My Year in Venice, Part 3: Student Life

By Georgia Nicklin, BSc Finance and Management with the University of Venice at the ICMA Centre, Henley Business School.

Student life is very different in Venice compared to Reading. The major differences to consider are: where to do your supermarket shopping and how much you should budget, what to eat, where to socialise, and getting used to using euros. Whilst these factors were difficult to adjust to at first, I soon got used to the Venetian lifestyle.

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A beautiful, but expensive city!

Venice, as a city, is very expensive (perhaps even more so than London) so you have to be very savvy as a student.

Supermarket shopping

There are quite a few supermarkets around Venice, although there’s no such thing as a delivery option, unfortunately! The largest are Coop (located near Piazzale Roma) and Conad (located near Zattere). There are small branches of these all around Venice so I used Conad most of the time, as that was closest to my house.

On the whole it was relatively cheap, but there was nowhere near as much choice as there is in British supermarkets – vegans and gluten-free people would definitely notice this!

I think I probably budgeted €20 per week which bought the essentials such as milk, bread, ham, cheese, fruit, vegetables, etc. As I only had a microwave to work with in my accommodation, I rarely bought meat so my weekly shop may be cheaper than average.

One thing that was noticeable was that most of the Venetian supermarkets didn’t sell porridge oats! Every time I went back to England I literally stocked up on porridge to take back to Venice, so take note if you’re a fellow porridge-lover.

What to eat

For breakfast I either had porridge (see above!), or if I was in a rush to get to uni (probably most days), I bought a croissant (called ‘un brioche’ in Venice) and an espresso from a local bakery which came to €1 each.

Italy is the coffee capital so if you don’t like coffee now, I can guarantee you will by the end of the nine months! I hated espressos (called ‘un café’) at the start of the year, but soon became addicted one month in, with their cheap price encouraging me to buy one daily!

Like any student diet, pasta was by far the easiest (and cheapest) thing to live off, particularly in the country it originated from (in supermarkets, you can buy it for as cheap as 29 cents per pack)! I cooked this a lot with vegetables and pesto.

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A typical home cooked dinner in Venice!

Italians eat a lot of antipasti too (cured meats and cheeses) so I tried to integrate this into my diet with salads to feel like I was immersing myself into the culture!

When it came to eating out in restaurants, I found Venice to be extremely expensive. However, the city is very beautiful so instead of eating in a restaurant, my friends and I would grab a pizza or a pasta pot from a takeaway shop and sit by a canal – perfetto!