Milan Semester Exchange 2015

Milan is a city of beauty, culture, amazing food and of course fashion. The Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore is in the city centre of Milan, allowing myself to gain more exposure to this great city. Already 1 month into my semester exchange, it has so far been a challenging yet rewarding and fulfilling experience. The staff at Cattolica are really great in helping students settle in and they organised a successful orientation and intensive Italian language course which allowed for me to meet new people and explore more of the city.

Milano is a beautiful city and is enriched with history and culture. Although having been to the Duomo numerous times already, it’s just as beautiful as the last time. The churches and religious monuments in Milano still retain their beauty and are a significant part to the history and lifestyle of the Milanese people. Food and coffee is also an important part of Italian lifestyle and with Milan hosting the EXPO this year, it’s been a great opportunity to try new foods and gain more awareness about sustainable eating.

Starting on time at 9am in Italy means starting at 9:30am. The more relaxed lifestyle was a bit difficult to adjust to and living here has so far taught me the importance of patience and acceptance that not everything will be started or completed on time. This lifestyle extends to their opening hours which includes 2 hour breaks in the afternoons each day and shops closing on both Sunday and Monday. However, this has encouraged me to spend more weekends with other international students and more time exploring more parts of the city such as the Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the Teatro alla Scale and Navigli.

Milano is also known for having Aperitivo, which is when you pay a reasonably cheap price for a cocktail and small buffet of food including pasta, focaccia, cold meats and sometimes a dessert. It’s an affordable way to eat out and a great idea to meet with friends after a day at uni. A common area to spend the evening is in Navigli, which has restaurants (and markets on the weekend) along the canal and is a great way to spend time with friends.

So far, Milan has been an amazing experience and I’m excited to continue exploring the city and more of Italy in the next 3 months. The great thing about Cattolica’s International curriculum is that it tries to integrate classes with excursions and practical events. This includes some students traveling to the EXPO to explore sustainably eating, information sessions hosted by founders and managers of luxury businesses for those studying the fashion market and also small businesses in Italy such as a brewery and a restaurant for students studying entrepreneurship and management. Milan has a lot to offer and I hope it will continue to provide me with amazing learning experiences.

Melissa Carollo – 11686514

Gelateria Aperitivo Duomo View of Milan from the Duomo

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