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IES Abroad Milan - Business Studies

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

My Italian lifestyle

I loved my experience in Milan, Italy all around. I really enjoyed being immersed in such a new culture and learning the language and traditions. I thought the IES Abroad Italian classes and teachers were amazing and I would have loved to continue my Italian studies back in the states if it were possible! Also, I had a great experience living with an Italian family. I felt like I really got to see what their lifestyle looked like and I definitely learned a lot from my homestay mom, Stefani. I could not have asked for more from the IES program! It was such an amazing experience that I will remember forever!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Spero di vederti presto, Milano!

My study abroad experience in Milan through IES Abroad was fantastic. Through the application process to the very end, I couldn't have asked for a better semester. I can confidently say studying abroad changed me as a person (for the better). I have a different outlook on life after traveling throughout Italy and Europe, and I have become far more independent. My goals before studying abroad were to make friends with Italian students and learn to speak the language. I had taken 4 semesters of Italian before studying abroad, however my Italian greatly improved through my Advanced Italian class. I felt comfortable getting around and speaking the language each day. I thoroughly enjoyed my classes (especially my cooking class) and the administration felt like family. Living in an apartment with an Italian student and other American students was a great experience. IES provided the students with nice and safe apartments. The nightlife in Milan is second to none and it was a hidden gem. Take advantage of the lively nightlife and unique outings Milan has to offer.

My biggest regret is not having studied abroad for a year. A semester did not feel long enough. I highly recommend this program to any student who is considering studying abroad in Italy. I had my eye on other cities in Italy when choosing a program, but Milan far exceeded my expectations. In my opinion, there are far less American study abroad students in Milan than in Florence and Rome. Before studying abroad, I thought that I would stay in Boston and get a job after graduation, however now I'm looking into grad schools and research programs in Italy. The sky is the limit!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Italian adventure

I had the most incredible time abroad. Naturally I had some reservations and fears about going on a program where I didn't know anyone prior to the program. That, on top of the fact that this would be my first time in Europe made me pretty nervous to see what the next five months would have in store for me. Shortly after arriving in Milan, I realized I had nothing at all to be worried about. IES abroad made transportation from the airport to my new apartment very smooth, with an IES representative waiting for me at the airport, ready to help. The IES assistance number was extremely helpful if I needed help or had any last minute questions. The orientation we went through helped us meet others in our program, kept us busy enough to not think about jet lag, and introduced us into the Italian lifestyle.

I lived with 5 people (4 Americans and one Italian student who served as our "Community Assistant" or CA). I realized all 5 of us were as different as could be and it made for the best experience possible. We were all diverse in our own ways which made us learn and grow from each other and allowed for an environment in which all of us felt completely comfortable and ourselves. IES abroad did a great job with choosing housing for us based on our living preferences that we described in the housing survey. Everyone on our program became pretty good friends, and I can truthfully say my study abroad friends are now my lifelong friends.

Classes through IES were fun and allowed for stimulating conversation and learning in the classroom. I was able to take fun and interesting classes, like communication and psychology, which I wouldn't have had room for in my schedule back at my school in America. I took very exciting field trips to news stations, saw a live news recording, and went to an Italian prison. I became extremely close with my three professors, who genuinely cared about their students. The course I took at Bocconi, an Italian University, proved to be extremely difficult, but my hard work paid off. Having no classes on Fridays made it super easy to travel on weekends.

If I had to do it all again, I wouldn't change a thing. I had the best time, saw places in Europe I've wanted to see my whole life, and met lifelong friends.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Best time of my lIfe

Going into my semester abroad I had no idea what to expect. It was my first time going to Europe, I didn't know anyone in my program, and I didn't speak any Italian. However, I came out of it with incredible memories and I have grown so much as a person from my experience.

IES offers a wide variety of classes that give students plenty of options to take classes both within their given major as well as classes that teach about the culture and history of Italy. It was a perfect balance! IES also provided many opportunities to travel to new locations and to attend events locally in Milan. It was so easy to meet the other students within the program, and the community assistants were so kind and helpful - especially in the beginning when I had no clue what I was doing!

