It has been 2 months since 19 students from the Macromedia University arrived in Castellanza, Italy. After getting to know the city and the LIUC Carlo Cattaneo Università we would like to show you our highlights so far.
Starting with the city of Castellanza where the LIUC University is located as well as the campus residence, Carlo Pomini, where most of the students live.
Castellanza, or how the locals like to call it ‚Castellangeles‘, referring to LA, is a typical small Italian city, really charming and cosy. Its location is in the very industrial province of Varese and Milan is 40 minutes train ride away while the Milan Malpensa Airport only 15 minutes. Neighborhood cities like Legnano and Busto Arsizio are a 5 minutes bus ride away and really nice to visit and hang out. Weekly clothes and food marked in Castellanza, Legnano and Busto Arsizio are a must for everyone wanting to get in touch with the Italian market culture and to get some nice food and clothes.
Castellanza also has its hot spots like The Uptown Café, where we like to get together to enjoy some Italian coffee, meal and cocktails. Popular bars are the Rex Bibendi and Talismano. Last but not least the Secret Room Club, which offers different kinds of music and events on different days.
The LIUC University is situated in an old reformed cotton mil. It has 3 Schools: Law, Industrial Engineering and Economics & Management. They offer bachelor and master level courses, which are either in Italian or English or both. The International Office of the LIUC is on of the most important place for the international students. They’re all very welcoming and helpful with any kind of requests. With the LIUC student card you get all sort of discounts at stores, bars, restaurant and services like renting a car in the cities of Castellanza, Legnano and Busto Arsizio.
One tip we would like to give to the new students is that you should join the ESN (Erasmus Student Network) group. The ESN is a non-profit student organization for abroad students to get to know the country they are studying in, as well as the other international students. The membership costs 10€ and they organize weekly activities that goes from small trips, to get together, to clubbing. Whenever the clubbing takes place in another city they organize transportation with a small fee to cover for transport and entry costs. During the orientation weeks they organized an international dinner, where everyone should bring something to eat from their home country and the welcoming dinner, which was included in the membership price.
The first trip the ESN organized was a weekend to Venice, Padua and Verona. In Venice we got to see a glass factory with a demonstration. Then we went sightseeing Venice with a rally organized by the ESN to show us the top spots of the city. Later we had some free time to eat and go shopping. Lastly we had a boat ride through the channels. The next day we went do Padua where we had another rally with the ESN group of Padua. Later that day we went to Verona where we saw the coliseum and Romeo and Juliet’s balcony.
Finally we can say that at the beginning we had some trouble with the language, as most locals don’t speak English. I was a great way to improve the Italian of those who were taking the Italian language course. Eventually everyone learned enough Italian words to get along here in Castellanza. The locals were mostly very welcoming and friendly even though they had some funny stereotypes thoughts of the German like we all just wear ‚Lederhosen‘ and have dinner everyday at 6 pm. Lastly it has been a great experience so far and we learned so much already.
Taina Anen & Erika Bauer