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Essentials Every Indian Has To Buy While Coming To Italy For Studies

The first thing I don’t want to write down here is the scenario that will land you in panic and anxiety. Because, I assume that after waiting for almost a month or so, you got your visa, and you might want to party, meet your relatives, and fulfill the deals your mom made with the gods and goddesses (‘I will do this if my son/daughter gets visa approved’). Let it all sink-in mate.

indian-students-flying-to-italy-for-university-banjara-in-europe

Getting to the point, you are going to fly abroad, start a life in Europe, and these trains of thoughts draw-in the questions like ‘what are the essentials I have to buy for Italy, now?’

Well, I/we all have been there, it was a mess. So, here is a breakdown with the proper headings talking about everything you have to get before taking your couple of flights, dragging the super-heavy bags to Italy. Let us start over with the basics:

KITCHENWARE:

 

indian dosa tawa pan in italy banjaara in europe travel blog

Because food comes first. Remember, whatever house you are going to rent here, they’re most probably fully-furnished. From a weird wine-opener to the coasters for your cup, the landlord will offer you everything beforehand. But, mate, assuming that you are an Indian, I’d very much suggest you get your cute electric rice cooker while coming.

A mixer-grinder is not very necessary, but if you find a handy one, it would be great. If you are a dosa-person, you can get a non-stick light-weight tawa. To cook dal, or boil something, you can get a tiny pressure cooker (I haven’t seen this anywhere in the shops here, this is completely optional).

merlin 123 mixer grinder portable cheap banjara in europe indian blog

If you are used to the steelware in the kitchen, try getting two steel plates and a steel glass (only if you are not used to the ceramic plates. I have clumsy hands, so I’d always go for the steel ones). Now that we are done with the kitchenware, let us jump into the basic food supplies you might need for the first 10-15 days.

BASIC FOOD- SPICES, RICE, ETC…

I assume that you will be coming here with no idea about where to buy what, especially about Indian food (spices, powders, and rice, etc). You must remember that every Italian town or a city has at least one or more stores/supermarkets that are run by Pakistanis or Indians, and they will have almost everything ready for you. From the gulab jamun packets to the biryani leaves, you can most possibly find everything in one place for almost the same to double price. Well, rice is an exception. You can buy basmati for almost the same price.

Things You Thought You Knew About Indian Food

Anyway, for the first 10-15 days abroad, you should try meeting your food-needs using the supplies you got from home. Try getting a 100grams of all the spices, powders that are necessary. And maybe 2-3 kilos of rice. Maybe 1 Kg Dal. Get a couple of your favorite pickles (make sure you choose the airport-packing).

You can ask your mom to make some custom-made powders for your long stay here. I would suggest you get these custom-made powders in larger quantities.

SNACKS:

merlin 123 mixer grinder portable cheap banjara in europe indian blog

MAGGIIIIIIII. I remember seeing a tiny Maggi sachet for 3 euros (which is like 10 rupees in India, TF IS THAT!!!). And, for spicy food lovers, drop a couple of Haldirams of your choice in your trolley. You may stumble upon some similar snacks in the supermarkets, but man! nothing’s spicy here, not for our hot tongues.

Anyway, listen to your mom! Get all the Indian home-made snacks she wants for you.

ELECTRONIC GADGETS:

spike cost in italy for indians

Before jumping into the list, first, check all your chargers, if they’re functioning properly. You can find anything here at the Chinese stores, but you can’t expect the best quality for what you pay.

Primarily, get Two big-fat universal-adaptors (one branded, and another, the normal cheaper one), a spike to connect around 4-5 devices at the same time. You can check the pictures here:

travel adapter for indians in europe USA abroad banjaara in europe travel blog

Assuming that you are buying a new smartphone after getting your VISA Approved, don’t ditch your old one. I suggest a back-up phone. Get a couple of right-chargers, a set of earphones, and if you can afford it, go for a Bluetooth headset which isn’t much expensive nowadays. A good power bank, and a handy Bluetooth speaker for the fine evenings.

