Pinturicchio there are loads and loads of places to photocopy and print. The best one I have found is on the left of the road (if you’re coming from Stranieri way) and it’s just past the chocolate shop on the corner. They also have a stationary shop in there too in case you need to buy folders, paper etc.
It’s also a good place to buy birthday cards as they seem to have more options than the tobacco shops.

They have the option of printing in black and white and also in colour and it’s the cheapest one I have found here (I printed around 30-40 pages and it was less than 0.80€).
Copyright laws don’t seem to be followed her in Perugia as if your friend has a textbook you can often get it photocopied, printed and bound for a fraction of the price of the actual book.

I made a checklist of things to print and bring before going to Spain and I updated it whilst in Spain;-
– Passport photos
– Copies of passport
– A copy of the year abroad insurance
– Learning agreement (and copies, in case you have to keep changing modules because they’re ALL full!)
– Copy of the results from the OLS Language Test (in case you need to prove your level of language, I also originally wanted to get a job out here but I’ve changed my mind since arriving. It was also useful when arriving in Italy as through the test for the CLA course, I was placed in A2 yet wanted to study the B1 course, through the OLS exam, I was able to prove that I had studied a higher level and therefore the class wouldn’t be too advanced for me)
– Erasmus Grant Form copy (and acceptance or entitlement, not too sure if we actually receive it)
– Acceptance to UNIPG (If you actually receive one… all I got was an email with the subject saying I had been accepted)
– Copy of my birth certificate (I read online that someone on their year abroad had been asked for it, but I don’t think it’s necessary and I haven’t needed it!)
– Copy of my driving licence
– A document of all my important information and details (DOB, my NHS number, my student finance number, doctors details in the UK, home address and contact details for my parents – I know this one seems extreme and a bit OCD but I know someone in Valencia who had everything stolen from a hostel as soon as she arrived, to have this document available online, on your phone or even in person would be amazing in an awful situation!)
– A document of important contacts at NTU (YA Coordinator, Rachel, Gianluca and Phillip for the blog)
– Copies of the Codice Fiscale form
– Copies of the end of semester forms to say you have attempted the exams.

10. ERASMUS GROUPS IN PERUGIA

Name: ESN Perugia
Address:
Piazza del Melo, Perugia
Website: http://www.esnperugia.it / www.esncard.org
Email: perugia@esn.it / perugiaerasmusproject@gmail.com
Facebook: Erasmus Student Network Perugia / PEP Perugia
Opening Times/ Office Hours:

Tuesday 18:00-20:00 and Thursday 18:00-20:00
What do they do:
The only Erasmus Group here in Perugia. They organise nights out and day trips and longer trips and discounts in shops etc. It’s 10€ for the card at the beginning but with the discounts you earn that back pretty quickly (i.e. 2×5€ off Flixbus vouchers per term!)
Giovanni Muratore – President
Alessandro Bianchi – Vice President
Marco Bagnato – Treasurer
Laura Folcolini – Secretary
Gianfranco Procopio – Local Representative
Elena Discorso – Advisor

I have been on the Erasmus day trip to Terme di Saturnia and Orvieto which I think was reasonably priced however I think that the longer tips are a little too expensive! Instead I have been planning and going on my own trips which have been cheaper if not half the price of the ESN ones.

There is also a Facebook group called ‘conversazioni in lingua italiana per stranieri 2.0’ run by Alessandro. They meet up every Monday 21-22.30 in all’Ostello Della Gioventu’ in Via Bontempi, 13 to have casual conversation in Italian and it’s free. Alessandro also organises day trips and puts them on the group so it’s worth being a part of the group on Facebook.

11. SHOPPING

11.1 CLOTHES SHOPPING

Clothes shopping in Perugia isn’t great (I would say dreadful but that seems a bit extreme…) Perugia City Centre has a couple of okay shops (Scout, Subdued, Brandy Melville and Kiko and that’s about it!!) If you want to get out of Perugia and find a shopping centre the closest and easiest to get to is Collestrada with the Q2 bus from Porta Pesa. Not the biggest shopping centre but it does have a massive supermarket, Zara, H&M, Pull & Bear, Bershka and a few others so it’s good if you need a couple of new bit for your wardrobe.

