Exchange in Padova

Field of study in Wageningen:  International land and water management
Study period exchange: 01/02/2019 until 01/08/2019
Country (exchange):  Italy
City (exchange):  Padova
University (exchange): Universita degli Studi di Padova
Faculty (exchange): Scuola di Agraria e Medicina Veterinaria

2. Motivation for exchange

Why did you choose to go on study exchange?

I did my thesis at the TESAF department at this university and afterwards I wanted to take some courses in Italy to see what it would be like to study abroad. I did this in preparation for a future MSc at this university.

3. Accessibility to reach destination

Do you have any tips to reach your exchange destination?

Personally, I only have experience traveling to this location by airplane. Any tips I can give are to look for plane tickets in advance (prices are usually lower) and to look at tickets going to Treviso or Marco Polo. These two are airports are located about an hour away (by bus) from Padova. The busses between Treviso and Marco Polo do not go early in the morning or at night, so this is something to take into account.

4.University and studying

Could you provide some general information about the followed courses?

How is the study formalized?

Most courses I followed consisted of lectures given by the teacher and some small student activities, such as presentations. However, the main way of teaching is by oral lectures that were not recorded. The academic level was similar or sometimes slightly lower than I experienced at the Wageningen University. Examination consisted of written exams and presentations, however, I do know that a lot of courses have an oral exam.

What is the culture of the university?

The culture of the university was not so different from that of Wageningen University, as I experienced. At the faculty where I studied, you could approach teachers with questions anytime and they were very friendly and helpful. Engagement with other students was nice, because the classes were very small and there were about 20 people each lesson, so it was easy to talk to others. Differences with WUR were not so many, except for maybe that at WUR, there was a bit more interaction in the class during lectures (not only in the break).

What does the university offer the student additionally?

The university offers catering for lunch. About other additional things I am not sure. I do know there are some student houses managed by the university but I do not have any experience with this.


What are the possibilities for housing?

You can sign up to live in a residence, which is where students live (probably similar to Campus Plaza at the Wageningen University campus). However, I did not do this. I looked for student houses on Facebook, which was very helpful. I found out that most students in Padova look for housing this way. Rent rates very much depend on where you live, as the centre of the city is very expensive, but the outer parts not so much. An average rent rate would probably be around 300-400 euro per month.

What is the culture of the country like?

There are some differences between Italian and Dutch culture, in my opinion. In the Netherlands, you can see that things (such as administration, lessons, etc.) are organized quite well, whereas in Italy some arrangements are made orally, which can lead to difficulties sometimes. However, if you know how to deal with this, it can actually work in your favour (for example, arranging an earlier exam with your professor if you cannot be there on the original date). Other than this, there are also some differences in social life, such as the restaurants and bars, where people can have dinner and drinks till late in the evening. I have found that some Italian people are very friendly and helpful, if you are kind to them as well. If you are not, it might be a little bit more difficult to achieve something you want. However, this is common sense and generally is also applicable in the Netherlands.

Could you give a general price indication of the place of residence compared to living in Wageningen?

I was lucky to find a student room outside of the city centre for a good price (a little bit less than I was paying in Wageningen), however, in general I would say that housing costs more than in Wageningen. As a reference: in Wageningen I was living at an Idealis house, where I paid a bit over 250 euro each month, whereas in Padova I only pay 160 euro. Like mentioned before though, I would say that an average rent rate is around 300-400 euro.

Could you give some information about public transport infrastructure?

Public transport is generally okay, however, the busses in the city do not ride early in the morning or at night! This is very important to take into account if you are going somewhere by public transport. It is not expensive, but you have to make sure you stamp your ticket when you are in the bus or train, or else you will receive a fine. To travel to university (my faculty was in Legnaro) I used to go by bus or bike.

6. Free time

What are must-sees in the area?

Must-sees for me where the lake of Garda (specifically Monte Baldo) and Venice. However, if you are planning to go to Venice I would strongly advice you to go outside of the holiday season, as the city is full of people at that time. There are many other nice places around Padova (including Chioggia) which are reachable by bus.

What does not appear in the travel guide, but is worth a visit?

What I found very nice was Navigli, which is a street next to the water with a lot of bars and music performances. You can find many students here at night. It is in Portello, a neighborhood with a lot of university faculties.

Do you have general tips and tricks about leisure time?

I would strongly recommend to join ESN, which is the Erasmus student association in Padova. They plan a lot of fun activities and trips to other cities which I enjoyed very much.

7.Challenges & best moment abroad

What was a challenge you have experienced?

To be honest, I did not experience many challenges when studying abroad. One reason could be because I was quite lucky with my housing and new friends. Another reason is that I have done my thesis here and this made me already familiar with the city and university.

What was your best memory abroad?

My best memory is actually still happening to this day, as I am starting a MSc at this university in October. I enjoyed my time here so much, that I have decided to study here for 2 more years. I have met some people that have inspired me to spent more time abroad.