Ziyi - Politecnico di Milano

B Architecture
Semester 2, 2018
Unique architectural experience.

Academic experience

I did architectural design studio 3, building physics, history of art and element of architectural typology. The design studio is a 3rd year course and for one semester only, I chose it as the 2nd year design studio is for the whole year and unavailable for my exchange of one semester. The positions of English-spoken studio are very limited, if the class is full the only option left is to register for the Italian-spoken ones. Majority of the design studios are group works, not individual. Some courses have oral examinations, the professor will talk to the student face to face and give marks directly.

Personal experience

I have travelled a lot during my exchange study. The budge flights are very affordable in Europe, so I have visited many different places on the weekends. As an architectural student, I have been always fascinated about the European architecture and finally I can actually see them in front of myself. And Italian food is delicious, pizza, gelato and pasta are the must-try!!

Accommodation

I lived in a shared apartment with two girls from Spain and Estonia, which is next to campus and very close to the metro station Piola. I found this accommodation via a real estate agent 3 ~ 4 months prior to my departure, as I was suggested to find the accommodation as early as possible. The good accommodation can be booked out very quickly, so it is wise to start the search early. The on-campus accommodation is hard to book, very limited places.

Costs

I paid 635 euro/month for my accommodation including all utilities, for one single bedroom. The grocery shopping is quite affordable as well, it normally cost me about 150 euro/month. Pizza is about 6 euro each, mobile is 10 euro/month. The monthly public transport ticket is about 23 euro/month. Generally speaking, 900 ~ 1000 euro / month is quite reasonable and the total  cost can be down to 800 euro if the accommodation is shared room. Of course, additional cost for travelling should be added, the flight from Milan to Barcelona can be as low as 20 euro for one way if it is booked early enough.

Challenge

I think language is an issue at first, but then I get used to it. Majority of students and professors speak good English on campus, but not those people I met in the grocery shops or traveled in the small villages. Also as the design studio is done by group, it is quite important the coordinate and balance the work between the team members.

Professional Development

I have gained a deep understanding of European culture & architecture, which will definitely inspire me further for the development of my professional career.

Highlight

Pizza, Gelato and Travel!

Top tips

Italy is very unique, especially for architectural students. It has such enriched culture so it can't be missed. I would suggest to use all the weekends to travel and see this beautiful country by eyes.