Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sail away

I've been a bad blogger lately, but a good mother.
I have been glued to the computer (in between gardening for sanity), but not for entertainment. My second fledgling is about to leave the nest and go to Uni in the UK so we've been looking at the student digs in desperation.

My daughter applied too late to get a place in the Student Halls and now skims the student notices for flatmates wanted, trying to avoid houses which look like they should be condemned or deemed acceptable to only students on a limited budget. Cubbyhole bedrooms, kitchens missing cupboards and sofas in indescribable colours stained with unimaginable spills abound in these adverts. Prices, unfortunately not corresponding to the state of decrepitude, also are frequent.
She could have gone to Uni in Luxembourg and lived in, but the institution is very young and doesn't offer a large variety of courses. Many of the courses are in German (not her favourite language) or go to only first year. Naples was also an option but it meant commuting at least three times a week for two hours to get there and two hours back from Positano. Living there she didn't even want to consider. Likewise, Salerno is three hours away on the other side. She missed out in getting into the course she was after in Italy, by only two points in the entrance exam, so she has settled for second best in the UK.

We decided to raise our children in Luxembourg as the system here would have a few advantages or privileges over that in Positano. One not negligible, is that they wouldn't have to commute to Amalfi or Sorrento each day in the higher years. Lots of kids learn to hate Amalfi for this reason. Another being that most high school graduates on the Amalfi Coast, go to work in areas in the tourist industry and don't always look beyond that. Even those graduating in something entirely unrelated to this will be found working in their parent's restaurants or hotels in summer, or even post-graduates will be driving buses because this is what the town offers. And this is unemployment in Italy.

So she's off on Tuesday to the UK without a roof over her head unless she agrees to something on the basis of the photos or address's on the internet. Should she accept a house this way and risk finding things aren't perfect in reality or miss out on places close to Uni because others got there before her?


Anonymous said...

She should contact the university's student accommodation service immediately.

Every university should also have a representative for overseas students - try them too.

Rosa said...

Sally- I have been in contact with the accomodation office several times. I have a list of houses from them but what was more useful was that they suggested asking on the Student fresher groups on Face Book. We have a few contacts which look promising but its just over the internet so far.
International Students don't cater for the EU students. Apparently they have a lot this year !

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Where is your daughter going to Uni????

Rosa said...

anne- she's going to Southampton.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Shame it wasn't near me, your daughter could of stopped with me until she found something...never mind..hope she finds somewhere she likes.

Anonymous said...

I visited Positano yesterday. I was amazed!!! Beautiful, charming place.