Taking the leap to move to a foreign country can stir a range of emotions. The need to adapt to a new culture, way of life and learn a new language can be overwhelming. Despite all this, exchange is the most rewarding experience and I don’t have an ounce of regret as I sit here and write this.
I’m currently on exchange at Bocconi University in Milan. While it may not be the most beautiful city in Italy, living in Milan has a unique charm and is one of the best choices for an exchange destination.The teaching style at Bocconi is mostly similar to UTS, however rather than a tutorial and a lecture, you have 2 lecture style, interactive classes on a smaller scale. Being a private business centric university, the level of education and facilities are top quality. My professors have a range of experience and come from not only Italy but Denmark and the US. Unlike UTS, assignments are optional and you are able to opt to just take a final exam worth 100% depending on the subject. Being the fashion capital of the world, they even offer a subject in Management of Fashion companies. Just the other week was Milan Women’s Fashion Week and the Max Mara show was actually held inside one of the Bocconi buildings.
Student housing is limited at Bocconi given the high intake of exchange students. Prior to my arrival I found out that I had been put on a waiting list and had been so stressed and disappointed. Luckily, after much research I stumbled upon a private room in a shared apartment up the road from the University. I now live with 17 other students and workers from a number of different countries and I’m so glad that student housing didn’t work out. Living with so many people might seem like a challenge but it is by far my favourite thing about living in Milan. From multiple house parties, to watching the soccer or just chilling, I’ve got a family away from home and made so many life long friends.
Milan’s central positioning makes it the perfect place for travel anywhere in Europe. In my first month of being here, I’ve already been on several weekend trips to Switzerland and other places in Italy including Tuscany, Torino and Verona to name a few. Most recently I attended the The Erasmus Student Network (ESN) organised trip to Carnevale in Venice and Padova which was an unforgettable experience. ESN is the exchange student social organisation which holds a number of events, parties and trips throughout the semester. They foster the growth of many friendships and ensure that you have the best time possible on your exchange.
If I have any advice for anyone considering an exchange in Italy, it is to just embrace everything that is thrown your way.
- Take the Italian Crash course at the start of semester and at least learn the basics of the language. It’s also the perfect way to meet new people right at the start
- Try and speak as much Italian as possible and immerse yourself in the culture. Go to Apperitivo (Italian pre drinks/dinner), eat your body weight in pasta and learn the Italian way of life
- Travel, explore and don’t be afraid to get lost, you will always find your way back
- If you want good photos in front of the Duomo without a crowd, go at 1am
- Make the most of every second because time flies by
Bachelor of Business
For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au