I wouldn’t suggest online shopping but I have heard that a few people have done it here. The postal system here is shocking and there’s no guarantee it will ever arrive!

The one thing I have done is shopped when I have visited other cities such as Naples and Florence as they have many shops in their city centres.

11.2 FOOD SHOPPING & SUPERMARKETS

Within the city centre there aren’t any supermarkets. There is a Coop and Meta’ in Piazza Mateotti but they are tiny, kind of like a Tesco express in England and they are really really expensive. All food in Perugia is a lot more expensive than Spain which I got used to during first semester so I’ve been eating basically a meat free diet here as meat is the most expensive thing!

There is a larger Meta’ towards Elce which I’ve been to once but I didn’t think it was any better than the smaller one in the city centre.

There’s a bigger supermarket called EMI past Porta Pesa and just past the old hospital. It’s about a 15-20-minute walk from Piazza Novembre. The food is cheaper than in the smaller supermarkets. If you go just before they’re closing, sometimes they have a few things that are heavily discounted that you can get and freeze. This is mainly the only time I buy meat.

The best supermarket for me here is Lidl, which you can get to directly by bus or it’s a 10-minute walk from Fontivegge if you use the MiniMetro. It’s by far the cheapest and they have the most choice.

There is a big Coop at the train station that sells a lot more choice than the smaller ones. It also has a Chinese bazaar shop for home items next to it.

There’s a Chinese shop and a Bangladeshi shop on Corso Garibaldi which has a few things that aren’t normal in Italian culture. And there’s also a Chinese supermarket on the walk from Fontivegge to Lidl that has things like curry paste, rice noodles and some Chinese vegetables.

On Wednesdays, there is a food market in Piazza Mateotti and I’ve heard there’s a food market in Mercato Coperto but I’ve never been.

11.3 GENERAL STUFF FOR YOUR FLAT

When I arrived here in Perugia, my studio flat was missing a couple of things and I found that the best place to get home stuff was from the Chinese run shops around the city. There is one at the bottom of Corso Garibaldi where I bought a full-length mirror for 15€. They also sell lots of kitchen stuff (pots, pans etc.). There is a very similar yet smaller shop at Porta Pesa and the Chinese supermarket on the walk from Fontivegge to Lidl also sells home items. Along with the one next to the big Coop at the train station.
They all sell pretty much the same thing though, so it doesn’t matter which one you go to.

The big EMI supermarket near to the old hospital has a home section with pots and pans etc. but it is the cheapest place to by a clothes airer. Which was 8€ for a really really big one.

12. POSTE – POST OFFICE

The main post office is in Piazza Giacomo Matteotti (with the little coop and meta). Once you head in there is a machine on the left where you can select what you want and then you just wait until your number is called. They will then ask you a lot of questions about how you want it sent, I usually just ask for the cheapest as it is all fairly pricey anyway (I think I paid around 5€ for a couple of postcards and letters)
However, I wouldn’t recommend using the postal system here in Italy at all as it is dreadful! A letter takes 3-6 weeks to arrive back in England and post to Italy has taken a minimum of 7 weeks if it does arrive (I have been waiting for a letter from the UK for nearly 3 months and it’s not yet arrived…!)

Sending post to the UK is also quite expensive but I’ve heard it’s cheaper if you buy stamps from the tobacco shops instead of going into the post office.

13. CODICE FISCALE

This was surprisingly the most easy and straight forward thing to do and I completed it within the first week of arriving in Italy. However, within 2-3 weeks of getting your Codice Fiscale you’re meant to receive a plastic codice fiscale card in the post. Surprisingly that hasn’t arrived but I think the printed copy they give you when you first get one is okay to use for setting up a phone contract or Wi-Fi at home. If you smoke you need a codice fiscale to use the cigarette machines after the shops have closed, however I do know that many people just ask Italians as they pass to use their cards instead so I don’t think it would be much of a problem.

You don’t need to make an appointment to get your codice fiscale. Instead you just have to print the relevant forms and take them with you to the Agenzia delle Entrate.
AGENZIA DELLE ENTRATE, VIA LUIGI CANALI, 12, 06124, PERUGIA.
OPENING HOURS:
Monday: 8:30-13:00
Tuesday: 8:30-13:00, 14:30-17:00
Wednesday: 8:30-13:00
Thursday: 8:30-13:00, 14:30-17:00
Friday: 8:30-13:00
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

They tell you that you have to have a codice fiscale to rent a flat, get a sim card and get an internet contract. It might be true for the internet and sim but for renting a flat I don’t think it is necessary.
A codice fiscale is the Italian equivalent of our national insurance number in the UK or the NIE in Spain.

