Ishita - Bocconi University

M Business (#32)
Semester 2, 2017

Academic Experience

I enrolled in 4 courses, namely, Global Sustainability Strategy, Supply Chain Management, Operations Management Lab and Human Resource Management. My academic experience was definitely different than UQ and the professors had a different perspective. Since the university is in Milan, the Fashion capital, many of my business case studies were on famous fashion brands and how they function. I found it very interesting. The only challenge I faced was being a non-italian speaker in a country where everyone is so passionate about their language. Even though the classes are both in English and Italian, just going around the university and speaking to the locals is a little difficult.

Personal Experience

I gained a lot from this experience. Most of my courses expected us to form student groups and work on assignments and case studies. It was a great way to get to know the locals and students from all over the globe. I love travelling and I made full use of this opportunity. I travelled to a few cities in Italy and all over Europe. I can not even begin to tell how amazing, eye-opening and enriching the experience has been. I developed confidence because I managed all my travels and excursions. I learnt how to deal with situations where I was lost or confused. I learnt a little Italian and that made my life a little easier.

Accommodation

I lived off-campus. This is because Bocconi only has 500-600 dorm rooms and the number of incoming exchange students every semester is 1000+ and I could not attain a room. But I lived in an Airbnb and shared it with another girl. The advantage was that my apartment was in city and close to all tourist attractions. I managed everything on my own and it gave me a sense of independence. The disadvantage was that my apartment was an hour away from the university so it was a hassle to wake up at 6 am in winters for classes, group meetings and exams.

Budget 

My monthly rent was a bit on the higher side. I paid 700 euros per month (including wifi, house facilities, electricity, kitchen facilities etc). The apartment was in the city as mentioned before and on the top floor, hence it was expensive. I usually bought ingredients from a local supermarket and cooked for myself. A pizza would cost around 8-10 euros in a decent restaurant. The campus has several food joints around it and a canteen that serves very affordable food. I travelled with budget airlines (RyanAir, Easyjet etc.) and stayed in hostels. This would help cut cost.

Professional Development & Employability

I definitely am more confident and accommodating now. Working in teams is very important for professional development and that is exactly what one gets to work on. Patience and being helpful is another set of skills I learn while studying and traveling.

Highlights

The highlight of my experience was definitely the travel. Of course, studying at such a prestigious university is another but myself being an introvert, did not fully avail the opportunity to make a lot of friends on campus but I met so many strong women when going around Europe. Listening to different journies and experiences inspired me more to more motivated and courageous in life.

Top Tips 

I highly recommend participating in the student exchange program at UQ or at any university in the future. This is because you have no idea how much can you learn and discover about yourself and others on this journey. I honestly am extremely grateful to UQ for providing me with this opportunity because this has been the best experience of my life. Another advice I would like to give is that never underestimate what you are capable of. I have never been away from home for such a long time and I was so scared about managing in a foreign county. But I did and it was eye-opening. I even went for solo trips and I am so much more confident now.