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, 4 July 2008

Lisbon: A prova do Real

       by Lorenza Tiberi

Something special has been going on in Lisbon in the last few weeks. Thanks to the good will of the Núcleo de Programação Cinematográfica members, we had the opportunity to watch several movies representing the Italian neoralism. 

The movie cycle called "A prova do real" proposed a wide selection of movies realised by the most important filmmakers of that period, such as, Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Roberto Rossellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Luchino Visconti and Vittorio De Sica. 

The choice of this particular subject is strictly related to the work the students did in their first semester. All the projections were accompanied by presentation and eventually a debate held by leading personalities in the cultural and cinematographic field. The movies were shown in the University's auditorium and the surrounding ambient was carefully decorated with limelight and music from the movies' soundtracks.

Furthermore, the equipe of the Núcleo de Progamação Cinematográfica published a book introducing and better explaining this Italian cycle, and made available to all the participants a short synopsis of the movie of the day.

Finally, to whom will be in Lisbon during the next semster you can check their blog to get info: http://www.nucleodeprogramacaocinematografica.blogspot.com/.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Bergamo: Getting started

        by Anuradha Choudry

Citta Alta - view from my balcony

To start with - Bergamo is a beautiful little town where most of the places can be reached by foot or by buses called 'Pullman'. It would be simplest if you saw a map of the place online to understand distances in terms of time etc.
A little info about the place - The city has 2 parts - Citta Alta which is on a small 'mountain' - about 20-25mins upward climb by foot as well as by bus from the Centre which is called Porta Nuova (In photo - view of Citta Alta from Porta Nuova almost).
Our classes are held in different buildings that are scattered across Citta Alta which are from 5 - 15/20 mins walking distance from each other depending on the courses you choose as there is no single Campus for all the University buildings. If you enjoy walking this is a great place to be in as there is ample opportunity to trek up and down Citta Alta to get to the different classes in the shortest time possible since every class lasts for 1-2hrs. The courses you choose might happen consecutively with no gap between their time slots (it is acceptable to go late to classes and even leave before they are over!!) or even worse they might happen simultaneously, which means you would have to choose to attend one and be a non-frequenting student for the other course .

Citta Bassa with mountains on the distance
Selecting a good accomodation is important as you can minimise your travel time accordingly. It would be simplest to fix your accomodation with the Student's accomodation at the earliest and request for a place with internet as well (important). If you have the possibility of going there earlier, you could be in the Ostello (Youth Hostel which is a little expensive - 17Euros a night with an International student's id card) and see the adds on the Notice boards in the University buildings regarding rooms on rent (affitto) for reasonable rates in Citta Alta itself. The advantage of living in Citta Alta itself is that you can go to the University buildings whenever you wish and use their internet services till 7 pm which are available in just 2 of the buildings though most of the others have wi-fi in them.

Citta Bassa from Citta Alta - the main road goes from Citta Alta to the station
Regarding social life there - if you enjoy parties - the organization called Seriate International for Erasmus students is very active and organizes parties twice a week in different pubs. You can find them on Facebook as well.
Food is very good in Italy and the Student's Mensa (canteen) serves very good lunch at a discount with the Univ Student's card.
There are beautiful lakes around Bergamo - which I didn't have the opportunity of visiting though as I had a very hectic study schedule and travelled outside Italy during the short breaks.
On the whole I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in Bergamo ... would be ideal if you could meet a former Mundus student on arrival and have a guided tour to the different places and be explained the study system as it is very different in every University and can be quite a challenge at times to figure out for oneself!! I was very fortunate to have met former students Kamna Suri and Kamal Chhetri who were very sweet and helpful and their showing me around was an invaluable boon for my first few days at the University.   
I will be there around the 9th of September for an exam and will be happy to help if you or any other Mundus student is there during that period.
Otherwise Mrs Giovanna Della Cioppa, our international coordinator, is very helpful and will give you the details to find your way around as soon as you reach.
Last but not the least - do brush up your Italian as not many people speak English... I found the people friendly and helpful though... and thus survived my first few months with basic spoken Italian.

All the best 
Let me know if i can be of any other help,
Warm regards,

Farewell treat

Monday, 30 June 2008

Perpignan in Bloom

Summer is here. And do we know about it -- 31ºC and going up!

Résidence Canigou

View from the Résidence

On the way to the library

Lavender opposite the library

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Perpignan: internet connexion

Apparently people from previous semesters have had no problem in hiring private internet providers on campus. However, my experience this semester has been very frustrating, so I thought I should warn newcomers. There are several companies that provide internet services, such as Neuf, Alice, Darty. I shopped around in the beginning of the semester and found Neuf Cegetel to offer the best deal. But maybe the amount of money saved was not worth the stress caused by their extremely poor service.

Regardless the fees, they all need the same time to be installed (about 2-3 weeks) because you need a phone line to be installed by France Telecom first. In fact, my experience with Neuf has been frustrating from the very as it took them nearly a month and a half (and several phone calls) to finally install it. They told me they would refund me for this time, but the refund never came. Apart from all the stress generated by not having internet for such a long time, whenever you call the Service Clientèle (which costs a small fortune per minute), they are extremely unhelpful -- not to mention rude. Each conseiller gives you a different piece of information and when you enquire conseiller B about what conseiller A said, s/he says it's wrong and there's nothing s/he can do. Period.

I have heard that people who used Alice and Darty also had problems, but I don't know details. And unfortunately I don't believe there are many other options for internet companies. In any case, this is just to warn students coming to Perpignan to beware and really harass them to get things done (installation, refunds etc).

At the end of last semester, the accommodation Secrétariat announced there would be internet connexion available for all rooms. But at the beginning of this semester it was "postponed to a later date", so let's hope they arrange it soon. Good luck!