If you google “APPLICATION FOR A TAX CODE, NOTIFICATION OF CHANGE OF DETAILS AND REQUESTS FOR A TAX CODE CARD/DUPLICATE OF THE NATIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM CARD” the first link is the form you need. I would have attached the form on here but you have to pay to add documents to a WordPress account.

I looked at the opening hours and the address of the agenzia delle entrate and made my way on the MiniMetro, it’s a five-minute walk from Fontivegge. I took with me 2 of the necessary forms but left them blank as I read somewhere online that you have to fill them in in front of someone at the office. That turned out to be false. I also took with me my passport and 2 copies of the photo page and my contract for my accommodation to prove where I lived.
When I arrived at the office after getting lost on the outside staircase and then in the car park I eventually made it to the waiting room where you get a number from the receptionist and wait for your number to be called. You have to go up the outside spiral staircase near the entrance to the site to the top level of the car park and then go to the left side of the building where there is an entrance. There they have all the offices listed on the wall and I think I went up another level inside to get to the office.
I found a ‘help sheet’ online which was meant to make the form easier to fill in but instead it confused me even more, so while I waited for my number to be called, I asked the receptionist for some help. This basically consisted of me giving him my passport and flat contract and him filling the form out for me and then him asking me to sign. So, all in all. Pretty easy!

When my number was called, I headed for the desk, handed over my forms and the lady asked me a couple of questions about where I was living and why I was in Perugia. She then printed a piece of paper with my codice fiscale on it, stamped it and signed it and that was it!

UPDATE: just found this link online with the form and the help sheet http://www.agenziaentrate.gov.it/wps/content/nsilib/nsi/strumenti/modelli/modelli+in+altre+lingue/forms/aa48+inglese

14. UNIVERSITA’ DEGLI STUDI DI PERUGIA – MODULES

Here at UNIPG I’m taking the following modules;
STORIA CONTEMPORANEA
LINGUA SPAGNOLA III
LETTERATURA SPAGNOLA I
B1 ITALIANO – CLA

Not a single one of the modules above is the same as the modules I originally chose and put on my learning agreement. So, if I could choice again, I probably wouldn’t be taking history nor literature. However, when I arrived here at UNIPG, 80% of the modules were all at the same time and on the same days, so once you had chosen one you couldn’t take the majority of the rest of the courses. Annoying but not the end of the world! Before starting at UV and UNIPG I wanted all my modules to somehow link or at least be useful for my final year at NTU, in Valencia this was possible however here at UNIPG only Italian language I think is useful for my final year studies.

14.1 STORIA CONTEMPORANEA

3rd Year Module.
Without a doubt the most difficult and my most disliked module here at UNIPG. The lecturer reads from a book for 2 straight hours, 3 times a week and the Italian students write down every word he says. I just can’t follow the dictation nor understand much of what he says so ultimately I end up writing down a year followed by a question mark. at least I got something…
I usually feel pretty happy with myself if I leave the 2-hour lecture with the rough dates and the country we were talking about, as that means I can study at home and have a basic grasp on what is going on in the module. However, the most frustrating part is that he doesn’t use the online student platform at all. It’s just a blank page with the module name at the top. This basically means that all students are forced to pay 25€ each for two books for a 4-month module. I think if I was an Italian student and this counted towards my final degree, I would purchase these books however I kind of feel that it’s a waste of money for a module that ultimately I don’t need to pass.

The exam for this subject along with all my others is oral. Meaning you have a slot within a whole day and you have a conversation with the lecturer (depending on the subject and teacher it will range from 10 to 30 minutes). I’m a little bit worried about these exams as there is a lot of information to know and the lecturer can ask you anything!

