Bachelor of Architectural Design
Bachelor of Architectural Design

I decided to go on exchange to Politecnico di Milano in Italy in my first semester of third year. Studying architecture for a semester in Europe was an incredible opportunity that I will never forget. Not only did studying abroad offer me a wholly different perspective on my chosen subject, but I also left with a network of friends from around the world with whom I shared some unforgettable experiences.

Academic Experience:
Similar to the UQ program, Politecnico offered design, history and technology studios in English. Taking the English classes meant you were often socialising with other Erasmus students rather than Italians so if you do want to hang with the locals you should consider placing yourself in Italian speaking subjects. The courses offered in Milan are quite intense in terms of contact hours (don’t forget that in most courses attendance is compulsory!) but this gives you more of a chance to get to know your cohort better. A nine to five studio is so not so bad when you can relax at the Birreria with your friends at the end of the day! Rather than smaller tutorials, you are often in bigger classes with less interaction with you lecturer but I found them to be very friendly and helpful if you made the effort to approach them.

If you want to improve your Italian the uni offers free Italian lessons three days a week depending on your skill level. They are very useful if you can commit to them! Just be prepared to not leave uni until 10pm some nights if you do.

I was very lucky to go over to Milan with two other girls studying architecture so we managed to find an apartment together, a 15 minute metro or half an hour walk to uni. From my experience and talking to other students, finding your own accommodation rather than using university accommodation seemed to be the best option, comfort and budget wise. You can also try and get yourself a bike whilst in Italy since things are quite spread out. That said, the metro system and trams are cheap and regular if you don’t feel that comfortable on the roads (the driving style in Italy is sometimes frightening).

Whilst Milan doesn’t seem like a huge tourist attraction to begin with, there is certainly lots to see and do! Most importantly there is lots to eat! Find a good aperitivo bar in your area so when you can’t face cooking dinner for yourself you have somewhere to go. Aperitivo (Italian happy hour) is a cheap way for students to get a cocktail and unlimited dinner between 6 and 9 every night. Generally it is around seven or eight euro for your drink, but remember some are better than others.
If you like pop music you will love Milan and Italy in general. They have a soft spot for the hottest hits. Beware Alcatraz if this is not your thing. However clubs around the Linate area and some inner city ones often have great dj’s playing from Thursday to Saturday night (for a steep entry fee).

In conclusion Milan was a great city to study in as well as a base for other weekend travelling (keep an eye of easy jet sales!). If you throw yourself into it, you will have an amazing time and meet some fantastic people along the way. Definitely a worthwhile experience!

On this site

Go to top