Venice was the most amazing place to live in - beautiful, atmospheric, and at times haunting. I think that it was at its best in the hazy winter sunlight shining through the mist and fog drifting in from the sea... Nothing prepared me for my time in Venice and I'm glad - it was a constant adventure and I wouldn't change my time there for anything...
What does one say about three months of your life which mean so much? The opportunity to live and study abroad is a mind-opening experience and in my opinion should be recommended by any institution of academic repute.
No-one can say that the work isn't hard, but the intense nature of the course really helped me to feel immersed in the history and being actually there really focused the brain!... You know when you start being asked for directions that you are beginning to fit in... and when you actually succeed in answering in Italian, you really feel like a local!
Having applied to Warwick because of the History Department’s offer of spending a term in Venice, I had effectively waited nearly 3 years to go to the Serenissima. It was well worth the wait. Living in a city as unique and beautiful as Venice was an absolute privilege. Walking out of your front door and seeing such beauty everywhere you look is an amazing feeling and, having lived the previous year in Coventry, a bit disorientating at first. We lived on one of Via Garibaldi’s sidestreets, in one of the distinctly residential parts of Venice. Although going out to the bars of Campo Santa Margherita was a bit of a trek, the vaporetto along the Canal Grande at night was stunning, and Via Garibaldi’s atmosphere was great, especially at the time of the evening passagiatta (round 7 to 8). The vicinity to Venezia-Mestre’s stadium in Sant’ Elena was also perfect for me. For all football supporters, watching the Unione is a must because what they lack in numbers, the curva amply makes up for in passion.
The best way to discover Venice is to walk. Ambling all over the place - down the infinite number of ‘sidestreets’ (every street is a side street in Venice), over the limitless canals and countless squares was what I really enjoyed about life in Venice. Although tiring, I felt that I had experienced the ‘real’ Venice- away from the hideously crowded tourist spots of the Rialto and Piazza San Marco. In our term, thanks in great part to the department, we also had the opportunity to the visit many of the elegant cities of the Veneto and northern Italy. The region is blessed with a great number of città d’arte, such as Padova, Mantova, Verona, Vicenza and Ravenna and the ‘trips’ really added to the experience. A quite simply wonderful term.
The Venice term represents a unique opportunity to live and study in one of the most beautiful cities in the world; an experience you will never forget! Wherever you live in Venice you are only a short walk away from the study area and the historical and artistic treasure of the city.
The Warwick Venice term is unlike any other foreign study experience as you will go to Venice as a group, rather than as exchange students; you will study with other Warwick students, be taught by Warwick tutors, and work in Warwick's own study centre. By integrating themselves into a foreign culture, students enjoy a kind of independence not always afforded to students who stay in Warwick, although the tutors and Chiara (the executive assistant) are always close should any problems arise.
Historians are offered the opportunity to widen their knowledge of the cultural background of the period they are studying through the close colloboration between the History and History of Art Departments. This culminates in a 'travel week' when students are encouraged to leave the confines of Venice, go further afield to take a break from the programme of study, and experience the culture of another country.
The costs of living in this wonderful city are largely similar to a term in Leamington or Coventry. In Venice rents are higher, but many are inclusive of bills, and food and drink costs are significantly lower than in Britain. Contrary to popular belief, it is easy to eat out cheaply in Venice. You will soon find bars and restaurants close to the main tourist areas in which you can have a three-course meal for about ten pounds, and a good bottle of wine from a shop costs only a pound or two.
The hard work that goes into the Venice term is inevitably balanced by a vigorous social life; the group that goes to Venice integrates rapidly and friendships quickly develop between students and local people - many barowners are used to seeing Warwick students in the autumn and stay open late to accommodate us!"
Compiled by Venice students