I made lots of amazing friends, ate wonderful food, and traveled to beautiful places. I highly recommend that everyone break out of their comfort zone while abroad and try new things! Going abroad in Milan with IES was one of the best decisions of my life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Incredible semester abroad

My study abroad experience with IES Milan was nothing short of incredible. The program staff was filled with generous, kind and knowledgable people who were there to support me in my experience from the moment I landed in MXP until I departed in May. I lived in an apartment with four other girls from the US and my Community Assistant, Ilenia. Ilenia welcomed us with warm hugs, cookies, and a jar of Nutella, eager to show us around the city and befriend us. I was nervous the first few days about making friends and living a country where I had no prior knowledge of the language, but by the end of the first week I was already planning my first trip with a group of friends to Florence. The orientation events put on by IES really did help me meet a bunch of the students in the program and get me excited about the semester to come.
Over the course of the semester I learned a ton about the Italian culture: how to correctly pronounce "grazie", where to find the best aperitivo, and when and when not to order a cappuccino. I enrolled in two Italian classes in which I was able to develop my language skills. I also had the opportunity to take a business fashion class where I was able to combine my major study with a passion of mine in one of Europe's most renown fashion capitals. Thanks to one of the Community Assistants I befriended, I was even able to attend a fashion show during Milan Women's Fashion Week.
Many weekends of mine were spent in Milan exploring different corners of the city. My friends and I became regulars at a particular pizzeria and spent the warmer afternoons picnicking in the local parks. Our other weekends and breaks were spent traveling Europe where I was able to meet up with friends from my home university as well make new friends in foreign places. My favorite trip was pretty adventurous. Eight of us decided to spend our week of spring break in Morocco. Traveling to the different major cities and exploring the northern African country was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. Towards the end of the semester IES hosted a trip to Parma, Italy, where students were able to tour a parmesan cheese factory, a balsamic vinegar factory, and a historic violin museum. Because this trip was at the end of the semester and most students enrolled in the program attended, it was a great way to bring everyone together again and wrap up the incredible semester.
While the fancy trips and delicious meals are some of my favorite memories from my study abroad experience, the best part of Milan was the people I met. I made lifetime friends during my semester abroad, people I know that will be in my life forever. Saying goodbye to all of those friendly faces at the end of the semester was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Luckily since returning to America, I have already had the opportunity to reunite with a few of them and plans are in the works to have a full blown IES Milan reunion in the future. Milan will always hold a special place in my heart and forever be one of my favorite cities in the world. The beauty of the Duomo is something that never grows old or wears away. I hope more than anything I can return to Milan in the near future.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

A Fantastic experience

My time spent studying abroad in Milan with IES was definitely something I will remember for the rest of my life. Everything about the program was phenomenal, from housing, to academics, the various trips, and ultimately the staff who work there. I made several friends that I can easily say I'll be in touch with for life and I look forward to going back and seeing them and the rest of those involved with the program.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Rocambolesco

IES Abroad Milano was an incredible experience. I traveled to 18 countries and 54 cities during my 5 months abroad in the spring of 2016. I developed incredible relationships with the staff, my roommates, fellow students in my program, and local Milanese. I learned a great deal about the incredibly diverse world we live in and how blessed I was to be afforded such an incredible opportunity. I highly recommend IES Abroad as a program due to the incredible flexibility that the program provides you to enjoy your own unique time abroad and cannot speak highly enough of Milan as a host city.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Milano 2015

Now that I am back from my semester in Milan, I can't believe I ever considered not studying abroad. The fourth months I spent in Milan, the fashion and business capital of Italy, were the best months of my life. I've been studying Italian since I was in high school, so being able to spend a semester in Italy was an incredible experience for me. Beyond this, although most of my close friends were American, I had a great group that I could count on to explore Milan with me on weekdays and travel with me on weekends.

Milan itself is a great place to study abroad. It's not as touristy as other Italian cities and it has so much to offer. A prime location for those interested in traveling Europe and also a city where history, art, and modern business meet. If you are a business major and are interested in Italian culture, I highly recommend IES Abroad's Business Studies Program.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Drink your coffee and explore

After one semester Milan easily became my favorite city. From its busy, vibrant streets during the day to the glitz and glam of the fantastic nightlife Milan definitely has it all. There are a lot of colleges in Milan that draw in students from around the world, not to mention all of the study abroad students that call Milan home, and you have a big city with a large number of college aged people, it is the best of both worlds.

Living in Milan as a student is quite easy. My homestay apartment was beautiful and it was easy for me to move around the city thanks to the cheap, effective public transit that the city offers. This allowed me to explore so many parts of the city that I would have never gone to if not for the great access of public transportation.

