Two months ago I departed Sydney for Milan dehydrated from goodbye tears, with an oversized suitcase and high hopes for what exchange would bring. Now I’m scared thinking that I’m already half way through what has been the most amazing experience of my life!
I have wanted to travel to Italy for as long as I can remember so to land in Milan was like a dream come true. Arriving I quickly learned just how cold 3 degrees is and that my Italian language skills were well below par. Thankfully, both the weather and my Italian have significantly improved since then!
Milan is more than just the fashion capital of the world. It is not your ‘typical quaint’ Italian city, but it is a city with a great personality and a lot to offer. I will never forget the first time I saw the Duomo, one minute we’re walking through the cobblestone streets of high end shops, and the next minute, there it is.
Of course the fashion and cultural experience Milan provides is like no other, but the culinary experience is in a class of its own. It’s amazing how much joy a scoop of gelato or a slice of pizza can add to an outing. At the beginning of exchange I was challenged to eat my way through Italy with a gelato a day, and I can proudly say that I’m on track.
Over the last few months I’ve ticked off a few bucket list items within Milan including seeing a ballet in the infamous La Scala (photo below), watching an Inter Milan v. Lazio soccer match at San Siro Stadium and seeing Pope Francis (or as the Italian’s say ‘Papa Francesco’), but I’ve also been fortunate enough to do a lot of travel to other countries given Milan’s prime, central location… Germany, France, Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland and Spain just to name a few!
The overseas trips have been amazing, but at the end of it all, Italy is the place to be! I love everything about Italy – Italians are so welcoming and hospitable (they particularly love Aussies), shops close around midday for a pausa pranzo (lunch break) so that meals can be shared, and no matter what Italian city you’re, there’s something ‘photo-worthy’ down every street.
Every minute studying abroad has been an adventure, and that’s thanks to the wonderful people I’ve been able to share the experience with. Exchange has given me the opportunity to make friends from all around the world, and although I don’t want to think about the fast-approaching farewells, I can’t wait to go and visit them in the future.
Thank you UTS and Bocconi University for what has truly been an experience of a life-time!
Rhiannon Toohey 11986268 – Bachelor of Business – Bocconi University