14.2 LINGUA SPAGNOLA III

3rd Year Module.
Bit of an odd module as it wasn’t as I’d expected it to be. I hadn’t realised that alongside this module, Italian students are required to take the B2 Spanish course at CLA. So this module is on Spanish language, however its more the development of the language, the old Spanish languages and influences alongside a little bit of phonetics and phonology.
Some of the topics we have covered are: –
– La romanización de la península
– Lenguas de superestrato; el elemento germánico y el elemento árabe
– Evolución interna del español
– El español primitivo (siglos IX-XI)
– El español medieval
– El español como lengua de un nuevo reino
– Los Siglos de Oro
– El español moderno
– Las lenguas de especialidad

It is an interesting module and I am glad I am studying here at UNIPG, however I don’t think I would have chosen it so quickly had I known it wasn’t just Spanish language and grammar. As Spanish Language is a compulsory module whilst I’m studying here in UNIPG. I would suggest instead to study C1/C2 Spanish at CLA instead of this module as often we have texts in old Spanish that look like a mix of all European languages thrown together. On occasion, I have found it difficult to keep up with the old texts. However, the level of Spanish that the Italian students have is B2 so often they can become lost in the lectures as they are delivered in Spanish. After my first semester in Spain, my Spanish has improved enough that I’ve not yet got lost in a lecture because of my understanding.

This also has an oral exam.

14.3 LETTERATURA SPAGNOLA I

1st Year Module.
This was the final module that I chose to fit into my timetable and by this point I had barely any options to choose from. I had to ask Gianluca if it was okay for me to take both Spanish Language and Spanish Literature, he wasn’t best pleased but at the time I thought this module was delivered in Spanish (…that’s what it said online when I first chose it!) The module is in fact delivered in Italian and it’s very hard to follow. We must read texts in Spanish for homework, which are then discussed in class, but the students can read them in Italian instead, which is even more confusing that the lecturer reads out the extract in Spanish in class for them to discuss.
I have been told by the lecturer that I will be able to take the exam in either Spanish or Italian but who knows what’s going to happen as the rest of the class is taking it in Italian and I’m not sure any of them can speak Spanish.

The one good thing about the module is that I can read Spanish literature that may be useful in final year whilst improving my Italian, although I do spend most the class not having a clue what is going on because I’ve read the texts in Spanish rather than Italian. Occasionally for homework I have to translate some texts from the books between Spanish and Italian which is good practice for final year however so so so so confusing!

The other part of the module is about styles, themes etc. of each period in history (il settecento, ottocento, novecento etc.). I can see how some of it relates however other parts are very strange such as one class where we discussed paintings rather than literature.

14.4 LINGUA ITALIANA – CLA – CORSO B1

Only for Erasmus Students.
I was placed in the B1 class after my exam when I arrived in Italy. It is a really good way to cement knowledge and grammar that we already possess from the first couple of years at NTU and from my first semester at UV. Sometimes I don’t think it is pushing me enough which can be frustrating but other times grammar is explained so well that I do feel that I am improving.
Chiara, the teacher of the CLA course is probably the reason I continue to attend each week, mainly because any question I do have she will go out of her way to explain it etc.

We had to buy the course book for the CLA course which I think was 25-30€, however after a little bit of looking online, I found a free photocopied version which although isn’t the greatest on some pages, it saved pretty much half the class spending 30€.

 

 


 

15. ITALIAN CLASSES AND OPPORTUNITIES

15.1 CLA – FREE ITALIAN LESSONS

Before the start of semester 2, CLA (Centro Linguistico d’Ateneo) offered an Italian course for Erasmus students, it ran from the 1st-21st February for 3 hours each week day, I was enrolled on the A2 class that ran 10-1 every day. The CLA is a 15-minute walk from the city centre. They offered 3 classes; A1 for absolute beginners, A2 and then B1, I did want to be enrolled into the B1 class however I was told that it was B1 and up, so there were students that ranged from B1-C1 which I thought may be a little bit too advanced for me.
The address for the CLA is Via Enrico dal Pozzo, 06126 Perugia.
Once the course has been completed there is a test and an oral and you will be given a certificate at the UNIPG International Mobility Welcome Meeting.
The course also runs at the beginning of semester one and also throughout the semesters. The courses that are the beginning of September and February are solely for Erasmus students and are a ‘fast track’ course offering 3 weeks of 15 hours per week.
The courses that take part during the semester are 4 hours per week and last until the end of the semester. At the end of the semester you will take an exam consisting of a written and an oral and then you will get a certificate.

