Luke - Bocconi University

Bachelor of Business Management/Information Technology
Semester 1, 2018
Enjoy an authentic Italian experience in a city full of character. Just do it.

Academic experience

The equivalent of a full time load at UQ required that I study 5 subjects at Bocconi university. 

I studied:
International Business
E-Marketing & E-Commerce
New Products & Product Management
Introduction to Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurial Strategy

I found these courses to be very interesting, with comprehensive content and lecturers with real business experience in their respective fields. These courses all included guest speakers from Amazon, Google, and local startup CEO’s and business leaders. The inclusion of these guest lecturers seemed to be a purposeful academic strategy set out by Bocconi, and I thought it was great to be able to meet and talk to these people.

One interesting academic option that Bocconi provides is the possibility of being a non-attending student for a number of classes. As a non-attending student you are not required to go to any classes or conduct in-semester assessment. Instead, as a non-attending student, you are given a mandatory 100% final generally based on a selected textbook. I found this to be a useful option to provide more flexibility to travel during semester, and I did not find the 100% finals to be overly difficult.

Personal experience

I made friends with people all over the world! I now have good friends in Vancouver, London, Oslo, Stockholm, Toronto, Los Angeles, Boston, Rio de Janeiro and San Francisco. This was by far the best part of my exchange experience.

I travelled throughout Italy during semester to cities such as Rome, Venice, Florence, Bologna, Parma, Naples, and Trieste. During the mid-semester break I was able to travel to Dublin, London, Budapest and Ljubljana, while other students went as far as Morocco. Milan is situated in a great part of Italy and Europe and is perfect for travelling around.

Staying in Italy was great as I was able to pick up some basics of the Italian language. This was helped massively by the Italian Crash Course that Bocconi offers at the start of the semester, which I highly recommend for meeting fellow students.

Accommodation

I lived off campus in the Navigli district just west of Bocconi. I highly recommend finding your own accommodation as the student dorms were not well spoken of by the students staying there. The “on campus” accomodation for the majority of international students is the Arcobelano dormitory which is about a 20 minute tram ride south of Bocconi and further out of the city. The Arcobelano students I met universally complained about it.

I highly recommend the Navigli area as the place to stay for a Bocconi student. It’s a 10 minute walk to Bocconi, a 10 minute walk to the metro station and a 20 minute walk to Duomo. On top of its great location, the area is packed full of other exchange students and has heaps of bars and restaurants and is generally a very hip area of Milan to live.

Costs

I probably spent about $10,000-12,000 in total for the semester. 
Accomodation was about $6,500 for a well-furnished private room in a 2 bedroom apartment with a cool Milanese guy. $1,500 for return flights between Brisbane and Milan (I visited the STA Travel agents on campus). After that $2,000-4,000 is reasonable to pay for living expenses and trips around Italy and Europe. I did make the most of cheap eats and travel specials to save some cash.

There’s a great local restaurant called La Magolfa that sold 4 euro Margherita pizzas. I highly recommend for a cheap dinner.

Professional Development

Bocconi University demonstrated its commitment to creating employability opportunities for its students. They held several open days where many noteworthy companies would set up stalls on campus and this made it very easy to meet and network with potential employers. If you’re able to speak Italian, there were also many internship opportunities on offer throughout the semester.

Highlight

- Eating Bolognese in Bologna
- St Patrick’s Day in Dublin
- Carnivale in Venice
- Hiking in Norway

Top tips

- Look for off-campus accommodation in Navigli. Porta Romana is another good option.
- Make the most of early semester aperitivos to meet as many people as you can.
- Be proactive and organise weekend trips a few weeks in advance to save money on flights.
- Websites such as Goeuro, Skyscanner, and Hostelworld are all super useful.