Living and studying in Italy for six months provided me with so many unbelievably fantastic experiences that I'll cherish for a long time. Doing a semester at Bocconi graced me with the great fortune to fully immerse myself in the Italian culture, create great friendships with people from all over the globe and accessing so much of Europe to experience a multitude of cultures and people.


As far as the academia went, Bocconi was well organised and the teaching staff were all of a high calibre. The courses I completed were of similar difficulty to UQ just for reference. However, in one class I found myself trying to think in an Italian accent in order to understand the "English" of the professor. It seemed every word finished with an "a". Although I didn't understand much I just put it down to Italians just being classic Italians. There were so many great times where random Italian people would do things so stereotypical and quintessentially Italian that I had to compile write down a list. They really were a vibrant, friendly and fun bunch of people.


I recommend signing up for an exchange no matter where it is as you're only young once and this is the best time to make new friends, travel lots and have a better time in general than you ever could have imagined. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to make Milan my home for six months and I'll never forget it. Don't hesitate just do it!
 

Five top tips:

  • Go to San Siro and watch either AC or Inter Milan play soccer, or better, watch them play each other. I'd never watched a live game of soccer but it was unlike any event I'd seen before. The crowd are fanatical, with chants and flares going full gas for the entire 90 mins, making an atmosphere that gives you goosebumps.
  • Enjoy aperitivo along the navigli. The concept of paying for one drink (under 10 euros!) and receiving unlimited freshly made food from all sorts of varieties meant cooking at home was almost impractical. I can only recommend that you abuse the system but be subtle when going back for your fourth plate as the Italians will raise eyebrows if they think you've overstepped the mark regarding the shared food.
  • Enrol in the Italian crash course, it is the best way to quickly make friends and learn the language. Italians are much more responsive when you can speak their language or at least try to.
  • Travel lots! Milan is so central to everywhere in Europe and can be accessed easily via plane and train so make the most of it.
  • For lunch, do the dirty double... grab a panzerotti from Luini's and then a gelato from Cioccolat Italiani. Having this once or twice a week was possibly the best life decision I have made thus far despite being a setback for the waistline.
     

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