Sunshine and Leisure - Life in Lecce, Southern Italy
I did not hesitate too much when choosing to exchange to Italy. Having been here for nearly three months, my study and life have become stable, and I think I have similar experience with all international students.
The University of Salento is located in Lecce, southern Italy. This is an ancient city with a history of more than 2,000 years. There are many important Baroque architecture here in Lecce, such as the Basilica of the Holy Cross and Lecce Cathedral and therefore it is called La Firenze del Sud (Southern Florence).
When I first came, I was very happy to have students from the Erasmus Programme to help me with everything. The Erasmus Programme is an exchange program mainly for EU countries, but many students from non-EU countries also participate in it. The University of Salento also has a special international student organization for the Erasmus Programme. Through such an international student network, you can get to know students from many different countries. Your horizon is broadened when you regularly communicate with those people. At the beginning of the new semester, they organized a week of various activities to welcome new students, such as city walk and short trips to nearby scenic spots. In another activity, students from various countries brought their hometown dishes to share with others. Through these activities I have made some interesting friends. I really admire their language potentials - although many of them are not natives of Italy, many of them can speak Italian, French, Spanish, and English.
As for living, I felt the Italians’ attitude towards life after living here for some time. What I see is clean streets, beautiful buildings, large rooms and a must-have - a balcony. The sun is shining almost all day, and the pace of life is relatively slow. Far away from the invisible pressure of domestic urban life, I seem to have forgotten troubles of life. People told me before going abroad to be careful of thieves and not to go out at night, but it is actually quite safe in Lecce.
Regarding study, the class hour here is two or three times that of JNU. There are group assignments every week, and reports and presentations will be arranged regularly. Salento also offers free Italian courses. It is necessary to learn some Italian for your convenience of life.
Now my exchange life is still going on. I hope I can enjoy the rest of the exchange life in Salento.
By He Meiying
Mobility to University of Salento, Lecce, Italy