15.2 ESN LESSONS

ESN also offer an Italian course that is fairly cheap. I know a few people that do it or have done it and say it’s more helpful than the CLA courses as its run by students and you learn useful information for everyday life as a student in Italy.
At the ESN Welcome Week, on their website and also on Facebook they offer these lessons at the beginning of the semester so just keep a look out.

15.3 CAFÉ PINTURICCHIO

Every Tuesday at Café Pinturicchio there is ‘International Tandem’, where from 9 p.m., you can go in and get a drink and a sticker with the flag of your home country. It’s a very casual tandem where it mostly involves you having language exchanges of your own accord however there is usually a fair few Italians there where you can practice. It does often turn into everyone speaking English but I think if you made the effort to only speak Italian it would really work!


 

16. THE EXAM SYSTEM

I’LL UPDATE THIS WHEN I HAVE TAKEN MY EXAMS…

What I know so far is that 1-2 weeks before the exam date, students have to sign up for a slot online through the unistudium system, however I’ve heard that Erasmus students are unable to access this page and instead we have to email each lecturer instead to be assigned a slot.
I know that all of my exams will be oral exams and they will all last between 10-30 minutes.


 

17. MENSA CARD AND CANTEEN

The MENSA card is pretty much a lifesaver here in Perugia. Supermarkets are overpriced and have little choice and there’s only so many times you can go out and have a 3.50€ takeaway pizza from Bolle before you start to think that your life without pizza may be a better one!

The MENSA is open for lunch (12-2) and dinner (7-9) every day except Sundays. For 2€ you can get yourself a big bowl of pasta, side of veg, bread, a piece of fruit and unlimited drink!
There are also other combinations such as a starter, main, meat and the rest for more money, but it’s all written down in the canteen.

The Mensa is the university canteen but unlike England where its run by the university itself. ADISU runs the university canteens and halls of accommodation.
To access the Mensa, you need a Mensa card which you can get from the ADISU office on Corso Garibaldi.

To get to the ADISU Office to obtain a MENSA Card:

  • Walk up Corso Garibaldi (right near Grimani – Università’ per Stranieri)
  • Walk about 300 m up the hill and take a left onto VIA BENEDETTA, it will curve around to the right and there will be an entrance on your left with glass doors, that’s the ADISU building.
  • In the corridor, there is a room to the right where there’s a machine to get your number
  • When your number is called, come back out of the waiting room and continue further along the corridor where on you left there is a mini corridor to get to all the desks.
  • The card costs 2€ and they will take a photo of you to put on your card which will be printed and give to you on the spot.

The address for the ADISU Office is: AGENZIA PER IL DIRITTO ALLO STUDIO UNIVERSITARIO DELL’UMBRIA (ADISU), VIA BENEDETTA, 14, 06123, PERUGIA, ITALY.

The opening hours of the office to obtain a Mensa card;
– Monday 09:00-13:00
– Tuesday 09:00-13:00 / 15:00-17:30
– Wednesday 09:00-13:00
– Thursday 09:00-13:00 / 15:00-17:30
– Friday 09:00-13:00

Every time you eat in the Mensa, your card will be swiped as there are different prices that different bands of students have to pay (some get it for free, some have to pay up to 5/6€). The first time I ate in the Mensa my card didn’t work, they let me have the meal for 2€ as I was clearly an Erasmus student however I had to go back to the office to get a new card.

There are 3 canteens but I’ve only ever been to one. The one I go to is the main one and the biggest and it’s just down the steps from Grimani. (It’s also where 100dieci is)
ADISU – MENSA CENTRALE – PASCOLI 23
Via Alessandro Pascoli, 23, 06123, Perugia, Italy

Depending on when you go, it can be chaotic. I’ve been for lunch and it was crazy, the queue was through the canteen, down the stairs and out of the main door! It does move pretty quickly, but it can be hard to find somewhere to sit once you have your food. For dinner, it usually much calmer, we went at 7 p.m. and sat, ate and talked until it closed around 9/9.30.
It is busier at lunch times because unlike English university, Italians usually live at home with their parents and commute to uni. Often they live within the region but it still can be a drive away. Meaning they have lunch at university and then head home to eat with their family for dinner.

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