If you can handle the hustle and bustle of the big city and enjoy exploring you will fit right in and be welcomed into the community that I call my home away from home.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Amazing Experience!

I absolutely loved my time in Milan. It was amazing to study in one of the most underrated cities in Europe. It's not as touristy, but just as refined as any large city in Italy. Milan truly has it all; our apartment was in an awesome location, the metro system was extremely convenient and the city has so many corners open to exploration. I would recommend studying in Milan to anyone looking to study abroad, especially through IES. I had very little exposure to Italian as a language before coming and I very quickly broke that barrier, and felt as comfortable as ever in the country.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Couldn't Ask for Anything More

My experience through IES Abroad Milan Business studies was to say the very least incredible. The city of Milan is beautiful with a great balance of history as well as modernization. The IES Abroad Milan staff was extremely helpful in all aspects: they answered every question I had promptly, gave great suggestions regarding travel ideas and must-see sites, and were very nice. The academics were perfect for studying abroad: while not as rigorous as my home school academics, they were challenging enough to learn a great amount, but did not interfere with my cultural immersion. Classes offered were wide-ranging and there was a mandatory Italian class (I had no Italian language background coming in, and learned a lot after my 3.5 month stay). My living environment was great, as I shared an apartment with 5 other guys who I became very good friends with (I didn't know anyone going to Milan); we ate meals together, hung out, and travelled together. My community assistant (CA) was great too, as he wasn't too overbearing, but kept us safe and answered all the questions we had. There is a lot to do in the city of Milan, everything from seeing beautiful museums, to going to soccer matches, you never get bored. What I loved about Milan was that it wasn't very touristy, you're not surrounded by a lot of other Americans and don't hear many people speaking English when walking down the street, which added so much to my cultural immersion. The 3.5 months I spent studying in Milan through IES Abroad was the best experience of my life, and I wish I could go back!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    8

New Life in Italy

It's a strange moment when you cook in your own home and the smells remind you of a home in some far away place. You realize that where you grew up your whole life isn't home anymore. You left a piece of you in Italy, in Milan with the friends you made, the family you lived with and you realize that if home is where the heart is than you need to be back in Italy. That is the essence of study abroad. For me the smell is pasta con pesto, a simple dish my homestay mom made for me almost daily. It takes me back to sitting in her kitchen and helping her cook pasta and chatting in Italian about school that day. Studying abroad gives you a new life, a new home, and a new sense of self. It will change you and in the end that will make you a better person. So go! Apply today, get on that plane, and get ready for your life to change.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Milan l'è un gran Milan!

During my time in Milan, not only did I learn a great deal of Italian, but I also picked up a bit of Milanese dialect as well (the title above) - the total experience!

Milan is a magnificent city! The food is exquisite, the people are cheerful, and its history is extensive. The historical center provides you a view into the city's past with several major monuments and museums, as well as some ancient architectural wonders like the Duomo. Meanwhile, the Porta Nuova area lurches you into the future with a growing skyline resembling that of New York or Chicago. The Navigli (canal) district is a nightlife hub and home to the best aperitivo in the world! Whether you go there with friends, travelers, or locals you are bound to have a great time! A comprehensive public transit system moves you to every corner of the city, and beyond!

Milan is the perfect compromise between a small and large city. With its global presence in business and fashion markets Milan has established itself as one of the most important cities in the world. However, it has managed to retain all of the perks of a small city. With a metropolitan population of just over 3 million you won't feel overcrowded like in New York or London, but you will still find the same international crowd! Lastly, it's location between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, as well as its Ryan Air airport, gives you an endless amount of travel possibilities.

As for the program itself, I had a great experience. You can choose to take courses at any of the city's many universities (though I personally chose not to) and the staff will help you find the best option for you. With other matters, such as housing and adapting to the culture, they are very well prepared and they help students extensively.

All in all a 10/10 experience!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    10

Quando ho abitato a Milano...

I loved living in Milan and participating in IES Abroad’s program there. From arrival, they helped us become situated while still giving us the freedom to explore. I lived with an Italian roommate, and I don’t know what I would’ve done without her. She helped us figure out how to get around Milan, gave us amazing restaurant suggestions, taught us delicious recipes, and became a great friend. IES staff also organized some really fun trips for us. For example, we got to go to Parma, Italy, where we sampled amazing parmesan cheese and 50-year old balsamic vinegar. I enjoyed many of the trips that they organized and thought they were a great part of my experience abroad.

