Christopher - Bocconi University

B Advanced Finance & Economics
Semester 2, 2018
Exchange opened my eyes to what's out there. We live on a. beautiful planet, and there is a lot out there to explore, so go and do it!

Academic experience

At Bocconi University in Milan, Italy I was fortunate enough to study a wide range of new and exciting finance subjects. These included: Equity Portfolio Management, Venture and Development Capital, Corporate Valuation, Corporate Banking, and International Project Finance. 

Studying at Bocconi provided a unique academic experience. The teaching style was very practical, which was a perfect compliment to the academic backing I had obtained from UQ. Lecturers all had relevant industry experience, and assignments were based of real world companies and situations. 

Overall, in the academic sense, I could not be happier with my exchange experience.

Personal experience

On a personal note, the most life changing experience of exchange had to be meeting people from all corners of the world. It sounds simple, however this truely broadens your mind and perspectives.

Accommodation

I stayed off campus in an AirBnb with a mate from UQ that was also doing exchange. This worked perfectly for us as we were friends beforehand, and living together didn't present any difficulties. The location was perfect, being situated 10 minutes walk from Bocconi. 

We chose to do this because we had heard that the student residence was 30 minutes tram ride away form university. My advice for future students, if they are seeking their own private accomodation, is to try talk to former students so that they can recommend specific suburbs to live in. Also, not to leave this too late as a lot of the good locations fill up quickly.

Costs

Rent costed $5,000 for the four months in Bocconi. For food I budgeted 100EUR per week, which was more than enough, and then travel expenses during semester would have tended roughly to $3,000.

Challenge

The biggest challenge on exchange was definitely arriving early before people had arrived. This was tough because you go from being surrounded by family in a place you know, to having no-one in an unfamiliar city. 

However, I was able to overcome this by using the Bocconi Exchange student facebook page, and interacting with students through that. I found that there was a few people in a similar circumstance, and after the first night of meeting up with people I had an amazing group of friends.

Professional Development

From a professional aspect, exchange was brilliant. It showed my how much is out there is respect to finance and business. Further to this, comparing the size of companies to Australia, it was staggering seeing these giant companies, and how they operate. 

I truely believe that this will assist me with my transition from university into the professional world, because I have had a Tate of what happens outside Australia. It is a massive world out there and I certainly recommend any student, especially them studying finance, to get out there and see it.

Highlight

The highlight of my experience had to be the travel. Milan is located in a perfect place in Europe to travel very easily and cheaply. There are three airports around the city, which means flights through Milan are generally very cheap. 

I was able to do extensive travel through Eastern Europe, and I even got uptown Finland where I was in the Arctic circle. This was certainly the highlight of my trip.

Top tips

My advice would be to just go with it. Try everything, put yourself in new, difference, and scary situations. It is all of these things that when your return home from exchange will have proven to be your best decisions.