Just thinking about your international exchange can be somewhat overwhelming. There’s so much to do, including selecting a city, choosing a university, finding a room to rent and setting up your transportation. If you’re going to move to Italy, you’ll also need to begin preparations for getting a Stay Permit, a Personal Tax Number and more.
However, one thing that some students tend to put off is thinking about their budget. Yet, knowing what you’ll have in your bank account will let you know what you can spend on new clothes for school and maybe some secondhand furniture for your new room.
So, getting an idea on how to cut corners on costs when relocating to Trento for your studies abroad is a fantastic idea. One of the worst things that you can do when arriving in a new city is eating, shopping and living in the most popular tourist areas. So, let’s take a look at a few ways that you can spend less on the necessities, leaving you more cash to explore the city and beyond.
If you are studying at the University of Trento, you can apply for one of about 1,600 student beds that are located throughout Trento. About half of these are located at the San Bartolameo dorm. While these rooms are clean and affordable, you will not have the flexibility to choose which location you’d like to stay in or who your roommates will be.
However, if you’d like to be in charge of where you’ll live and with who, there’s actually a much better option. Choosing a trusted rental platform like Housing Anywhere, the university’s official partner in international housing, will allow you more control of your living arrangements. In fact, you can decide which neighborhood you like best, if you’d prefer a private room or an apartment to share with new classmates. You can even receive notifications that will alert you when a property matching your preferences is listed. This can be very important, as that student housing is in high demand, and it’s best to contact a landlord as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
When on a tight budget, some students find substantial savings in renting an apartment and splitting the costs. There are some Facebook groups that can help acquaint you with interested classmates.
But above all else, housing will be your highest expense, meaning that it also provides little room for savings. Check out some areas a bit out of the city center, where prices might be a little lower. Trento is a compact city, so it’s easy to get from one place to the next.
If you or one of your roommates have some cooking skills, the most budget-conscious way to dine would be at home. The local supermarkets offer reasonable prices and fresh, healthy options, making shopping a breeze. Even if just a couple of nights a week you decide you to make a large group meal, with everyone contributing, you’ll easily begin to see the savings.
But if you’re not a good cook or would rather eat while you’re out and about, there are still lots of affordable options to keep your stomach full. The local street food vendors offer all sorts of great options at low prices.
But while you’re in Italy, you must indulge in pizza, and Trento has some of the best. To try one of the most popular, stop into Uva & Menta. For more diverse menus for lunch, you can also opt for La Bottega della Piada (serving piadina, which are tortillas filled with delicious fillings) or Ai Castelli Romani (Roman fast food).
However, one of the favorite eateries among the students is Sosi Magna Laude, a vibrant bakery and deli close to the university. It’s an excellent place to pop in for a tasty pastry or a sandwich in between classes.
Driving is not the easiest method of transportation in Trento, mainly due to its narrow streets, expensive parking and complicated street signs. Unless your building includes parking, and you are quite used to driving in Italy, it might be best to leave your car at home — it is almost always more expensive to drive.
Trento offers a fantastic public transportation system at really reasonable prices. The bus lines zig zag all across the city, and they run from early in the morning until well after midnight. Currently, a student transportation card costs only €26.5o per month.
Yet, if you really want to save money, as well as get some exercise in the process, the university area is pretty small, with most things located within a short walk of the faculties. And if you like to ride a bike, you can use the city bike sharing system, which is absolutely free!
While Trento offers plenty of the regular chain shopping options, like Mango and H&M, you’ll also find an abundance of indie and original fashion stores. Plus, you’ll find that it’s easy to dress to impress on a budget, especially if you peruse the alternative secondhand shops.
Additionally, every Saturday the city center plays host to the Mercatino dei Gaudenti. This abundant flea market offers its patrons everything from old vinyl records to unique artisanal jewelry and vintage clothing.
And if you’d like to get a good deal on clothing and accessories, the Caritas store Altr'Uso is a nonprofit shop selling secondhand options. You may even find furniture for your new room or apartment. And best of all, the store’s revenues are donated to charity.
Although Trento’s nightlife scene has a lot to offers students in the area, don’t expect a crazy party each night at the bars in Rome or when moving to Milan. Trento is a smaller town, which can tend to be a bit quiet, except for a few disorderly Erasmus students!
So as you can see, it’s quite possible to enjoy the best that Trento has to offer, even if you are on a budget! Enjoy every moment of your studies abroad!