This blog was created as part of the Erasmus Mundus Crossways in Cultural Narratives Masters programme, which is the only one of the EU approved and funded Erasmus Mundus Masters programmes to specialise in traditional humanities with a modern languages background. The Crossways Consortium comprises 6 top-class European universities.

For further information, please check the programme's official website and the universities' websites on the Useful Links section on the left. If you wish to have a specific question answered, please click on Email here and submit your query.

Mundus students, here you will find regular posts regarding the universities of the consortium, tips, activities, events, pictures, etc. Apart from checking it regularly to keep yourself up to date, a good way to use the blog is through the search device. We already have a significant amount of information on some universities of the consortium, so if you want to find information on a specific city, type its name in the search field (top left). You will then see all posts related to that specific city (because each post title contains the city's name in it). You can also type "General" in order to find information concerning everybody.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Lisbon: Residence Lumiar

      by Becky Chen

View of a double room

View from the room

Dining Place/Common Place

Security Personnel at the Residence, Seu João


Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Arriving in Perpignan - more!

     by Poonam Ganglani

For correct information on the Language courses being offered at the University, the best person to meet is Mme Jacob of the Centre de Langues (CDL). She's usually available at the CDL which is in Batiment F (opposite Batiment M), or in her office which is in the same building.

Apart from Auchain (which I realized is a bit expensive for daily groceries), try Leclerc as well. It's about 15 mins walking distance, you just have to cross the road straight ahead from Quick (don't turn left towards the Gemo etc, just go straight towards Hotel St. Jacques) and continue until you see EDF, and Leclerc is just around the corner. It's more complete than Leader Price, plus you have brand varieties.

Finally, there's a 2nd hand shop called 'Au Troc Catalan' which is on the way to Baboo if you're looking to save. (You could also consider selling them some stuff before you leave). However, check out Baboo as well for cutlery, appliances etc, they have good stuff and pretty reasonably priced.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Arriving in Perpignan

I know it has been a while some people have been here in Perpignan, but I decided to write down some tips for the ones who have arrived later and also for future reference. I hope it helps!

Library: all you have to do is take your Student card, the library card (in the big blue sheet Cheryl sent us last semester, the same where our student card is) and a picture. They do the library card straight away and it allows you to borrow 5 books per week. Not much, I know.

They also have a Salle Video with VHS tapes and DVDs you watch there or borrow - as long as you provide them with a €70 cheque as a bond. Since our bank account doesn't give us a cheque book, you can request it at the bank and you should get it in a week. An easier way is to ask Cheryl for a letter that you present at the library.

Sports: For only €6 you can join the Sports Centre, which allows you to participate in any (or all!) of the various classes they offer, such as Yoga, Stretching, Archery, Salsa, Volleyball, Football, Swimming, etc etc. They also organise short skiing and climbing trips, but for that you have to pay extra. All you have to do is go to the Maison d'Etudiant (right at the university main entrance) with your student card, €6 and a picture.

You can find details of the courses for this semester at http://crossways.univ-perp.fr/Cours.html. Most of the courses are taught in French, with the exception of Decadence in Contemporary Literature in English and Hybradisations, which are taught in English. However, you can write the exams, essays, portfolios in any language of the consortium, as long as you have the professor's consent. So, if you can understand French but can't write it (like myself hehe), you can always discuss other possibilities with the professors - most of them are ok with English, but you must always ask.

For a first world country, it is quite a surprising fact, but it's true: there's NO internet in our rooms at Canigou. What some people are doing is purchasing a package that includes a phone line and internet connection from private companies. The best thing is to shop around and see which one offers the best deal at the time. This appears to work, but it's a big hassle, because for any package you choose, you must have a phone line installed and the whole process takes about two weeks (at least that's what they told me, but I wouldn't be surprised if it took longer). It costs an average of €30 per month, but if you choose wi-fi you can share it with other people - they have to be on the same floor as you, though, because the signal is not supposed to be very strong.

Apart from that, you can either access the net from the Loge (at the entrance of the University Residence) or at any wi-fi zone in the university. In order to access it from the Loge, you need to get a password from the people there. But strangely their connection doesn't work with email websites (at least Hotmail and Yahoo that I've tried). The wi-fi at university seems a bit faster (not much, though) and you can access emails normally. The username and password to use it are printed on your student card. For students of this year, all you have to do is add the letter "h" before your "Numero Etudiant" and the "Numero Nat" is your password.

The cheapest option is the 10-ride ticket that can be bought in any Bureau du Tabac. It costs €6.70 - much cheaper than €1.10 per ride that you'd normally pay when you buy it from the driver. Another tip is that there's a one-hour-and-a-half transit "gap". That is, if you take bus B within an hour and a half of taking bus A, you don't have to pay for the bus B ride. However, this only works if buses A and B are NOT the same number. 

You can take a map of the bus routes at the Compagnie Transports Perpignan Mediterranee office at the city centre. Their website is www.perpignanmediterranee.com.

FLE (French courses for foreigners)
Cheryl advised us to look for AEFTI at the city centre. I guess they only charge a small amount for the semester (something like €15-30), but for this semester they are full. They indicated another place called Expressions. They don't have as much government funding, so they charge us more (€20 per month). You have to go there to take a level test. Once you know your level, their timetable for this semester is:

Beginners - they do offer courses for beginners, but I don't know the timetable
Intermediate - Mondays 2-3.30pm AND Wednesdays 9.30-11am
Advanced - Tuesdays 9.30-11am AND Wednesdays 2-3.30pm

Their address is 6 Place Marcel Ohms and their telephone number is Dori, Evelyn, Mansi and I have been there and we can show the way if anyone wants to join us.

There is also the French courses for Erasmus students on campus. Their timetables are:

Mondays 2-4pm, Rooms D4 and D3
Tuesdays 12-2pm, Rooms D3 and M8, and 4-6pm, Room D4
Wednesdays 12-2pm, Rooms D2, M5 and M8
Thursdays 12-2pm, Rooms J0 and D3
Fridays 12-2pm, Rooms D4 and 3

Classes start after the Winter break, that is, in March. I just got the timetable at the Erasmus office, and it doesn't specify the level of each class. But it's worth checking out as it's free.

There are also Portuguese and German courses being held at university. Cheryl has all the information about them.

Darty, just across the road from the university residence, has electronics and French SIM cards. 

Leader Price, even closer than Darty, is a very cheap supermaket (but offers a limited range of products).

For more choice of food and also for house utensils, Auchain is the place to go. To get there, you walk towards Darty, and keep going until you see Peugeot. Then you cross the street and look for the bus stop on the other side. Bus number 11 (Catalunya) takes you there. You can't miss it because Auchain is actually a big complex of stores. To come back, you wait for the bus on the very same stop you got off. Bus 11 takes you back, but this time towards Massilia.

Leroy Merlin is a DIY (bricolage) shop at the Auchain complex. Most of house utensils you can find in Auchain, but here they sell very specific things like hooks for towels.