Milan itself is a fantastic city to study abroad in. Although it might not be known for having the most tourist sites, it has an incredible history of Leonardo daVinci living and working there, and the Duomo, Sforza Castle, and Galleria are incredible buildings. Due to the relatively fewer tourists, I felt as though I could actually get to know the city itself. I loved exploring the bakeries, cafes, and aperitivos. I would also encourage students to participate in city events. I ran in the Stramilano 10K, and it was such an incredible opportunity that the average tourist would never experience. Be sure to seek out those unique activities, because they will add so much to your time abroad.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

My Challenge To You

If I could go back, believe me, I would. You’ve heard it before: the nostalgia that those who've studied abroad get when they return back to their home base. From my friends’ point of view, I’m sure that they wouldn’t mind if I actually went back considering that I’ve practically talked their ears off with stories: stories of my time in Milan with IES Abroad, the foods I ate at Oktoberfest, the amazing people I met, the love I found, and so on…all being narrated in my “Italian” accent (or lack of one), that is.

If there is one piece of advice that I should give you if you are considering abroad, it would be to just go. Before my trip, I had spent the summer in New York City, putting thoughts of Milan to the back of my head. I can say now that the idea of going away for almost four months did not really hit me until, well, two weeks into the IES program; if you were to exclude my miniature meltdown on the plane ride over, then I would say the thoughts that I had put aside had caught up with me right about then. From the transition from the US to Milan was, as expected, one of the most frightening moments of my life… but that’s the thrill of it, right?

However, my experience with IES Business Studies made my assimilation that much easier. I was instantly greeted by warmth at the airport, reassuring that fellow students would be traveling with me to our designated apartments within the city. Luckily, two out of my six roommates just so happened to be in that arrival group with me. It was from then on that I realized how much IES cared about their students; things like how they introduced you to the trains systems early, or hey, maybe even when they mentioned the first apperativo (a.k.a. “happy hour” in the US) being held on arrival night to introduce everyone. In summation, my anxiety was then lessened.

Now, obviously studying abroad consists of *some* studying. When it came to classes at IES, we were able to meet and plan out our classes with an advisor. Overall, I loved my classes. Not only because they were up my alley (namely fashion and photography classes to name a few) but also because we were able to explore around the city for field trips. To name a few places, I had the opportunity to visit a designer’s showroom, an Italian prison as well as a few exhibits/museum. Let me tell you, those opportunities do not come easy at my home college.

I could go on and on about how amazing my abroad experience was, specifically with IES Abroad, but it is nothing that you haven’t heard before. Instead, I will challenge you to see it for yourself: immerse yourself in something that you have never done, meet new people (I knew no one going into the program), try new foods (I stopped my vegetarianism in Milan), the list goes on and on. The truth is: you won’t know the magic of studying abroad until you’ve actually done it yourself. With that being said, if you do decide to go abroad, not only would I recommend IES Abroad as your designated program, but I would also recommend (or challenge for lack of a better word) to step out of your comfort zone, and let yourself free.

Best regards,
Meg Gegler

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

IES Milano

My advice for someone considering studying abroad is to stop considering it and make it happen. You will experience the biggest and best adventures of your life studying in another country and you will learn about things and meet people you never imagined. The IES program in Milan is very organized and the staff provides everything a student needs to succeed during the semester. I lived in an apartment on a very central and busy shopping street with 2 American roommates and a 28-year-old Italian IES employee who was very cool and helped us with anything we needed. As far as classes go, I took Italian, Entrepreneurship, Photography, and an internship seminar to go along with the internship I had when I was there. The professors are all very knowledgeable and are always available to help when you need it. I took all my classes at IES and the classrooms were less than a 10-minute walk away. IES does a very good job catering to the needs of students and the staff is incredibly fun and friendly. I experienced so much more of the Italian culture through IES. The program even paid for us to go to a spa. You don’t get to do that every day. The program made me feel right at home and I definitely suggest you sign up ASAP.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

My Italian Adventure

Everyone tells you that study abroad will be the best four months of your life - and I completely agree. I couldn't have asked for a better program than IES Abroad - Milan to spend my 4 months in Italy with. With IES Abroad - Milan I was able to take amazing classes with very qualified professors including Social Innovation & Global Sustainability and Management of Fashion Luxury Companies. I was also able to participate in an internship with a cool e-commerce company which really facilitated my immersion into the Italian culture. IES Abroad planned trips for our program to Tuscany and Sicily which were so much fun and a great way for all of us in the program to bond. Italy is like no other place on Earth. I went abroad expecting to travel to amazing places and see amazing things which of course I did, but the friends I made through IES Abroad - other students from all over America, and the friendships I made will last a lifetime. As a business student this program allowed me to become more well rounded in my business studies as well as learn a lot through invaluable experiences inside and outside of the classroom.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Academics

    9

La bella vita

Cooking with my Italian flatmate, traveling, riding a Vespa, teaching an English class at a nursing home...so many memorable experiences!

I chose the program because of the Location, language, and academics.

I live in an Apartment.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

La bella vita

Studying in Milan through IES was the greatest experience of my life. I learned so much about myself and about a new culture, tried so many new things, made so many memories and gained lifelong friends. It was definitely worthwhile!!!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Social Life

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Academics

    9

Unreal 4 months

Before I left, I was terrified of going away for 4 months. I was nervous about leaving for college let along a foreign country where I knew no one. Everyone asked me before I left if I was excited to go. And honestly I wasn't. I was dreading it. The only reason I signed up to study abroad was because I felt I had to. It was the thing to do. My sister did it, her friends did it, and 50% of everyone I knew did.
Once I got to Milan, I was already more comfortable. After an overwhelming dinner meeting everyone in the program and a few days of orientation, I was already planning my first weekend trip. That is why most people go abroad isn't it?
15 weeks later, 14 cities in 10 countries, I look back and cannot believe I almost didn't go! The people were amazing, food was amazing, and it could not have been a better 4 months!
Classes were good, not too hard compared to the US, just structured differently. There are no textbooks, and the way in which courses were taught was different.
I felt comfortable navigating the streets and metro alone and even at night.
I made countless new friends across the US and across the world. From not wanting to go, to wanting to stay longer, IES made what could have been a miserable four months, some of the best months of my life. I gained confidence in myself and my abilities, got into a few sketchy situations but was able to navigate out of them. Spent a ridiculous amount of money on amazing food and travel, but wouldn't change any of what I did.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

La migliore città

Why Milan? Because it's the best combination of adventure and academics. The IES program in this thriving Italian city does such a great job of not only making students feel comfortable, but also encouraging students to explore and dive into the Italian culture. The program had us live in the apartments with an Italian roommate and she completely enhanced my Italian adventure. Not to mention she helped translate a time or two...There was just enough school, just enough travel and just enough social life. Everything was balanced and, of course, beautiful because it's Italy...

Studying abroad as an American student is such a humbling experience. You learn about yourself, the culture you primarily identify with, and most importantly the particular place you are living. That's why Milan is such a great choice. Combine curiosity with great academics, an interesting city, and an awesome culture and you have yourself an amazing experience. Living in the city was the coolest way to completely immerse myself into the Italian lifestyle. Although a famous city, Milan is less touristy than other Italian favorites which is why living there was such a great decision. You really get to experience the best of both worlds: being a tourist yet seeing the truest form of Italy.

AND THE FOOD...I don't even think I have to explain...

As far as traveling goes, Milan was the place to be. The transportation options were incredible and everything was so accessible. Personally, Milan was the best place for me to study abroad because I could balance my academics, internship, social life and travel for an incredible four months. Sitting here and writing this review I am experiencing the infamous nostalgia you hear everyone talk about. It's real, and to be honest, I'm happy I have it. I just goes to show you how much of an impact my life Milan had on this small town girl...I had never been out of the country before my semester abroad and I am so incredibly happy Milan was my first stop!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Learning to be Capable

It took exactly one month and five days since leaving home that I knew I was never going to be the same. Now I know how depressing that sounds, but you'd be surprised at how sometimes, things can be much better than they seem. My leading across cultures teacher liked to talk. In fact, most of the time I was dozing off thinking to myself, "where am I going to go this weekend? Prague, the Almafi coast...Florence?" Interrupting my thought bubble, Mr. Armani gave us a list of 18 personal attributes as a homework assignment to sort out by importance. Words like courageous, honest, loving, forgiving and open-minded to give you an idea. Old me would have chosen honesty as my number one attribute because I had just recently been tainted by a relationship that was anything but. However, I knew the instant my eyes scrolled upon it, that it was the reason I was different; it was the reason I'd never be the same again.

