Mitchel - Bocconi University

B. Commerce / Laws
Semester 1, 2016

Academic experience

I completed the majority of my finance major at Bocconi, and studied the following courses: 
- Business Valuation
- Corporate Finance
- Financial Modelling
- Financial Contracting 
- Financial Economics

I enjoyed the more lax nature of the overall teaching and assessment schemes most. It was easier to keep up with the course load and classes were personal. In regard to assessment, professors provided plenty of assistance when needed, and being able to attempt a final exam 3 times reduced stress considerably. 

The downside to this easier-going system were things such as difficulty in determining assessment requirements and finding course materials. This was the most prominent challenge, although it was generally not much of a hindrance.

Personal experience

Overall, I made some great friendships with people from France to Argentina, that will definitely lead to more experiences in the future. I discovered some indescribably beautiful places in Cyprus, Iceland and Israel, while experiencing most of continental Europe. I learned how to live alone and to deal with travel stress by not stressing at all, which at times became

Accommodation

I lived off-campus in an apartment with 3 other UQ students. We were in an awesome position within a 5 minute walk of campus, a metro station, and supermarket and tram directly in front of our building. 

Living with other Aussies was probably the best part of this living arrangement, as many of our visitors mentioned how much they missed the world-renowned Australian culture. We made plenty of friends through the exchange program, but many of our best times were had in the apartment. 

My advice would be to try and live with someone you know prior to leaving for exchange (whether they be a friend, or someone you have met at the beginning of the exchange process), as a few people I know had difficulties with roommates due to cultural and personality differences which made their living experiences pretty awkward.

Budget

Perfect day in Portofino
Perfect day in Portofino

Rent was obviously the greatest expense, although my roommates and I had the best deal out of the exchange students we knew. We paid €500/month each, along with a €600 bond. We found it to be a relatively good price given our location and the state of the apartment. 

Food can be done pretty cheap (€5-10 per day) if you are willing to shop and cook. Transport is cheap around the city, don't bother with the €20/month transport card as you can either walk or tram (without tapping on) everywhere, and a metro ticket is €1.50 anyway. 

Going out can be expensive if you buy drinks, so we would pre-drink most nights with mates. This often ended up being more fun than the clubs. Entry is €10-15 on Erasmus nights and you get 1 or 2 drinks with that fee.

Professional development and employability

The ability to live alone in a foreign country is the overarching attribute that I believe has contributed most to my professional development, given I plan to work overseas throughout my career. 

Apart from this, I would say patience (developed during many Easyjet delays) and problem-solving. With no one to fall back on, I learned to deal with problems completely independently, and now being in the workplace I have found this translates to being able to take initiative in finding tasks/issues and completing/rectifying them much more efficiently and effectively.

Highlight

With the number of awesome experiences I had, choosing a highlight is near impossible. But drinking beers with one of my best mates (visiting from Australia), in the window of our apartment on the Portofino Marina is hard to beat. Listening to Michael Kiwanuka as the sunset perfectly, while having our photo taken by who we found out to be the Chinese equivalent of Kim Kardashian was something I won't forget.

Top tips

  • Just back yourself, you can't go wrong.
Mitchel - Bocconi University