Since the winters are long here, try getting a light-weight hair-dryer, an iron box.

CLOTHES

Do not spend loads of money on buying branded shirts and trousers, the same applies to women. You are coming here right in the middle of winters, get one normal jacket at first. Within one month of being here, you can walk into the H&M or ZARA stores and buy your fat jackets at almost the same price in India, or cheaper. I repeat, do not spend money on jackets in India, save some space in your trollies, you can put an extra Maggi packet instead.

how tp pack your bags for traveling abroad italy for studies long term banjaara in europe travel blog for indians
how to pack your trolley, a random tip

I would suggest you get just a couple of shirts and pants, because, with all the winter clothing on you, you can barely remember what you are wearing inside. In time, you can buy them here at the same cost. Maybe you can get a kurta, and some traditional clothes, because it feels great putting them on at the cultural fests at the University. Dear women, make note of this, your giant jumkas, and the 6-yeard sarees are going to take the men off their feet here.

A nice bath towel, handkerchiefs (or you can switch to tissues here). Two-bed sheets, pillow covers. Don’t get any big blankets or comforters, you can buy nice ones here, or if you are lucky enough, your landlord will give you one. Some essential inner-garments is mandatory.

Winters are harsh, especially the December and January. So, get two pairs of thermals. Get a pair of nice shoes, you better focus on the thickness, rather than the fancy looks, some sets of socks, preferably woolen. Because you can’t shiver and swag your shoes at the same time. A pair of flipflops for regular use (you might get some weird looks if you are walking around the streets in flip-flops during the winters).

DOCUMENTS

Get five copies of every important ID and documents while coming. Around 40 Passport sized pictures (check the VISA dimensions of the photos), note down all your passwords and PINS somewhere safely. A proper Forex card, with Internet banking, is very important. You can keep your Indian number functioning so that you don’t have to call your parents for the OTPs.

 

best forex card for indians studying abroad in europe and italy banjaara in europe

Also, have the scanned copies of all your documents like passport, VISA, admission letter, student IDs, and some important Indian documents. Keep them on your phones. Make note that when a local cop asks for your documents while you are taking a casual walk on the streets, don’t take it wrong. Italy has lots of immigrants who sneak into the country unofficially. So, the authorities like to keep a check, it is quite normal.

You may forget carrying your passport every day, so a soft copy on your tiny phone can save you some time.

WOMEN ESSENTIALS

From what I know, the sanitary pads you can get here are quite different. Since it is a matter of comfort, get a lot of sanitary pads of your choice. Usually, the pads you find here are without wings, so, it is up to you.

how to use epilator indian woman in italy traveling packing europe banjaara in europe
you can check on youtube about how to use this one

Some more women essentials include an epilator because waxing is expensive here. A hair straightener (optional), all the cosmetics. Deodorants and perfumes are cheap here.

MONEY

Load some money in your forex card, have some cash, if possible coins too. I got around 1300 euros on my forex while coming here, and 500 euros cash. It was more than enough for me until the time I got my ERGO scholarship.

 

Handy Tips on Exchanging Euros & Dollars

Check the benefits offered by the multiple banks on their forex cards, choose wisely. I use HDFC, and I guess it is good. Some of my friends went for Axis and SBI.

NETWORK/ SIM CARD

Vodafone and Airtel have like one-week International packs, you can opt for one until you get your Italian number. Getting a SIM card here will not take more than an hour. And, don’t freak out if you have any network issues after landing at the airport, they have good WiFi access.vodafone-italia-and-TIM italy best network banjara in europe travel blog of indian

I use the TIM network here in Italy, but I suggest you go with Vodafone for its low cost and better Internet data. You have to pay 20 Euros for the SIM card activation, then 10 Euros a month that will include: 300 minutes to India, 600 minutes in Europe, and 50 GB data per month.

STATIONARY

They have one-euro stores here, you can buy some good notebooks and pens there, at a considerably affordable price. Limit your stationary baggage as much as you can.

MEDICINES

Your insurance here will cover most of your medical expenses. But take a safe side, since we are used to some medicines in India, get a couple of sheets of each, with the doctor’s prescription (in case you are questioned at the airport).

