About 70 Spanish students who went on Erasmus to the Italian city of Ferrara have been left homeless as they couldn’t find accommodation. In fact, more than a dozen young they had to sleep The last Sunday at the train station of the locality.
Students have reported being victims of scams and discrimination by the Italians, who refuse to rent them a place to live.
“We had no other option: it was that or to the street. In a station there is more light, more people, security and a roof. Above all, a roof”, explains one of those affected in statements to the Being Chain.
Many of them arrived in Italy without having found accommodation because, according to what they say, they had been told that in summer it was very difficult to find a flat, but that in september it would be easier. Some of them have even tried to find a place to live outside of Ferrara, but they have not been successful.
Discriminated and scammed
The young people report that as soon as they arrived at the real estate agencies they were denied, both for being students and for being Spanish. In addition, they explain that on occasions they have tried to swindle them with flats that didn’t even exist or making them the promise that they would give them the keys later.
As a result, the Spanish Service for the Internalization of Education (SAPIE) has started the process of collecting information to help those affected.
Some of the young people are students of the University of Huelvawhich has declared to the media Huelva Information be in contact with those affected. In addition, they have stated that they are locating students who have found housing so that they can temporarily accommodate those who do not have a place to live.
Erasmus Spain reaction
After knowing the controversial cases, the service in charge of the program Erasmus in Spain has pointed out that the management of the accommodation of the students are not competent and has pointed out that it is the host universities that must offer help to these young people to find housing before reaching their destination.
In a statement, the Spanish Service for the Internationalization of Education (Sepie) -an autonomous body attached to the Ministry of Universities- informs that Italy is the first destination country for Spaniards with an Erasmus+ scholarship, about 9,200, 21% of the total that travels from our country each year.
After pointing out that the “primordial” objective is to “collaborate” to assist, “as much as possible”, those affected, Sepie indicates that the management of Erasmus+ student accommodation it is not the agency’s responsibility and “it is understood that this problem may possibly be caused, in some cases, by the lack of accommodation and its rising prices.”
According to the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education, he explains, “it is the host universities that must offer help to Erasmus students for the search for accommodation before moving, in such a way that, upon arrival, they are assured of a place to live during their stay”.
Sending universities, in case of accommodation problems, “should contact their partner universities if necessary”, and if there is “fraud or discrimination”, the host institution must provide assistance.