My name is Róise Pelan and I am a final year Law student here at QUB. I am the Social Media Assistant for the School of Law, a Student Assistant for the Careers Service, and the Communications Officer for The Verdict Magazine.
I have recently departed on an Erasmus exchange to the University of Trento in Northern Italy, where I will be staying until Christmas before returning to complete my final semester at QUB. So far, living and studying here in Trento has been the most exciting and interesting experience that I've had at university. The area surrounding the city is framed by mountain ranges such as the Dolomites, and an abundance of lakes such as Levico, Caldonazzo, and of course Lake Garda. The city itself is really beautiful and ancient, with a castle and churches and cobblestone streets leading to historic piazzas with myriad restaurants, bars and cafes. The cost of living is also cheaper than in Belfast- while many of the other Europeans think it's a little expensive, for those from the UK and Ireland it's actually really affordable!
The University of Trento is a popular university and thus the city has a thriving student population, so it is very easy to make friends and meet new people. The University also provides so many opportunities to study a diverse range of modules that are different from those offered at QUB, such as Sociology of Law, Comparative Law, and Law and Religion. The classes are mostly quite small, allowing for discussion and engagement with the lecturers and other classmates. I also have the opportunity to take Italian classes to build my language skills and learn about Italian history and culture as part of a module. But most of all, the Erasmus Student Network in Trento has also been an amazing way to meet so many people and form new connections with friends from around the world.
There are also so many opportunities to travel throughout the country, as I have already been to Venice and Verona and will be going on a trip to Tuscany to visit Florence and Pisa for several nights along with lots of my Erasmus friends. Overall, I couldn't recommend a semester abroad with Erasmus enough and I am excited to find out what other new experiences these next few months will bring me!