Genevieve - Politecnico di Milano

B. Architectural Design
Semester 1, 2016

Academic experience

In Milan, I studied one design studio, one technology studio, a Contemporary Art subject and a Public Space Design course. The most enjoyable part of my studies was definitely the variety of people that I got to study with. Politecnico di Milano accepts many exchange students which allows a greater collaboration between a huge amount of cultures. I absolutely loved hearing the design perspectives of my peers from all over the world. There were some challenges, however. At first, getting used to language barriers and a new teaching style was difficult. However, like any small change, after a few weeks, all the challenges seemed normal!

Personal experience

The friendships I gained along with the places I was able to see during my 6 months brought me memories that are invaluable. In just one semester I saw over 12 cities and met amazing people along the way. Making friends from all over the world is such an amazing opportunity to learn about and understand different cultures, and my exchange experience was the perfect way to do this!

Accommodation

I lived in a small apartment with a fellow UQ student and one other exchange student from Austria. I would strongly recommend anyone looking into housing in Milan to find an apartment rather than student housing. Having that little bit more space made all the difference and allowed me to live right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city rather than in the outskirts near the university.

Budget

Cost of living in Milan was very similar to Australia, however, when you learn a few tricks it becomes a lot cheaper! Local fruit and vegetable markets were not only super cheap but also packed with beautiful fresh produce! Transport is very reasonable in the city, a student can pay 22 euros and travel for a month on all public transport. I would recommend budgeting around 100-150 euros a week. Sometimes you will go over this, and sometimes you will be under. Anything you have left over you can put towards more travel!

Professional development and employability

Cost of living in Milan was very similar to Australia, however, when you learn a few tricks it becomes a lot cheaper! Local fruit and vegetable markets were not only super cheap but also packed with beautiful fresh produce! Transport is very reasonable in the city, a student can pay 22 euros and travel for a month on all public transport. I would recommend budgeting around 100-150 euros a week. Sometimes you will go over this, and sometimes you will be under. Anything you have left over you can put towards more travel!

Highlight

The highlight of my exchange experience would definitely be the people I met. There is no other time in your life when you can be thrust into a melting pot of cultures and fellow students who all want to experience the world as much as you! Every person I met on exchange gave me a lesson or experience that I will treasure forever.

Top tips

  • My number one tip for exchange students is open-minded and always positive!
  • There will be tough times, but with a positive attitude, these challenges will be nothing.
  • Every experience on exchange, even if its a simple as going to hang out at the local park will be different from your experience at home, so never say no to something that may seem small, because it is these small experiences which make up the most valuable memories.
Genevieve - Politecnico di Milano