 

medicine to take abroad to italy banjara in europe

As I said, winters are harsh, and you might experience some hair fall, so get some relevant tablets. Try getting some Calcium, Multi-Vitamin, and Iron tablets while coming. The summers are tough too, so maybe you can get rashes, drop a couple of itch guards in your bag. Some pain balms and sprays like Volini are preferred.

For women, some intimate care supplies are suggested.

MEN ESSENTIALS

beard oil for indians in italy banjaara in europe travel blog

A beard oil (not easy to find everywhere), good hair oil, a Phillips or a Panasonic trimmer (try checking out Amazon or Flipkart for this), a good hair oil (coconut oil is not common here).

Anyway, here’s a PDF of the essential things you have to pack for your long academic stay in Italy. You can download the file here with one click. Feel free to share this with your friends and fellow students flying to Italy. Good luck!

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

Further details about Women’s essentials, flight tickets, and ‘the things you shouldn’t buy’ will be mentioned in detail in the following blog stories.

Also Read: Flying To Italy: Bye Amma, I Promise I Won’t Eat Beaf Abroad

If you have anything else to ask or inquire, feel free to drop a mail at banjaraineurope@gmail.com.

On this blog, I will be writing my backpacking stories across Europe. Most of my trips are super-budget friendly. Relax, take a bite of your pasta, sip your wine, you will get there. 

You can reach out to me on Instagram at @thedopepoet

Tricks: How To Save MONEY While Booking Flight To ITALY As A Student?

If you are done waiting for over a month to get your VISA APPROVED, this might be your next to-do thing. The very idea of flying to Italy for the long-term involves a lot of packing which eventually makes you panic. To make things at least a bit easier for you, I have written a blog story on things to pack while going to Italy.

vande bharath flights to India from italy to india

Last year, like 14 months back, I got my VISA approved and as it was already super late, I booked my AIRINDIA flight from ‘Hyderabad to Rome’ about 15 days before the journey. The flight had a layover in Delhi for 6 hours (Note: There are no direct flights to Italy from Hyderabad). It cost me around 24,500 Rupees (without insurance). I would suggest you take the flight insurance which will cover your luggage and the other aspects, it will only cost you some 1000-1500 rupees more, but worth it.

Anyway, don’t expect to get a flight at such a cheap price, because, that was the possibility before COVID. Now, we are all so doomed. There are barely any flights to Italy, at least no Air India. The ones you can book now are the foreign airlines are they will cost you at least 45 to 50,000, sadly, with no more than one cabin and one check-in bag.

The AirIndia generally lets you carry 10 Kg (cabin) +23 KG+23 KG (Checkin), and a bonus student offer that allows you to include another check-in bag of 23 KGs. I carried 69 KG when I was coming here. Well, it is the past. Anyway, I carried way too many things while coming here because I was so naive. Do not do the same mistake. Coming to the point, here, I am writing down the way you should find your cheapest flight tickets in a step-by-step manner, take a good look:

1. Where and How to Check?

Install the Skyscanner App on your phone. This flight-finder app is simply amazing. At one go, you can find the cheapest flight to Italy compared with all the airports and dates. A good catch.

Also, follow some basic points while looking for the flights:

  • Don’t go for any travel agent, they will take some commission, do it yourself
  • Choose the local airlines (Alitalia) (Domestic flights)
  • Sign up for the flyer membership, you can earn points (later redeem them and get discounts)
  • Activate fare alerts

2. Where are you starting from?

airport of bengaluru short cut

Your starting point matters a lot. For example, apart from AirIndia,  Airlines like Lufthansa, Emirates, Air France, and KLM have direct flights from Bengaluru. The direct flights can save you around 5-6 hours of layover time in New Delhi (AirIndia layover).

If you are from New Delhi, you can simply take an AirIndia flight to Rome or Milan (lets you carry more baggage).

3. When to search for the flights?

I have used Goibibo when I was booking mine last year. I have noticed a significant difference in the fluctuating prices on the weekends and Thursdays.

If your journey date is flexible, prefer it to be on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, they are the cheapest travel days in every week (because they are working days and not many people travel those days).

When it comes to the time you should browse the tickets, choose midnights. With not many people doing the same thing, there is a good chance of stumbling upon the cheaper air tickets.

4. Go Incognito:

If you want to look up the flights online, the first thing you can do is browsing on the incognito tab. TThe online booking websites have the tendency of storing your information on the flight dates and times in the form of cookies.

incognito mode for flight booking

When you look for the same flight after a day or two, there will be a slight fluctuation in the cost of the flight ticket, which can create a panic in you and make you book the ticket as early as possible. This is one of the most common tactics played by online platforms. That is the reason you should go incognito.

5. Book At ONCE (but separately)

One of the best ways to travel economically is to be flexible with your flight dates. Don’t ever simply choose the ROUND TRIP and complete the booking right away. I would suggest you book the tickets separately (unless you have a good discount on booking both ways at a time in the form of a round trip).

By booking the tickets separately, you can alter the return flight date as per the price of the ticket.

Also, Read: Flying To Italy: Bye Amma, I Promise I Won’t Eat Beef Abroad

For more stuff about studying and living in Italy, and traveling Europe, feel free to mail me at banjaraineurope@gmail.com or can contact me on Instagram at @thedopepoet

Packing Italy: How To Stuff Your Trolley Under 23 KG AirIndia Limit


We all have been there. I guess you might have got your VISA approved just a couple of days back, and now you are panicking about everything you have to buy (which mostly is an interesting part), then pack everything into the trolleys on which some crazy weight restrictions are applied.

air india weight restrictions banjaara in europe

From not buying unnecessary things to the way you are stuffing them inside the trolley, everything is an important step. If done properly, you can do miracles with your wits. Here, I have simplified the basic tips on how to make maximum use of the space in your trolleys, without exceeding the weight limit, and breaking the sensitive things.

Assuming that you are taking an AirIndia flight to Italy, you will be given a 23+23 Kilos of Check-in luggage, with an extra 23 Kilos as a student bonus, along with that, you can even carry a small cabin bag that can be something around 10 Kilos. From what I believe, you might not need the bonus trolley. If properly packed, you can make it possible with just two trolleys, my previous blog-story on the essentials you have to buy for Italy may help you out. Check out the blog story link below:

Why You Should Always Travel With a Hard Suitcase

Essentials Every Indian Has To Buy While Coming To Italy For Studies 

(There should be a PDF document included in the above article)

Anyway, I tried my best in breaking down the details to minimize your effort while packing. This blog-story is taken forward in 10 exclusive steps with proper pictures. Here you go:

  1. Roll your clothes, instead of stuffing or folding in squares

packing luggage in trolleys rolling indian student traveling to italy air india

We are used to folding our clothes, maybe because of the way we place them in the almirahs/ cupboards or to not disturb the ironing. Anyway, I would say that, if you are ready to sacrifice (or you don’t have to), you can pack almost all your clothes in a single trolley, without hurting it.

All you need to do is, do the two normal folds at first, then, roll them like you roll the charts or posters.

  2. Distribution of the weight

how to pack trolley bag weight distribution indian going to italy masters bologna

Before starting anything, take a look at your trolley. Check out the wheel-end, and the puller end. Start putting heavy or unbreakable things at the wheel-end (the bottom). Because when you drag your trolley with the wheels, all the weight on the puller side will be resting on the wheel-end, and anything even a bit sensitive is prone to breakage.

Also, try to place the bedsheets or the fleece blankets at the base, right at the wheel-end.

  3. Fill your boots/shoes

how to pack shoes and socks in trolley bag indian student traveling to italy

Now, you will be filling up a lot of space when you arrange your shoes inside the trolley. No, matter how much you fold them, there is always this enormous space left empty (the hole-space where you put in your feet). So, let us fill it off. Assuming the shoes are super-clean, you can try adjusting your socks, gloves, and maybe inner garments inside the boots.

  4. Pack them into compartments

how to pack your essentials for italy in trolley bags airindia flight banjaara in europe indian student bologna

Place all your essentials into different groups. All the toiletries on one side, snacks on one side, stationary, and other belongings on different sides, then pack them into cubes. You can find tiny bags, or boxes to do so. This will protect your stationery from smelling like potato chips, or snacks smelling like soaps. Also, protects from the effects of leakage.

  5. The Trolley you Choose

how to pack the soft trolley vs hard trolley packing to italy air india flight

Do not compromise on the quality of the trolley. Always go for a hard trolley, not the soft one. I repeat, do not do that mistake. Because, there is a heavy chance of you getting back your trolley at the destination, with one wheel-less, or something completely broken inside.

Airlines do not handle your trolleys with any sensitivity, they are ruthlessly thrown the way they want. I have seen a lot of my friends getting back the damaged trolleys. You may have to pay some 1000 or 2000 rupees extra for the hard trolleys, but it will all be worth it.

  6. Airport-Packing is a must

airport packing of pickles indian traveling to italy air india flight banjaara in europe

Your mom might want you to carry some home-made pickles, or the curry and dal powders, don’t ever put them in one layer polythenes. Take them to the place nearby where you can get the Airport packing done.

If it is packed normally, the Airlines might take them away at the check-in, for the right reasons, because, seeing the fellow trolleys submerged in the pickle oil is really not a good picturesque.

  7. Jacket-free packing

wearing all clothes while taking air india plane indian student to italy gif

You can save a considerable amount of space in your trolley if you simply wear the fattest or the heaviest jacket, instead of stuffing it inside the trolleys. Around 300-400 grams of weight, and especially, at least 30% of the space inside the trolley will be reserved for the other things.

If you have a digital SLR camera or a gigantic headset, wear both of them. Don’t burden your cabin and check-in bags.

  8. Cut your Luggage to HALF

How to Use Packing Cubes_ Our Favorite Family Travel Hack!

Packing for one or two years is a really serious thing, so start from scratch. Gather everything you want to take. Now that everything is right in front of you, remove half of them.

Remember, you are not flying to Mars. It is just another country, and you can buy everything there. This way you would have filtered the inessentials and would only be carrying what you actually want.

  9. Use your socks

how to pack shoes and socks in trolley bag indian student traveling to italy

In one of the above points, I have explained how you can use the space in your shoes. Let us take it a step forward. Put your breakable items like perfume bottles and glassware in socks to prevent breakage. Also, try stuffing the items between clothes so as to shield them from the ends.

  10. Remove the tags and packing

Packing essentials for indian students flying to italy for masters banjaara in europe indian blog

Since you are packing for abroad, all the stuff you are packing will be brand-new, and well packed in cartons, and polythene bags. Get rid of all the tags and the packing. Starting from the tiny box in which your Colgate comes, to the curry powder packed in a tiny carton, take them off and see the space and weight you can save in your trolley.

Consolidate your bags as much as you can, keep it compact. Keep a tab on the weight from time to time. Remember, the weight of the trolley bag (hard trolleys weight around 2-3 Kilos at least) is included in the 23 KG. Do not ever let your trolley weigh more than 23 Kilos.

So, with all the steps carefully taken, you might be good to go. Feel free to drop your suggestions in the comment box.

Also, Read: Flying To Italy: Bye Amma, I Promise I Won’t Eat Beef Abroad

For more stuff about studying and living in Italy, and traveling Europe, feel free to mail me at banjaraineurope@gmail.com or can contact me on Instagram at @thedopepoet

Story Of A South-Indian Girl Living In Italy Since A Year

As I was waiting at the airport, I got a call from my mom asking me to come back. I wanted to run back home but I decided not to give up. I knew everything would drastically change the very next minute I board the flight. I never traveled alone, never in an airplane. I did not try that Mexican food I wanted at the restaurant in my city, I did not enter the café that looked so bright and noisy, I did not take those extra classes as I knew none there. I never dared to do anything out of my way.

nisha setty indian girl studying in university of bologna italy masters

The first time at the airport and the first flight ever, nobody I knew was there beside me to hold my hand and tell me to relax as the flight took off. I shivered and was scared as hell as I chanted Hanuman Chalisa. I did it. I reached an unknown country that I have to live in. I knew none, not the language or food or anything.

The roads did not take me home, it did not lead to my favorite park, not to the restaurant I loved or anywhere I knew. It was a challenge for me. Everything isn’t our cup of coffee, but it is worth tasting! Spit it out if it’s yuck.

indian girl in university of bologna italy

The initial days were hard, I wanted to give up everything and run back home. This city was beautiful yet it was not home. I called my mom every day for the first 2 weeks, I cried and cried and cried until my dad called me back and asked me to come back if I wanted to. That is when I realized what I had and what I got. I had super supportive parents and everything that I had dreamt of.

I wanted to give a chance to all the efforts I had put it to the past one effing year. I made some friends, a few of my dear classmates told me not to worry as I was 30 days, yes, 30 days late to my classes. The Visa process sucks in Mumbai. I enjoyed the classes, the subject was fascinating. I started going around the city, exploring it, slowly but I finally did.

Homesickness was still an issue, I never stayed away from my parents for more than a month, I broke down very often, I could not let my fears out as I trusted none. It was not easy yet it was all that I never wanted to give up on. I had never tried cooking anything except Maggi, but now I cook bassaru to badusha to make my tummy feel good. I was pissed off when I knew I could not drink filter coffee here, the first time I tasted mocha, I spat it and today I am searching for a good mocha coffee maker.

I considered drinking alcohol was not good, ew not anymore! From wine to beer as it kept me away from the cold to just relax and sleep. I understood it is not bad if you do not overdo it. Many things as such, which I believed in was not all right.

One year to all the crazy things I decided to do and a few that I actually did. It was all worth it. To the scared as hell to it is all in your head, I am coming out of my fears and comfort zone. It is not easy but it is all that I want now. This place is starting to feel like home.

Also, Read ‘First Week As An Indian In Italy: Being Nervous & Curious At A Time!’

Note:

For more stuff about studying and living in Italy, and traveling Europe, feel free to mail me at banjaraineurope@gmail.com or can contact me on Instagram at @thedopepoet

First Week As An Indian In Italy: Being Nervous & Curious At A Time!

I stepped into Italy right at the beginning of winter. My first impression was quite weird. I mean, in India, when we see some white people walking through the streets of the old city on the lanes in Agra’s Meena Bazaar, there were at least twelve eyes staring at them, asking them for selfies. But it wasn’t the same here. No Italian asked me for selfies.

indian student in italy universities bologna ravenna campus

The first surprises:

Jokes apart, the roads aren’t very black or not even very much like roads here. The pavements are nicely laid with the stones covering the entrances of some houses next to the roads. On my second day in Ravenna, I wanted to pick beers from the supermarket and that was the moment I was in pure awe.

india vs italy beer prices and alcohol prices banjaara in europe

I saw an Italian beer (Birra Morretti) for 0.79 Euros and Heinikin for surprisingly 1.23. Now that was a beautiful sight. It was a whole different story in India. The last time when I bought a Heinikin in India, I paid Rs 220 for a 750 ml bottle (3.20 Euros). That was the moment I realized that I can comfortably sip my favorite beer for not much.

Being An ODD-One Out

first month in italy university of bologna Indian student with italians banjaara in europe blog new pic ravenna campus

I am staying at a senior’s house, for now, the house is kinda new, so there was no electricity or gas connection and that was a pretty interesting story. For the first time in my life, I understood the value of the mobile battery. We somehow managed to get the rice cooked at another senior’s place and all we had to eat it with was the pickles our mothers dearly packed for us in five layers of polythenes (airport packing). Those were the most delicious pickles I ever ate in my whole life.

