I read that students are 40 min away from the university by foot and 20-35 by public transport. Is it our responsibility to provide ourselves with transport money. Is it better to use single tickets or cards? Are there any discounts for tourists/students?
Yes, this is correct. About 40 minutes walk and around 25 by metro+tram; The best option is to buy a 10 tickets card (http://www.metrovalencia.es/wordpress_en/?page_id=304). It is called BONOMETRO and it is 7.20€ for 1 zone (Valencia city is ZONE A). The card itself is 1 extra euro. If you buy the card in the airport for only 1 trip to downtown (it is 3.90 euros + 1 euro for the card), once the card is empty (you use the single ticket to get the city from the airport) you can recharge the card only for ZONE A and you do not need to buy another card. This can be done always, but the card must be EMPTY.
The flights and accommodation are provided, that’s clear. How about meals? Do we have meals at the hostel, at a nearby restaurant? Is the lunch going to be at the university?
The breakfast is included with the hostel for all the days. From Monday to Friday (1st and 2nd week) the lunch is also included in the UPV campus. You will receive a ticket for each lunch. We will go all together to the restaurant inside the campus. The dinners and lunches during the weekend are NOT INCLUDED. But Valencia is not expensive at all. And the local students will inform you about the best places to dinner, fiesta, etc. And the hostel is in downtown, so everything is close.
As we are going to participate at a worksop involving telecommunications do we need to bring our laptops/tablets or all we will do will be in the university and no additional activities will be done at the hostel (doing research or homework)?
It is a good idea to take your laptops with you, even it is not necessary. You will have internet access at UPV and also in the hostel.
Are we going to have some sightseeing or trips outside Valencia for which we would need additional money (entrances, fees, etc.) and if yes approximately how many (to make some calculations regarding our pocket money)?
There is a guided visit to Valencia on Wednesday or Thursday (not decided yet) that is included in the programme, and also a free entrance to the Oceanografic (the Valencia Aquarium). The other activities are up to the students, even most probably local students will organize some activities.
As we are coming a day earlier – is there provided accommodation and food for that day or it is on us?
The accommodation is included, with the breakfast. But NOT THE LUNCH, because the lunch starts officially on Monday May 15th.
If you have any idea how many people there will be in one room in the hostel?
The rooms are already organized. There rooms with 4 and 6 students.
Are there any rules or regulations regarding our free time (regardless of that we are majors)?
As mentioned above, local students will organize some activities.
Is tap water drinkable or is it advisable to buy bottled?
Yes, Valencia water is drinkable. It is good, but probably not as good as Madrid one, for example. It is hard water (that is why the Paella is so good in Valencia). But it is good. No problem with it.
As I have travelled mainly in Western-North Europe is it common in Spain the fizzy water or they normally drink still water?
In Spain, if you order water, by default is STILL WATER. If you like sparkling water you must order it (“AGUA CON GAS” in Spanish)
Are weekends free from workshop activities and free for sightseeing and other free time activities? If not what?
As mentioned above, on Sunday we will be visiting the Aquarium. On Saturday we will see.