Bachelor of Engineering/Commerce
Bachelor of Engineering/Commerce

Ciao,

I studied at Bocconi University in Semester 1 2014 whilst completing my Engineering/Commerce studies. Now, some of you might be wondering how it was possible to go on exchange in your last semester, I was wondering the very same thing. As long as you are willing to defer your graduation by 6 months, then you can still go on exchange. So for all those people out there who for whatever reason can only fit an exchange in their final semester of studies, I say go for it. You will not regret it, not once. I almost didn't go, because of an Engineering thesis that I needed to complete at the end of 2013, and was due to graduate mid 2014.

Cathedral

For those who are just starting University, I would suggest to save your electives and use them on exchange. This gives you much more flexibility when choosing subjects to study overseas and is especially important when studying a dual degree. I studied 4 finance and a management course whilst over here, and I didn't find the workload too strenuous. Generally assessments are scarce, most subjects have final exams, a few have mid semesters and group projects. Unlike UQ, Bocconi University gives the option for students to be attending or non-attending. Attending students must do all projects/midsemester exams offered, but will only have to study for half the course when final exams come around. My advice would be to remain an attending student, as alluring as only sitting 100% final exams are.

Friends at a game

As an international student I was initially offered a choice between two residences (Dubini or Arcobaleno). Dubini is much closer to Bocconi University, and predominantly houses Italian students, whilst Arcobaleno is around a 30min trip, and has mostly international students. You are allocated a room on a first-come first-served basis, however even though I applied within the first 15min of allocations, I still got my 2nd preference (Arcobaleno). So for those who want to be close to Bocconi, I would suggest having it as your only preference. As other students have mentioned Arcobaleno is full of Canadians, Americans and Australians, and is a great way to make friends as everyone is very social. There are communal kitchens with induction cooktops, however, no utensils are provided, so you will need to buy your own (or go halves with your room mate). Whilst the rooms are large, there is no WiFi around the accommodation, so Internet access is restricted to a cable connected to your computer.

With friends

Living in Milan is great if you want to travel to other European countries, most places are only a 90min flight away (although it takes you just as long to get to the airport). Take advantage of the cheap airline tickets, and book in advance if possible. Don't be too worried about not having booked anything before you come over, everyone was travelling every weekend for at least the first 2 months of exchange, and you will definitely meet people who are looking for an extra person to travel around with. Being only a 6 month exchange there will be a tradeoff between seeing Europe and exploring Italy, unless you travel consistently. Whilst I was here I managed to go to: Belgium (impromptu trip organised during the Italian Crash Course), Paris, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Venice, Rome, Naples, Cinque Terra, Florence and Malta. It's worth booking a late flight back home to Australia as this gives you the chance to travel more after your studies. Don't be afraid of hostels (check hostelworld for ratings and reviews), if you can, experiment travelling with large and small groups, as well as solo travelling. Be open to new ideas, new ways of doing things, and try and say yes, you will thank yourself later for it.

To say exchange is a life changing experience is an understatement. Be prepared for your mind to be blown.

Top Tips

  1. See the Duomo at night
  2. Appertivo at Navigli (Favourites included Manhattan, Maya, Spritz)
  3. Embrace the Italian way of life (everything here takes longer than usual, just relax)
  4. Sign up for the Italian Crash Course, the people of Milan will thank you for it, plus it's a great way to meet people
  5. Take part in the free ESN events in the first 2 weeks
  6. Don't stress about not seeing/doing everything, sometimes tradeoffs have to be made

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