Marleen Sibma in Italy

Field of study in Wageningen: Management and Consumer studies
Study period exchange: 11/02/2019 until 15/06/2019
Country (exchange): Italy
City (exchange): Rimini
University (exchange): University of Bologna

2. Motivation for exchange

Why did you choose to go on study exchange?

It has always seemed nice to me to live abroad for a while and get to know a different culture.

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

Italy was actually my third choice, but looking back, I had definitely put Italy at the top of my top 3.

3. Accessibility to reach destination

Do you have any tips to reach your exchange destination?

You fly to Bologna airport and then you can take a direct bus (Website: Shuttlebusriminibologna) to Rimini. You can also take the Aerobus from Bologna Airport to Bologna central and then take the train to Rimini.

4. University and studying

Could you provide some general information about the followed courses?

How is the study formalized?

The way of teaching is different in Rimini compared to Wageningen. The Italian culture is very relaxed and you notice that in class. Don’t be surprised if the teacher arrives later than most students and the way of teaching is much more interactive than in the Netherlands. Teachers consult much more with the students about the content of the course. Personally, I found that very nice because it makes it easier for you to interact interactively in class. The number of students per subject is lower than in Wageningen, in Rimini we were often in a classroom with 20 students. This is because Rimini has a fairly small campus. The campus is in the center and is fairly modern, the campus has computer rooms and also has a library.

What is the culture of the university?

The teachers are easily accessible. If you do not agree with something as a student, you can report this to the teacher who will then seriously consider it. You can also indicate if the lesson times are not convenient for you (in connection with, for example, an overlap), teachers are then often prepared to shift the timetable. I have experienced the Italian way of teaching very pleasantly. In the beginning I had to get used to the culture difference but I also quickly got used to the culture and appreciated it.

What does the university offer the student additionally?

At the university you have different computer rooms where you can sit during the day to learn for exams for example. There is not a canteen at the university but every college has a break in the middle in which we often went for coffee with a group at a coffee shop in the center. The coffee is very cheap and delicious everywhere. Because the campus is right in the center, you have plenty of options for something to eat or drink.
The Rimini campus offers a sports subscription for students, but I have heard that this is a fairly small gym. I especially ran a lot because Rimini has 2 large parks and of course the beach where you can run very nicely.

5. Housing-travelling-living

What are the possibilities for housing?

There is a Facebook page for students in Rimini where houses are offered. I have rented my room from people from my network. There is also a campus building but they are very strict there and I think it is better to rent an apartment and find it via Facebook.

What is the culture of the country like?

The culture is more relaxed than in the Netherlands. Lessons often do not start exactly at the specified time and. In consultation with the teachers, lesson times are sometimes adjusted. Exams are often conducted in a different way than in the Netherlands, you often get 2 open questions and you have to try to give as much information as possible. In Italy you really notice that people enjoy life, in the breaks coffee (or Aperol) on the terrace and in the evenings people often enjoy Aperativo. You then order a drink and receive free food with it.

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

I paid around € 430 per month, but this can vary from € 300-500 per month I think.

Could you give some information about public transport infrastructure?

I walked and cycled everything in Rimini itself. The city actually consists of two parts that are split by the train track. On the one can of the rail you have the more touristy part and the beach. And on the other hand you have the old center and the university. It is about a 10 minute walk to the beach and 5 minutes to the old center. There are also buses that run through Rimini (bus 11 goes along the entire coastline). Rimini also has a fairly large station where you can take the train to, for example, Bologna, Madrid, Venice and Rome. There is also a direct bus to San Marino, where you have a beautiful view of Italy and you can visit 3 castles.
In Rimini you can also easily buy a bicycle via Facebook, for example, many exchange students sell their bicycles again when they leave, so also check the ESN Exchange facebook page.

6. Free time

What are must-sees in the area? 

Bologna is a student city that you should definitely see! The city is alive and there are often students on the squares.

I also went to Venice, Rome, Ravenna, San Marino, Forli and Napoli. Trips are organized by ESN with which you can go to a number of these cities, of course you can also take the train yourself.

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

There is a kind of hidden beer garden in Rimini (near Arc’Augusto) where there is live music every Thursday evening. In the winter months the entertainment area moves from the beach to the old center, in the so-called old fish market.
It is also very nice to go outside Rimini by bus or bicycle and possibly to walk through the hills around Rimini.

Do you have general tips and tricks about leisure time?
On the beach you have the Sunset bar, every Sunday evening there is a party here but also for a drink it is a nice bar.
In the center at the old fish market you also have 2 nice bars / clubs, here you have nice parties when there is nothing at the beach.
Most parties are also given on the beach. You have several beach parties and clubs whose parties are indicated on Facebook.

In the high season there is 1 beach where you can go for free, this is on beach 0. In the low season you can go to all bagnos.

My favorite restaurant in Rimini was “La mi mama”, they had very tasty pasta here and the wine was cheap and good.

7. Challenges & best moment abroad

What was a challenge you have experienced?

The challenge was that I did not speak any Italian. Once I met people who were on Erasmus too it did not matter that much, but in the beginning it was hard that locals do not speak a lot of English. It would be good to have some Italian knowledge, but you can also follow a course here.

What was your best memory abroad?

Besides the many trips I have made, life in Rimini is also very nice! The old center is very beautiful and not so touristy either. Tourists often stay close to the beach and do not even know about the existence of the old center. Outings are often organized with ESN. We had a beer pong evening, picnics in the park, beach volleyball tournaments and parties.

8. Contact details

Would you like to ask Yannick more questions about her exchange?
Send her a mail: