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Living in Girona

/Living in Girona
Living in Girona2018-03-12T11:49:38+00:00
I did the master. Ask me…
University accommodations for students at the UdG are located in two complexes:

 the University Residence Hall/RESA (Montilivi Campus)

The University of Girona and the University Residence Hall  have agreed to offer places at a special price for foreign students. The residence is divided into different types of apartments. Each apartment is furnished and has a fully equipped kitchen, a bathroom, central heating, a telephone (direct line), an Internet connection and a TV antenna. Other services, such as common student rooms, a fitness room, a TV and video room, etc., are also offered.

Be aware that the residence is located near the Montilivi Campus (25 minutes on foot or 10 minutes by bus from the city centre and the Barri Vell Campus.

– the Argenteria apartments (Old Town Campus)

Each apartment has two double rooms, a kitchen, a bathroom and a dining room, and is fully furnished. They are located in the city centre. The price is per bed (rooms must be shared).  The minimum stay is three weeks and the maximum is three months. These apartments are intended for short stays or as temporary accomodations until permanent housing is found.

If you are interested, please contact Rina Weltner (rina.weltner@udg.edu, tel. +34 972 418 098) . The places will be honoured on a “first come, first served” basis.

In addition to accommodations  offered through the University, rooms may be available in Girona hotels,youth hostels (Alberg-Residència “Cerverí de Girona” and Equity-Point Girona Hostel) and some private homes (idealistaPisocompartido,  Easypiso,  Loquo,  Habitaclia)

Transportation

Girona (http://www.ajuntament.gi/turisme/) is a city located in a strategic place (41.59 ° north latitude, 2.49 º east longitude) of the Iberian Peninsula. Over the years it has become a genuinely modern transport hub, and access to the city (by car, train or plane) is excellent.

Access to the various UdG campuses and moving around the city is easy, whether on bicycle, by bus or, given the size of the city, on foot. Also, if you are a student at the University of Girona, you can travel by bus in Girona during the  academic year for only 90€.

Weather in Girona:

  • Annual temperature: Average 14° C, Highest 36° C, Lowest -6° C.
  • Temperature changes are common and there are usually marked changes in temperature between night and day.

Weather forecasts for the city of Girona can be found at this link.

Business opening hours

  • Business hours
    The opening hours of most shops is from 9:30 to 13:30 and from 16:30 to 20:30, although franchises and shopping malls do not close for lunch. Supermarkets and specialized shops open from 10:00 to 22:00. Shops open from Monday to Saturday. If you come shopping in Girona on Monday morning, do not be surprised to see many of the shops closed, as many retailers prefer to stay closed on Monday mornings. Establishments that are certainly open are franchises and department stores and some shops in the city centre.
  • Meal times
    As for meals, lunch is usually started between 13:00 and 14:00, and dinner between 20:00 and 21:00. During the weekend the meal times are a bit later. Most restaurants cater to the habits of tourists.
  • Opening hours of museums and monuments
    Most museums and monuments open to the public can be visited from 10:00 to 19:00 in winter, from March to September, and from 10:00 to 20:00 in summer. On Sundays and holidays they are usually open from 10:00 to 14:00. They are open every day of the year except 1 and 6 January, Easter Sunday, and 25 and 26 December. You can check the schedule of each museum in our section Monuments and Museums.
  • Time changes
    Girona is the GMT +01:00 time zone, the same as Madrid, Paris, Rome, Brussels, Berlin, Warsaw and Copenhagen. As in most European countries, the official time varies during the year: the clock is moved forward an hour on the last Sunday in March (time change from winter to summer) and back an hour on the last Sunday in October (time change from summer to winter).
  • Banking hours
    In general, commercial and savings banks are open from 8:15 to 14:00 on Monday to Friday. Savings banks also open on Thursday afternoons from 16:30 to 19:45 from October to April.

Cost of living  (based on the section drawn up by the Student Council)

The cost of living in the city of Girona for a student can vary quite a bit depending on what that student is willing to spend, especially insofar as leisure and free time expenses are concerned. In fact, an important fact must be taken into account. Girona is a very comfortable city, but comfort has its price, some times quite high.

According to a monthly estimate including only lodging and food, a student will need around 600 € to live in Girona.

Lodging

The preceding figure only considers the expense of 200 € a month for a shared room in an average student flat, and weekly food money. Attention: not sharing a flat can be expensive since rents oscillate between 450 and 1000 €/month

The price of student residences, oscillates between 345 and 390 €/month, expenses not included.

Food

In the 600 € established at the beginning, 250 € a month were for food.

For fresh foods like fruit and vegetables, if quality is desired, the best and cheaper is to go to the municipal marketplaces (one is in Plaça del Lleó and the other is the outdoor market located next to the Devesa Parc)  on Tuesday and Saturday mornings.

If you eat out, the daily menu in most restaurants oscillates between 8 to 13 €.

Transportation

If the distance between your lodging and your faculty or school requires the use of public transportation(bus), it can cost about 30 € a month (or 90€ / year). An option is to find yourself a classmate that drives to class or else ride a bicycle like some students do. Bicycles can be hired in the University Residence of Montilivi and in the UdG or second hand bicycles can be bought in specialized shops.

Free time

In Girona there are four theatres devoted mainly to performances by professional and amateur troupes. Admission to both the plays and musical performances can vary between 12 and 30 € depending on the category of the show. They do set special prices for students. For the other types of shows, like dances, poetry recitals and others, the price oscillates between 6 and 15 €.

The price of drinks varies depending on the place and what you drink. In most establishments, mixed drinks cost between 4.50 and 8 €. The price of beer varies since you can find places where a beer will cost 1.50 € and others where they will charge you the same as for a mixed drink.

In summary, Thursday night, which is Girona University students’ night, can end up costing between 15 and 18 €.

Useful telephone numbers

City information
Municipal 010 / 972 41 90 10
Tourist information 972 22 65 75
Public information 972 41 90 50
Police
Local Police 092
Catalan Police 088
National Police 091
Emergencies
Emergency Phone 112
Medical emergencies, ambulances 061
Fire Brigade 085
Hospitals
Dr. Trueta Hospital 972 94 02 00
Santa Caterina Hospital 972 18 26 00
Taxis
Taxis Girona (specially adapted taxis) 972 22 23 22
972 20 33 77
Giro Taxi 972 22 10 20

EU students

If you are a citizen of a member state of the European Union or of the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein & Norway), you do not need a visa or other previously obtained documentation. A valid passport or identity card allows you to enter Spain.

Once in Girona

It is not necessary to apply for a residence permit. The only documents necessary are a passport and/or identity card.

If for some reason you need an NIE (fiscal identification number), you can get it at one of the following places.

If you are a student whose stay exceeds three months, you must register in the “Central Registry of Foreigners”, where you will be issued a certificate of registration. You can register in person, without need for an appointment, at the Police Station located at:

c/ Rajolers, 7

tel. 972 205 400

Hours: 9:00-14:00

Further information and the application form can be found in the following link.

Non-EU students

If you are a citizen from a non EU or non EEA country, you should obtain a student visa in your home country before arriving in Spain. You can apply for a student visa at the Embassy or Spanish Consulate closest to your place of residence.   If necessary, locate the one closest to you on the website of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

To apply for a visa, among other documents, you need a proof of acceptance in the master.

Important: A tourist visa is not sufficient to study in Spain.

Once in Girona

  • For stays of less than 6 months it is not required to apply for a Foreigner Identity Card (TIE). If, however, you do want to apply for one, please contact:

Brigada Provincial d’Estrangers

Subdelegació del Govern de l’Estat

Av. Jaume I, 17

Tel.  972 069 000 – 972 069 140

Hours:  Monday to Thursday, 9:00-15:00, Friday, 9:00-14:00

If your study or research period does not exceed six months, the consulate or embassy may issue a student visa with the observation “180 DAYS TOTAL STUDIES”. With this type of visa you do not need a Foreigner Identity Card and are only authorised to stay for a maximum of six months, without extensions. After this period, you must return to your country.

  • For stays longer than six months, you must personally apply for Foreign Identity Card (TIE) during the first month after your arrival. You can apply, without need for an appointment, at:

OFICINA D’EXPEDICIÓ TIE

Av. Sta. Eugenia, 145

tel. 972 069 348

Required documents:

  • Original and photocopy of your passport (visa and personal data page).
  • Photocopy of your UdG registration certificate or a document certifying admission to the UdG.
  • Certification of the your place of residence. If your accommodation is a student residence or university flat, you will only need a certificate; otherwise you need an official census certificate (“certificat d’empadronament”) issued by the city or town where you live. In Girona you can request it at the Oficina d’ Atenció Ciutadana in the City Hall  (Pl. del Vi).
  • 3 photos

Then they give you a voucher in order to pay the fee (15€) and after 40 days you will have your TIE.

The card is valid for one year and is renewable if you continue your studies. It can be renewed at the same place in the two months prior to its expiration date. Further information is available at this link.

Every foreigner who comes to Girona, whether to work or study, must have health insurance.

In the event of any illness or chronic symptoms that can lead to complications during your stay (allergies, respiratory problems, diabetes), you must inform the External Relations Office.

Also, if you need any specific mobility support or help to function from day to day, the University of Girona has a Support Programme for university community members with disabilities.

EU students

If you come from an EU country, or from Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, and in your home country you are insured through a public social security system, you are entitled to the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), a personal, non-transferable document that verifies you as a user with the right to receive free health care in the centres of the Catalan health care network.

With this card you can go to a hospital or primary care facility, receive the same attention and care as any Catalan citizen and buy the medicines prescribed by your physician. Remember, though, that this card does not cover private health care or repatriation costs. Each EHIC, depending on the country, has a different period of validity; do not forget to check the expiration date on the card.

The EHIC can be obtained by going to your national health insurance agency (see section on National information and contacts and special procedures applicable in your country of origin). The EHIC is free. For more information, please consult the frequently asked questions about the European Health Card.

If you need health care, you must go to the primary care center (CAP) closest to your home and show your EHIC along with a document proving your identity (identity card or passport).

Non-EU students

If you come from a country outside the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, you should find out about any exisiting medical agreement between the public health system in your country and the one in Spain.
If such an agreement exists, apply to the health authorities of your country for a document stating that you have free access to the public health care network in Catalonia. Otherwise, you must obtain private medical insurance for your ENTIRE STAY.

Medicines and pharmacies

In Catalonia and the rest of Spain, medications are purchased in pharmacies. Prescriptions issued by physicians must be filled in a pharmacy.

Pharmacies are usually open to the public on Monday to Friday from 9:15 to 13:00 and from 16:30 to 20:00, which are normal business hours. In addition, every day of the year there is a pharmacy open 24 hours a day. To check which pharmacies are open on a particular date, use this pharmacy locator.

Addresses of interest

  • National Social Security Institute – INSS
    c / Santa Eugènia, 40
    Tel. +34 972 226 222 / +34 900 166 565 (24 hours)
  • Catalan Health Institute – ICS 
    Tel. +34 972 200 044  /  +34 902 111 444 (24 hours)
    www.gencat.net/ics

Catalonia is situated in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula. The Pyrenees mark its northern border, the eastern border is the Mediterranean Sea.

Catalonia identifies itself as a nation, with this word meaning a geographical and historical area whose inhabitants share a common language and a common culture.

Catalan culture is a Mediterranean one, influenced more by the Greek and Roman settlements than by the Moorish heritage in the rest of Spain.

As an autonomous community in the modern political structure of Spain, Catalonia has its own governmental institution, the Generalitat, which is comprised of the Parliament, the President of the Generalitat and the Executive Council or Government.

There are two official languages in Catalonia: Catalan, a Romance language derived from Latin, and Castillian or Spanish. With knowledge of French, Italian or Spanish any visitor should find it easy to understand Catalan.

It is well known that Catalonia is of outstanding economic importance to the rest of Spain. With a surface area of 32,000 km2 (an area similar to Belgium), which is equivalent to only 6.3% of the whole of Spain, it nevertheless has 15% of the population (about 6 million inhabitants) and 25% of its industry. In European terms, the economy of Catalonia is larger than that of Portugal or Ireland, and is comparable to the Greek economy. Catalonia is considered to be the “economic motor of Spain” because it played a leading role in the Spanish industrial revolution. Together with Rhone-Alps, Lombardy and Baden-Württemberg, Catalonia is also one of the so-called Four Motors of Europe.

Girona is one of the four provinces that, together with Barcelona, Tarragona and Lleida, make up the Autonomous Community of Catalonia.

The Girona coast, extending down through L’Alt and El Baix Empordà, is universally known as the Costa Brava, one of the preferred holiday destinations for tourists from all over the world. Stretching more than two hundred kilometres, its untouched natural areas and botanical gardens alternate with fishing villages and cosmopolitan housing developments. In L’Alt Empordà the Dalí Museum in Figueres is one of Spain’s most visited museums, and ancient times are present in Empúries, the site of Roman and Greek remains. Inland there are extremely varied and forested mountains (La Cerdanya), where you can ski in winter, protected natural parks, one of the most important volcanic areas in Europe (La Garrotxa) and a lake that hosted the rowing events of the 1992 Olympic Games (Banyoles, El Pla de l’Estany).

The city of Girona is the capital of the province. It is located in El Gironès, on the banks of the Ter and Onyar rivers. With a population of about 87,000 inhabitants, it is a small city that still conserves the quality of life that has been lost in some larger ones. It is a bustling administrative and university centre, a pole of commercial and cultural attraction, with the highest quality of life in Catalonia and almost all of Spain. It is located in a privileged place, hardly an hour from Barcelona or the French border and about two from the Pyrenees. Founded by the Romans, it is one of the oldest cities in Catalonia with more than 2,000 years of history. European history! Even the Seat of Carlemany (Charlemagne, Karl de Große, Karel de Grote…) is in the Cathedral. But that’s not the only treasure in the city. Its exceptional old part is one continuous monument of temples, belfries, houses, palaces and walls, and it contains one of the best-preserved medieval Jewries in Europe.

And those are only some of the reasons that make Girona a great place to be! You will discover the others.

More information (in English and Catalan) about Catalonia in general and the city of Girona can be found at the following URLs: