First Impressions of Some Erasmus Students

Erasmus day 15: still alive. We have got all our bones still attached to our body, haven’t killed anyone by bicycling over them. So far so good. The life of the Erasmus students during their first days in a new city are quite a special experience: here are our first thoughts on Oulu (developed by getting lost almost 5 times a day).

The city seems to have the right dimensions to let you discover new corners quite frequently but it is also built in a pretty simple way, once you get the hang of it reaching places gets quite intuitive: the places that people could use more frequently to give you indications- such as the market Kauppahalli, the Toripolliisi or the city library- are easy to find (trust someone who gets lost even when going home).

We must admit we were a little sceptical about the “bicycling everywhere” theme that is so popular around here but we have to say it turned out very practical, all places are very well connected and are easy to reach by bike.

Something that caught our eyes and really stood out was the impressive amount of services, discounts and offers that are provided to students here, not only on an academic level but also as far as it concerns activities, sports, parties and shops. It is an extremely valid service since here the cost of life is significantly higher than in a lot of other countries, we all were astonished my the price of vegetables and fruit (just to make an example we once found a celery that was priced 1,50 euro). And  here we come to a sensitive topic: food. Bear in mind that we are Italian so we may be a little too picky about it, but being honest this  was what impressed us the least (in terms of local eating). But maybe it is just a matter of time and we will change our mind, however we do have to make a mention about the university restaurants: 0.88 cents for real good food (yes, we were blown away by the price tag as well,).

When we arrived here, we were enthusiastic to see everything covered in snow. In Italy it almost never snows, so now everything seems like magic to us here:  when we are cycling to go somewhere, we cross the wonderful white woods and the image in front of our eyes seems a cartoon… it is like becoming children again!

We won’t hide that we miss our Italian sun and the green landscape of Italian Spring, but this experience is a great opportunity to open our minds and our hearts (while freezing our noses).

Valentina Bugnotti,
Anna Favaretto,
Stefania Gastaldon 
Erasmus students from Italy

Oulu oh mine
Please be good to us
All will be fine 

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