There was a lot to talk about my first day in the University classroom, but I will write about it in the other story.
A couple more Indians landed in the following days and all in all we were about twenty people. The exclusive part about me as I was the only Indian pursuing my course on this campus, the rest of them are doing the engineering courses, while I was studying Cultural Heritage.

indian student in university of bologna banjaara in europe blog

The worst part was I had to attend my classes alone, and the best was I got some good exposure to the generic Italian culture because more than 60 percent of my classmates and friends are them.

The weekends are fun though, it was about to get better, and right then, the exams happened, and my solo backpacking trip, at the same time!

first week in italy university of bologna Indian student banjaara in europe blog with italians

Groceries Spree

One week of pickles and snacks had us go berserk. We got electricity on the 10th day and the first thing we did was going to the supermarkets. There were two seniors with us. One took half of us to a place where we can get vegetables and the other one took the rest of the half to a Pakistani store where we can get Indian stuff from packed Gulaab Jamun to Sesame seeds at okay prices.

 

first week in ravenna italy univ of bologna

Some things that will surprise you at first are the speed at which your rice is cooked and the mobile is fully charged because of the differences in voltage. With each evening, the winter started slipping into our bones, and then came a day when we had to sleep in sweaters covered by the comforters. And, Oh God! those nights are awesome. People sleep early here, especially those living in the apartments shared with the locals, because people aren’t very tolerant of the loud noises, unlike however it is in India. It is super calm in the evenings because it has to be.

Deep Sleep

first week in italy indian student

So, all of us used to slip into a deep sleep even before 11 PM, and man! the classes are generally 4 days a week and starting at 10 AM, I developed this habit of sleeping 14 hours a day with no dream, I repeat, WITH NO DREAMS!
It was only three weeks after being here, I actually started missing home. Once the overwhelmedness of being in Italy has passed along with the cultural shocks, the reality kicked in, and it did pretty hard. It was slow and tough.

Also, read: Essentials Every Indian Has To Buy While Coming To Italy For Studies

The funniest part is, I am publishing this story right after being living here for 1 year and a week.  So, technically, last year, October 8th was exactly one week for me in Italy.

For more stuff about studying and living in Italy, and traveling Europe, feel free to mail me at banjaraineurope@gmail.com or can contact me on Instagram at @thedopepoet

Indian Traveling Malta For 8 Days Without Burning Pockets

It was supposed to be a 28 days trip throughout the South of Italy. I was staying in Bari, at an AirBnb. The stay was about to end, but there was something missing. It just felt like I had to take care of my itchy feet with a solo-trip.

indian traveling malta banjara in europe blog story cheap travel

Flight booking:

The first thing I did was opening the amazing Ryanair app on my phone. I started looking at the places where the flight tickets are the cheapest. The miracle has happened. I stumbled upon the two-way tickets (Bari to Malta) for literally 9.99 Euros each. Now that is as cheap as an H&M t-shirt.

ryanair malta cheapest tickets from italy

The Accommodation:

The next thing I did to confirm my trip to Malta was checking booking.com, spending a humongous amount on the accommodation, despite spending nothing for the flights is a joke for me, and luckily, I found a couple of amazing hostels on the app, with the Genius membership, I got 10% discount.

marco polo hostel malta banjara in europe blog story

With the unexpected delays in the booking, I had to pay the spikes at the last minute, with all the whatever inclusions, I paid around 79.50 Euros for 8 nights (from 21st to 29th of September) at Marco Polo Hostel, at St.Julian’s Bay. With the conversion, it comes down to something like 7000 Indian rupees.

What can you expect from the Marco Polo Hostel:

marco polo hostel malta banjara in europe

For all the solo backpackers, I would totally recommend this place for its absolutely worthy price. The booking includes a bed in the 12-person dorm room, a cute curtain offering you some privacy for the nights, air-conditioning (9 pm to 9 am), a sufficient balcony, and a beautiful roof-top that turns into a bar at the nights. A tiny kitchen and refrigerator are open for the people staying there.

Local Transportation in Malta:

If you are going to stay in Malta for more than a week, I suggest you take a week-pass. This one-week bus pass includes traveling the whole country (which isn’t as big). The card gets activated with the first time you validate it after entering the bus. You can buy this ‘Tallinja card‘ in the block next to the airport exit. It will cost you 21 Euros. By the way, don’t forget validating the card every time you enter the bus, if you don’t do so, you have to pay the fine which is 50 euros.

If your stay is not going to be more than 3-4 days, I suggest you buy the tickets on the bus itself, it is 2 euros per ticket, and it will be valid for 2 hours. Every place in Malta is very well connected with buses. (Assuming that the readers of this blog might be Indians, almost every time I hopped onto the bus, I saw an Indian driving it. It just felt good seeing them everywhere haha).

tallinja card local transportation bus malta cost for one week banjara in europe indian

Meanwhile, to cross the island, and enter Gozo, I took a ship, that was pretty big, in size, the ticket was something like 4.65 euros, which is very much worth it.

If we add up all the basic money I have spent in Malta for the 8 days, it came down to

  1. Accommodation: 79.50 Euros
  2. The flight tickets: 7.99+ 9.99= 18 Euros
  3. Local transportation in Malta= 21+ 4.65+ 2= 27.65 Euros

The total: 125 Euros (Not so much eh!!!)

I will write down the deep insights about the tourist attractions in Malta and the food you must try on this Island country in the following blog stories. Keep in touch.

Also Read: Essentials Every Indian Has To Buy While Coming To Italy For Studies

If you have any other doubts about traveling Malta or Europe, feel free to drop a mail at banjaraineurope@gmail.com

 

Flying To Italy: Bye Amma, I Promise I Won’t Eat Beaf Abroad

After waiting for a freaking 45 days, I got my VISA. Half of me felt like dancing on the beach, and the other couldn’t quite handle the possibilities of the new life ahead.

indian student got italian visa for masters in univ of bologna ravenna campus

I personally never missed the taste of ‘Ghar Ka Khaana'(Homemade food)  despite staying away from parents, like going home once in 4 months. It never bothered me. Maybe it was the hope, the idea of being able to go home whenever I want. 4 Hours in a superfast train while binge-watching a season of ‘The End Of The Fu*king World’ could take me home. And, it is not going to be the same story anymore.

I got my Visa pretty late and I had to take the earliest and cheapest flight to Italy, just 10 days left to attend the International week, and my head was lost digesting the situation.

packing for italy indian student in italy bologna ravenna campus

One week to go and I vacated my flat in Hyderabad. I still cannot understand how the last week in India has passed. It was a timelapse of events that should have stayed longer. My mom ‘being the most emotional and orthodox’ in the family has already plotted ways to take me to the temples and fulfill her deals with the families of Gods. And my dad being a dad has been dealing with my leaving in his ways. My brother started stretching his territories in the wardrobe, he started putting some efforts to fill the voids that will be left by me.

Dad approached my uncle for the address of the place where they’ll do the airport packing for the loads of pickles I have to take. Mom is going berserk loading my trolleys with the typical south Indian snacks (many of which I dropped later). My uncles started teasing me about finding a soulmate in Europe. My super old grandfather gifted me 10000 INR (around 125 Euros) and whispered in my ears ‘spend it carefully’,  (we know our old people right!), then said something like ‘send me postcards’.

flying to italy for masters indian student

The oldest woman in the family, my Grandmother, she took me into the kitchen and gave me a glass jar (reusable kissan jam bottle) full of home-made GHEE, and I think that would be the most Indian thing I brought with me. I can see her struggling to peck the words out of her mouth fighting the wrinkles just down her cheeks and at the edges of her eyelashes, she has always been my favorite storyteller.

One of my best friends has been finding ways to bid goodbye, while the other one has started making plans of flying to Europe.

indian student flying to italy for masters banjaara in europe

One took the window seat and was frozen watching me from the moving bus, another didn’t express much in the form of words but through the eyes. It was heavy. I still remember the warmth.

Also, read: Essentials Every Indian Has To Buy While Coming To Italy For Studies

For more stuff about studying and living in Italy, and traveling Europe, feel free to mail me at banjaraineurope@gmail.com or can contact me on Instagram at @thedopepoet