Sending Institution: University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Italy
Hosting Institution: University of Crete, Department of Philology
Period: Spring Semester 2017-2018
My Erasmus experience in Rethymno
Why I choose Rethymno
My name is Leonardo and I come from Rome, Italy, where I study archaeology. I did my Erasmus in Rethymno in the spring semester of the academic year 2017-2018. The reason why I choose Rethymno as my destination are several: first of all I wanted to go to Greece because it is a country full of history, culture and archaeological sites, so absolutely perfect for my studies; then I found out that the University of Crete is one of the best in Greece, and this is another factor that induced me in choosing this destination; last, the possibility of living in little town for some months, among the natural beauties of Crete, escaping from the busy life of a big city such as Rome, definitively drove me in choosing Rethymno as my Erasmus destination.
Living in Rethymno
Despite my pessimistic thoughts, finding an accommodation in Rethymno was really easy: I found a good apartment right in the middle of the city thanks to an announcement posted on the Erasmus Accommodation group on FB; generally the quality/prize rate of the flats are really convenient (at least compared to those ones of my home city) and Erasmus students are really good welcomed. The social life in Rethymno is absolutely great! People are really open minded and very welcoming towards strangers: I had the possibility to experiment the warmth of the local people from the beginning thanks to the ESN members who helped me in coming in contact with the Greek culture and introduced me to the local lifestyle; thanks to the activities they organized (trips, parties, international dinners) they managed to make the Erasmus experience one of the best I have ever done. Studying in UoC Campus was a great experience: the professors are really helpful and local students are always disposal to help a foreign student and to share their culture with him. Then, the location of the Campus is simply breath-taking: located on the top of a hill it gives an amazing view on the Aegean Sea. A view that you can also enjoy from the big library of the Campus: very well supplied and architectonically impressive. Rethymno is a student town so it is full of young people who animate the streets and the places every time. If you like to party you will not get bored here: the town is full of pubs and bars; discos and clubs are open almost every day and the entrance is free! During the day there is nothing better than going to the beach to chill or playing volleyball under the warm Cretan sun. After my Erasmus I can say that this experience has absolutely overpassed my earlier expectations; I am really enthusiastic to the time I passed in Rethymno and I am looking forward to doing it again.
Suggestions to other students
Personally I made a lot of trips in the island, with ESN or by my own and I can say that this is probably the best thing I could do during my stay: the beauties of the islands are simply outstanding and they deserve to be seen. From the most famous or the most hidden beaches, to the hiking in the mountains, to the several archaeological sites, to the local villages, you will be plenty of activities to do and places to see. So I suggest you not to miss these opportunities thanks to which you will be able to see some of the best places in the Mediterranean. So take part to the ESN trips or travel by your own: there are not as many wonderful places as Crete! I have been really enthusiastic of having passed some months in Rethymno; life here is completely different from the one I am used to in Rome: having the possibility to reach every place on foot instead of passing hours on public transports or in the car made my life there much easier and less stressful, considering that in Rethymno you have the same all the commodities and comforts you can find in a big city. So I suggest especially the students who use to live in big cities to experiment the life of Rethymno: you will be really pleasant of your decision!
What is Erasmus for me: Erasmus is…having the chance of becoming an international citizen.