Zoe - Politecnico di Milano

B. Architecture
Semester 1, 2016

Academic experience

I studied 4 courses: Building Technology Studio, Thematic Design Studio, Contemporary Art and Public Space Design. I enjoyed learning how different people work together to get a successful academic system.

Learning about Milanese architecture and building techniques was what I found the most challenging, but what I enjoyed the most. I interacted with tutors, lecturers and students to overcome this challenge. Learning how to engage with different people past the language barrier to get a full understanding proved difficult, but again asking questions and participating in conversation helped me overcome this challenge. 

Personal experience

I gained a great deal from my exchange. The friendships that I gained from people all around the world is something that I will treasure. The places I travelled to, being my first time in Europe with people that live local gave me an experience that I wouldn't have had otherwise. Learning to get around Milan speaking Italian was a personal goal that I am proud to have achieved. Living out of home for the first time and learning how another city works helped my become more confident and enhanced my self-sufficiency.


I lived off campus in a great social spot in the city. I enjoyed the easy access to transport and living close to a popular social space. I would advise students to live close or in the city. Living close to university doesn't need to be a priority, as long as you live close to public transport.


I was lucky with rent, where I shared a room with a friend so the price I paid was a great deal. Transport in Milan is fantastic - very cheap and easy to use. Travel and entertainment is also a great price and it is very easy to move around. I would recommend saving as much as possible before arriving and also try not to spend all your money at the beginning of your trip. A great way to save when planning to travel is buying transport tickets early.

Professional development and employability

Chateau de Versailles
Rowing at the Chateau de Versailles

Learning to be completely self-sufficient was a great skill and attribute that has contributed to my professional development. Learning how to break past the language barrier was a difficult experience, but very satisfying when accomplished.


The highlight of my experience was getting to know Milan and getting around like a local, and meeting some amazing people.

Top tips

  • Figure out accommodation early - before you leave. Don't leave it until the last minute! 
  • Organise and finish any admin way before you leave - have them all on a USB as well as hard copies (Visa etc.)
  • Save as much money as you can so you can get a full experience without having to worry. 
  • Be prepared to be put out of your comfort zone
  • Embrace and engage in as many activities as you can! 
Zoe - Politecnico di Milano