By AXEL KEICHER
A number of John Cabot University (JCU)students feel that the cost of university housing is excessive when compared to real estate in Trastevere.
“Trastevere is an expensive neighborhood, but the JCU housing costs are not justified,” said Marco Pecchio, a degree-seeker from Turin. Pecchio said the cost of a room on campus is almost double the rate of renting a single room (about €700 or $887) in Trastevere.
JCU offers two main housing options: Gianicolo Residence and the Trastevere Apartments. In addition to fully furnished apartments, the housing package also includes 24/7 security, housekeeping of common areas once a week, a round the clock maintenance repair service, air conditioning (only at the Gianicolo Residence) and Wi-Fi.
The prices per semester are €3,500 ($4,436) for the Trastevere Apartments and €4,100 ($5,200) for the Gianicolo Residence, with the possibility of reserving a single room for an additional €800.
By dividing the 109 days of fall semester, the Trastevere Apartments cost about €963 ($1,220) and the Gianicolo Residence about €1,128 ($1,430) per month. (The monthly price was calculated by adding the amount all nine roommates pay per month and dividing it by the dimension of the apartment in sq. meters. This figure may vary if fewer students occupy an apartment.)
The Trastevere apartments, acording to JCU, are 157 sq. meters (1,700 sq. feet) and accommodate nine students, therefore costing about €56 per sq. meter.
Italy’s biggest real estate web site, immobiliare.it, says the average rent price for Trastevere is €19.59 per square meter.
JCU’s incoming degree-seeking students have to include proof of residence in Rome in order to obtain their student visa. Choosing the JCU housing helps solve this problem for students who do not have contacts in Rome.
However, some students believe the difference in cost between JCU housing and Trastevere apartments is still simply too great.
Brendon Flores, a degree-seeker who just transferred from Salem International University, said the price is “in no way fair.” Flores said he chose JCU housing because he did not know Rome and had no idea where to stay.
Gabriella Zozzaro, Housing and Residential Life Associate, disagreed. “The prices in Rome are comparable to those of big, expensive cities like New York and San Francisco. I think that our prices are in line, considering what we provide. Students just have to bring clothes upon moving in, everything else is already taken care of,” said Zozzaro.
Marta Canigiula, an Italian degree-seeker and resident assistant, said the housing prices are reasonable. “First of all, Trastevere is an expensive neighborhood. All utilities are included, as well as Wi-Fi, security and cleaning [in the semester price of JCU residences]. There is always a resident assistant ready to help students with whatever problem they may have, anything from problems with roommates to homesickness. I feel that those are great perks for the people living in the housing.”
This explanation, however, did not convince Andrew Pomaville, 20, a student from Michigan State University studying abroad for one year. He said the costs are too high for some students and he suggested that the university give students the option of choosing on-campus housing without services like cleaning. This way, he said, students can save.