Saturday, 12 October 2013

My first month in Rome

Ok so this is my first blog post and i am afraid it is one month into my trip to Rome but it has been such a busy and crazy month that i have not got round to doing one yet. Excuse please the poor and uninteresting lay out of my blog. I am not sure really how to use this site, but i am sure i can work it out along the way. I don't really know where to begin as the past month has been such an exciting but emotional roller coaster  I could never describe in detail everything that has happened so i will just give you snippets of my first month. So me and Liv flew out here on 11th September and arrived in Rome during the evening. While we looked for an apartment we stayed in two hostels. The first was very nice, clean, spacious and safe. It was near Termini which is not a great area but it was a useful location. On arrival we were greeted by an extremely creepy guy, but he turned out to be actually very helpful and kind to us. We just had to try and ignore his inappropriate jokes and strange looks. Looking for a apartment was extremely stressful and difficult. I expected this as we had been given absolutely no help from the university with accommodation - all they told us was that Rome was one of the hardest places in Europe to find somewhere to live - brilliant.  We spent most of our first 4 days on the internet in the hostel and visited sites at night to keep us sane. We struggled massively due to two reasons. One, many people lied about the location of the apartments they were trying to rent and also Italians do not email. So this meant that we wasted a lot of time being interested in apartments that were in completely the wrong location and also we had to attempt to speak with Italians on the phone. It was difficult to understand we managed eventually. We finally found an apartment that we loved 5 days in to our search. There was one small problem though, we could not move in until 30th September. This was the worst possible news and at this point i was ready to get on a plane home. The landlady offered us accommodation in a room they had in their apartment block which was very kind of them to offer until they expected 40 euro a night as well! So we had the choice of either paying for another 2 weeks in a hostel which was an unthinkable amount of money, staying in basically a cupboard which had barely any daylight and no wifi, for again an unthinkable amount of money or continue the search for another apartment. However we were rescued by Kelly and Roy , family friends. They let us stay in their beautiful apartment for two weeks until we could move in. We stayed two nights in a horrendous hostel (it was dark, dirty and our room had no safe) and then went to stay with them. I have never been so grateful in my life. Not only did they save us a lot of money each but we also could have the apartment that we loved. Their apartment in is a lovely area of Rome. We had our own rooms each and could watch english television! I do not know what kind of state i would have been in if they had not come to our rescue. During the two weeks we stayed there did a lot of relaxing. We sunbathed quite a bit, went to the British embassy pool which was wonderful as the weather at this point was around 30 every day. We met our future house mates which was great and it was nice being able to practise our Italian. We then thought that it was probably a good idea to visit the university but we had had no communication at all with them. No emails, nothing. But we realised very quickly that this was a reflection of university in general. They don't really care about Erasmus students. We had to find all information ourselves and most of it we found on facebook (if you didn't have facebook i don't know what you would do). Administration here is so poor. We needed the university stamp on a form and this took 2 and a half hours. Our 'welcome meeting' was more about drinking erasmus events than anything else. We didn't get told any course information and teachers here do not do 'office hours'. Our erasmus coordinator's office hours are 1 hour 2 days a week ' not helpful. We moved in to our apartment on 1st October. I was actually very sad to be leaving Kelly and Roy as they had looked after us so well. But i was very excited to move in and feel more settled. So we have been in our apartment now nearly two weeks. It is a very nice apartment in Piazza Bologna which is a student area on metro line B. My room is very, very big, probably too big but we visited Ikea so it  feels now a bit more homely. We have been attempting university but it is a lot different to England. You don't sign up to any courses only the exams so i have yet to start properly as up until now we have just been going to any courses we want to see if we like them. But my method of choosing my course is based on how nice the teacher is how well i can understand them or not. I went to a literature class yesterday and i understood absolutely nothing the man said - and that is not an exaggeration. We have been on a lot of fun nights out, to bars, piazzas and clubs with other Erasmus students and Roberta, our house mate  and her friends. Last weekend we went to a Wine festival in Marino which was very fun but not classy like it sounds! lots of very cheap good wine. So there it is, i tried to be concise but there is really too much to tell! But from now on i will try post more frequently so i can give a more detailed description of everything that happens. Hope you like the photos!  

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