Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Let's Get Practical - Pontifical Universites in Rome - Tips

H'ok, so - if you're coming to Rome, there are a few things you (as a student) should know:

Shampoo and Conditioner are SUPER EXPENSIVE and of BAD QUALITY! If you are of the female persuasion (and for some males), you may be in the habit of washing your hair every day. Break that habit! Your hair AND your pocket-book will thank you.

Toadis - find this discount food store and stick to it LIKE GLUE. You'll save oodles and oodles of money if you go to Toadis (pronounced "Toad-issss).

Don't bother to bring peanut butter. People on online message boards, etc., are always saying: "blah blah blah...peanut butter is SO hard to find here...blah blah blah." LIES!

Ziplock bags are super handy, ne? Bring a box because you cannot find them here. SRSLY.

Again, if you are of the female persuasion (men, don't read this if you're squeamish), don't worry about...er... the necessities for that process that women go through. Italian brands be fine.

Bring clothes. Clothing here be ridiculously expensive.

Don't bother with super-duper-heavy coats. You only need that type of coat 4 days out of the entire winter season.

Bring a backup power-cord for your laptop. If your power-cord fails (which is easy enough, given that voltage converters can easily malfunction and totally fry your cord), you're up a creek with no paddle because most American companies do not ship such small items overseas to Italy. BRING A BACKUP POWER CORD. JUST BRING AN EXTRA.

DON'T worry about the banking situation. If you have MC/Visa, you can easily withdraw money here. Your bank figures the current conversion rates, so you don't need to worry about currency exchange. There will be a small fee that the bank you're withdrawing from will charge, but that's pretty inconsequential. So DON'T FRET about money.

UNLESS you're considering withdrawing from a random ATM in the wall or at a train-station. DON'T DO EITHER. The number of stories I've heard about card-skimming at stations is ridiculously high, and random ATMs in random walls are never to be trusted. Only use an ATM at a bank branch, unless you have absolutely no other choice.

Annnnd. That's all for now. Any questions, ye people considering applying to a Pontifical University in Rome?

***EDIT***

Zadok the Roman adds:
Bring a surge protector. In my experience, Italian electricity is unpredictable. That's why any electrical appliance I cared about was on a surge protector.

Italian cold & flu remedies are useless. Bring your medicine of choice from home.
And a friend asked about dental hygiene products.

MOUTHWASH I do not use, but a friend informs me that Italian mouthwash is weaksauce and it's best to buy a Costco sized jug and bring that if mouthwash is your thing.

TOOTHPASTE AND TOOTHBRUSHES are absolutely a-ok.

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