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International Students in Bologna
Bologna is home to the oldest university in Europe and, as a result, is popular with visitors on school group travel.

The University of Bologna (or the Alma Mater Studiorum Universita di Bologna) was established in the 11th Century and is the second-largest university in Italy. Due to the accompanying student population of around 100,000, Bologna is a bustling university town with a thriving academic and social scene.

The university has 23 different faculties and offers a number of courses in English for international students. The university also arranges courses on local culture and history for international students – which give an interesting insight into the region.

International students on the Erasmus program tend to book into one of the excellent Bologna hostels at the start of their stay in the city. These hostels prove a great 'meeting place' for people in the same situation looking to find a group of friends and ultimately a house for the year.

Sites

For those looking for some respite from their books while in Bologna, the city heralds many superb tourist attractions. For example, the Palazzo dei Notai on the edge of the Piazza Maggiore is a must see location, as is the Basilica San Peronio.

Likewise, the Two Towers of Bologna continually draw in the crowds. These imposing medieval structures are thought to date back to around the 12th century, although their actual intended use remains unknown.

Sustenance

Bologna is of course the birthplace of Bolognese sauce. This means that pasta-loving students will be able to brush up on their Italian cooking skills during school group travel to the city.

The dish is a local specialty and can be found on the menu at most restaurants. It's also a mainstay in the kitchens of most bologna hostels, meaning that you don't necessarily have to splash out on restaurant dining to sample the local favorite. Other culinary treats to look out for in Bologna include cured meats such as prosciutto and hard cheeses.

No student experience would be complete without sampling the local nightlife. Live music is a particular highlight in Bologna – the city was declared a UNESCO City of Music in 2006 and several different performances in multiple music styles can be found on most nights.

Cafes and bars showcase local musicians, while the city's piazzas are the perfect place to take in some impromptu street performances. It's also here when, late at night, happy students from across the city congregate and really let their hair down.
About the Author
Before settling down and becoming a copywriter for HostelBookers.com Paul Scottyn did a backpacking tour of Italy, he checked out a variety of the country's budget group accommodation, including a number of most Bologna hostels.
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