Isa van Malenstein in Italy

Study period exchange: 26/09/2018 until 01/02/2019
Country (exchange): Italy
City (exchange):  Padova
University (exchange): Universita degli studi di Padova
Faculty (exchange): Economics and Political science

2. Motivation for exchange

Why did you choose to go on study exchange?

Ever since high school I wanted to know what it was like to study abroad. I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to do so.

What is the reason you chose for this country/university?

I have been to Italy many times before my exchange and I loved the ancient cities. I heard a lot of good stories about Padova and I liked the location of the city too. Besides, the university offered interesting courses that fit in my study program.

3. Accessibility to reach destination

Do you have any tips to reach your exchange destination?

Padova has a very good connection with other Italian cities. Within Italy, it is easy to get there by train or Flixbus.

4. University and studying

Could you provide some general information about the followed courses?

How is the study formalized?

Just like in Wageningen, we had lectures every week. But in Padova, the year is split in two semesters, so for me there was one examination period (the whole month of January) during which I took all my exams. The level of the courses were comparable to the ones I’ve had in Wageningen, but the exams were easier. We had a lot of group work, but there were no tutorials.

What is the culture of the university?

Padova has a big university and the courses I took, were followed by many students. This made the university a little bit less personal than the WUR is. The main part existed of local students, but there was not a lot of engagement between them and the international students.

What does the university offer the student additionally?

They offered the international students a free Italian Language course.


What are the possibilities for housing? 

You can find a room via the website SASSA, but there is a possibility that you get denied, like I did. So I found a private room on Facebook that I shared with two other girls. The rents are cheaper than in Wageningen, but since gas, water and electricity is not included, you pay more less the same in total.

What is the culture of the country like? 

There is a big appreciation for the local cuisine in Italy, which means that most of the supermarkets are limited to Italian products only. I felt that the public transfer and the traffic in general is more chaotic in Italy than in the Netherlands.

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

In Wageningen I pay 315€ a month, gas/water/electricity included, whereas in Italy I paid 280€ a month, with in addition more less 50€ a month for gas, water and electricity.

Could you give some information about public transport infrastructure? 

The public transfer in Italy is good, but not very punctual. Lots of trains and buses are always delayed. The taxis have more less the same prices as in the Netherlands. For the university it is easier to go by bike.

6. Free time

What are must-sees in the area?

The main building of the university of Padova, Prato della Valle, Venice, Verona, Ferrara, the Dolomites and Milan were really nice places to go and not too far away.

What does not appear in the travel guide, but is worth a visit?
Trieste was a really nice city quite near to Padova.


Do you have general tips and tricks about leisure time?

Especially during nice weather, there are lots of terraces outside. For going out, there are two clubs; the Factory and the Fish Market.

7.Challenges & best moment abroad

What was a challenge you have experienced?

One of my roommates and I had a lot of different opinions. I did not like to live with her for 5 months, but I survived.

What was your best memory abroad?

Drinking a Spritz in Venice with an Italian friend of mine in the late afternoon, watching the sun go down.

8. Contact details

Would you like to ask Isa more questions about her exchange?

Send her a mail: