While in Italy we were able to eat in university campus restaurants all over town; which allowed us to have a look into the student life in Florence. Thanks to the accompanying adults, we learned a lot about the Italian university system and were hence able to compare it to the French one.
1. The Food
Certain students are, if they have a scholarship, given one free meal per day. This could for example consist in pasta with parmesan cheese, pumpkin with vegetable omelette, cheese and fruit. A fairly balanced meal despite the free soda. If one does not have a scholarship, then the price of the meal is set at 4€, approximately as much as what one would pay in France. Surprising is the opening hours of the restaurant: open till 9pm in Florence, while in our hometown Tours they close at 1:30pm.
However, quantity does not define quality. The Italian university restaurant surprised us through its quantity but let us down through its quality. The food was mostly cold, some things were not properly baked and the seasoning was questionable.
Over the course of the meal, we were able to talk to the accompanying adults, Sophie et Marie-Hélène, about student scholarships.
2. Student Scholarship
We learned that failing the year cancels the scholarship. French students are given 2 attempts in one same study field and year. In Italy, the scholarship is given twice a year, in France 10 times a year: every month excluding July and August. This could be problem when organising expenses.
The worth of the scholarship is not as high as in France but it is compensated by free housing. However, the courses are not paid for and they're quite expensive!
If it were up to us, we would choose the French system as it encourages students to be independent and saves them from debts and financial trouble.