Hello Everybody !
My start to exchange was somewhat rocky… Due to peak season “Ferraugosto” time, airport closures and me trying to squeeze in as much travelling into 5 weeks of summer as possible. Finally, I have made it to Milan safe and sound ready for the semester ahead that awaits!
I will be studying at The Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milano. As my orientation is not until the 13th of September, I will share my feelings and expectations for the rest of the year on my journey abroad!! I am overwhelmed with different feelings of excitement, nervousness and anxiety all at once. But most of all I cannot wait to start orientation and meet some other international students from all over the world. This is because so far I have only one roommate (she is amazing!). But… life can get pretty lonely or scary – that is if you are walking home late at night by yourself. Not only this, the first round of orientations have begun and photos have been posted which look amazing! They include a big breakfast, scavenger hunt around Milano and many different icebreaker activities to acquaint you with your peers – it looks like so much fun!
Today I caught a train from Bergamo to Milano. On the train I met another Canadian solo traveller. Her and I bonded so well within the first 5 minutes. This made the 2 hour wait and train ride feel like 10 minutes! If that was any indication as to how easy it is to make friends abroad, then I expect to make lots of friends and hopefully some that I can keep in contact when I return back to Australia.
Another aspect of my exchange that I am really excited about is my Italian language course. Coming from an Italian background means that I can understand and speak basic Italian. However, I lack the confidence to speak it. I am really excited and hopeful that within these next 4 months I can improve my speaking and gain some more confidence to be able to get around Italy with ease!
It will be inevitable to face the challenging aspects of exchange. Such as: finding the time to travel whilst balancing study for my 5 electives, managing travel expenses (shopping in Milan is infectious!) and dealing with the communication barrier of getting by with people who do not speak English (surprising, some people do not even know a word of English!).
Nether the less, I am so incredibly lucky and thankful to UTS for giving me this opportunity to venture out of my comfort zone and get a taste of a new culture and experience.
Vanessa Buonasera, 11971708, Business