Ciao a tutti!
I have finally found the time to sit down and reflect on my first week in Milano, Italy… and boy, what a week it’s been. Now it’s time for you to sit down and have a sneak peek at what I’ve been up to!
From applying in November 2016, to finding out which university I would be attending in February 2017, and finally arriving in late August 2017… the build-up to exchange is definitely one of great anticipation. And the actual exchange? Even better.
I moved in on Saturday (Sabato in Italian) equipped with a backpack on my front and back, as well as an oversized shopping bag on my right shoulder. Of course, I was all smiles. I set about unpacking my things in my room, and proceeded to the closest supermarket to buy some basic groceries (i.e. tea, coffee and all the homely things).
My first tip for exchange: leave your comfort zone, and be proactive
Less than an hour before settling in, I scanned the Bocconi Students Facebook group for anything happening that night (as it was, of course, Saturday night). A few exchange students were heading out for dinner and drinks, so I messaged a girl who I had seen lived at my residence. We made plans to head there together, and there we go, my first friend.
We ended up going to this thing called “aperitivo” (aka the best thing ever) – essentially you buy one drink which gives you access to a buffet dinner for ~ 11 euros ($16.47 AUD with the current exchange rate). Amazing, right? I had a great time (and met lots of other fun exchange students).
My second tip: immerse yourself in the culture
On Monday, I picked up my student card and attended my first Italian class (la mia prima classe Italiana)! I decided that I would do both the crash course (a two-week intensive language course) and the follow-up course (a course which runs throughout the semester) because where better to learn Italian, and when in Rome Milan.
My Italian teacher, Annalisa, is wonderful and so are the other exchange students in my class. They come from a variety of places, including America, The Netherlands, England and of course Australia. Most of the members in my class will do the follow-up course, which means there will be many chances to practice (not mentioning the fact that I’m now living in Italy).
Anyway, I’d say that’s a good summary of my first week of studying abroad… I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and look out for my future posts about life in Milan, Italy!