Bachelor of Architectural Design, 3rd year
Bachelor of Architectural Design, 3rd year

Academic experiences

I studied 6 courses in my time at Politecnico: A Design studio, Restoration studio, Culture of Urban Design (Masters), Exhibition and Museography, Architecture in China and Method and Tools for Territory Analysis (Masters).
It was definitely a challenge handling so many subjects but the Politecnico did offer a good range of stuff that I couldn’t study at UQ.
As there weren’t that many courses taught in English, most of my classes were full of exchange students from across the globe which meant I quickly made friends with loads of other people also on exchange.
The major challenge at the start of my exchange was dealing with the system at Polimi; it is very confusing and involves a lot of to and fros from the exchange office but it all worked out in the end.
Of course, the language barrier is always interesting so it definitely helps to learn a few phrases before heading over.

Weekend Trip to Rome

Personal experiences

Of course the friends you make on exchange completely shape your experience overseas.
I was lucky enough to meet some truly incredible people who ended up joining me travelling most weekends around Europe.
Italy is a great place to travel and it is easy to have mini-break weekends in Venice and the like which is such great way to spend your time and enjoy the Italian lifestyle.
If you are not a confident traveller the ESN committee at the university organises trips away from Milan and other events which are a great way to travel and socialise.

Accommodation

I ended up living off-campus in an apartment with some Italians which was really close to the city centre.
Other people were lucky enough to get accommodation in the colleges however in the end I found that it was cheaper and more convenient to live closer in.
I did find it difficult in the beginning to find a place to live as I was completely unprepared so my advice would be to set up a week’s temporary accommodation before you start looking for a place to live.
I found that there were loads of other international students in the same position as me so it was easy to find people to room and socialise with while I was on the hunt for a permanent place.

Academic development and employability

I think exchange has improved my future employability a lot as I have been able to travel and test myself in numerous ways.
Also the Politecnico di Milano is a well-known university known for a good architectural program so I hope that has improved my prospects as well.

Highlight

The single highlight of my experience was definitely spending my 20th birthday in the Cinque Terre with one of the awesome people I met in Milan.
It was a really great experience hiking between the picturesque villages and was the perfect start to my next decade.

Top tips

I would definitely save up as much as you can so you can travel before and after your exchange as travelling round Europe is simply amazing.
Also make time for exploring the city you are studying in as there in nothing better than really getting to know a new place.
Also don’t over-pack as you really do gain so many things over your exchange and shipping them back or leaving stuff is never fun.
Apart from that just go for it because wherever you go you will have an incredible experience.

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