Erasmus+ diary: Karlis and Kristers first week in Italy

Karlis and Kristers, RISEBA Business Psychology students, spent the first week at the Brescia University, Italy, and will spend the academic year there within the framework of the Erasmus+ programme. What are their first impressions?

The long-awaited opportunity

Karlis Eduards Stamers and Kristers Rudzeiss are 2nd year students of the RISEBA bachelor's programme Business Psychology. Both met during RISEBA studies and have now become best friends. Already in the summer, the guys knew that they would be able to go to Brescia in Italy in the autumn as part of an Erasmus+ student exchange, and they were really looking forward to that moment.

"When I chose to study at RISEBA, it was important for me that it offers a wide range of Erasmus+ opportunities," says Karlis. “This is the third time for me that I am studying outside Latvia within Erasmus+. I used to study at a technical school, so at Erasmus times in Spain and France I went to a professional school and worked in parallel. This is very different from the current academic studies at the Brescia University. This time we have to choose the study subjects ourselves, and we have a particularly difficult task, because many courses here only take place in Italian. ”

Photo: Karlis (right) and Kristers on their way from Latvia and Italy.

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Housing challenge

Kristers admits that this is his first Erasmus+ experience. "There are many challenges, but the difficulties were and are worth it to fight, because I am now in Brescia, Italy!" RISEBA student shares the joy.

RISEBA students consider finding a home to be the biggest challenge related to this study trip so far. "While we were still in Latvia, we could not start looking for a place to live, because due to the language we could not really communicate with the Italians," says Karlis. "Even when we were in Brescia, it was difficult because the Italians are reluctant to speak English, many do not even know the language or are afraid to speak it. We have already been warned that it will be difficult to find an apartment without Italian. For several days we had to live in hotels and Airbnb apartments, which was an expensive pleasure, we have already spent more money than we planned. But now we have finally found an apartment – it is a dormitory apartment where other students will live, but at the moment no one has moved in without us. ”

Photo: Karlis and Kristers first day at the Brescia University.

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Beautiful and hot-blooded

Karlis and Kristers current home is Brescia, a city in the Lombardy region of Italy, at the foot of the Alps, an hour's drive from Milan, and the well-known Brescia Calcio football club is based in Brescia. Latvian guys are excited not only about Brescia, but also the nearby cities and regions. "Of course, Italy is a very beautiful country, so is their culture and mentality," concludes Karlis. "I have been to Venice before and I can compare that the Italians there are different from the Italians in this region. Not everyone is the same. But clearly – it is a hot-blooded, but also a very understanding and dignified nation.”

Photo: RISEBA students are especially happy about the impressions by Lake Garda.

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Follow the progress of RISEBA students Karlis and Kristers in Italy in our following diary stories.

In the meantime, we remind you that it is still possible to apply for Erasmus+ and doubledegree studies in the spring semester of this academic year until September 23 – read more here.

Photo: RISEBA partner Brescia University through the eyes of Karlis and Kristers.

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