I can't simply explain how it feels when watching a sunset overlooking the Mediterranean sea from a quaint, discovered church or how it puts you at peace with the world, even just for a moment. Or how the David reminds you what the human hands are capable of. I can't even begin to describe the taste of freshly made mozzarella or homemade gelato, or how much better Tuscan wine tastes when overlooking the vineyard that it came from. I can't explain how exploring (and studying of course) when you're young and able could possibly be the best decision you'll make for yourself; I can only paint the picture.

It was all that you've read and heard about and more. Stepping outside of your comfort zone, becoming emerged in a culture that is completely foreign to you, learning that there's more than just the "American" way of doing things, traveling to some of the world's most beautiful cities, missing your flight then getting your luggage lost when you arrive in your new home city..(oh, right that was just me). Abroad everything I'd hope it to be that and more. But the single, most vital part that I can take away from my experience was the amount I learned about myself and about life, which when it comes down to it, is really all you're guaranteed until the day you die. Seven countries and eleven cities later, I realized that it's not about the amount of territory covered, it's about the feeling you know you're in the right place at the right time, doing exactly what you're meant to be doing. More importantly, It's about knowing that you're capable.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

My IES Milan experience

My IES abroad experience is one I will never forget. The IES Milan School has a great program for students who also want to take classes at Italian universities. I also took classes at Bocconi, the business school in Milan. This school was a challenge, but I loved being at university with students from Italy as well as other countries around the world. Though IES Milan I was able to take language classes as well as classes at Bocconi, which was something that was important to me as I studied abroad.
I also chose to stay with a family. IES Milan does an amazing job of housing you with families that are so welcoming. In my homestay I had 4 sisters who were a variety of different ages. They also pair you with students in an apartment that allows you to meet students that go to IES as well.
The city of Milan is one of my favorite cities in Italy. There truly is everything. It has amazing food, a great history, and of course lots of shopping. Another benefit of choosing Milan is that is it very easy to get almost anywhere. There are three airports as well has a multitude of high speed trains. I loved my study abroad experience in Milan and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to study abroad in Italy.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

The Facebook Photos were only the Beginning

My study abroad experience was not what I expected. It was one of my hardest semesters in college and taught me more in and out of the classroom than I could have experienced at IU alone. After missing my connecting flight to Milan, the staff helped guide me through the Madrid airport and still met me at the Milan airport, hours after I was scheduled to arrive. From there we had an immersive welcome week and were handed resources right and left to experience all parts of the culture. Weekly, the staff planned various events around the city; everything from concerts to aperitivos (happy hours), to ski trips and nights at La Scala (world’s most famous opera house).
But the semester was a challenge. I worked an internship where I worked 20 hours a week and took 15 credit hours. I traveled almost every weekend to other countries and unfortunately became sick a number of times. However, the staff was always there to help. Professors held office hours often, and the internship coordinator helped me understand the interview style in Italy vs the U.S. The semester was a balancing act, and taught me even more about time management and prioritization.
The only complaint I have about the semester was my roommate situation. I was paired with party girls whose grades did not transfer and had daddy’s credit card in their pocket. They held different values and made coming home to the apartment a prison sentence. However, from speaking with my friends throughout the program, my situation was unique. In addition, each of the homestays reported stellar experiences.
I loved this program because it challenged me, I improved my language skills, met new people, traveled all of Europe, and made friends from all over the US and Italy.

Overall Rating

6/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    6

Not all that I imagined it to be, but a lot more valuable than I ever expected

My study abroad experience was bittersweet. I had amazing moments and it was an opportunity I am so grateful that I was able to have. But I also encountered a lot more struggles than I anticipated, which made the experience a challenge. To start with the positives, I loved my program. The center was great and the IES staff was wonderful. They were all fun and personable, and made the experience easier. I loved my classes and professors. I learned a lot, but I like that they weren't too challenging. It made the academics side of the experience less stressful. I loved the city I was in and it was amazing to be able to travel. My apartment was beautiful and in an incredible location. I was so lucky to live where I did. There were so many wonderful moments during my abroad experience, and I wish I could experience them again. While there were great times, there was also some hardship. I didn't make many close connections with the people in my program, which made it a little lonely at times. I was on a budget, so I couldn't travel as much as I wanted to. I wish I had an opportunity to meet more locals, but it was difficult since my program was for Americans and because there was a language barrier. Despite all of this, I wouldn't have changed my time abroad. Though not every single memory is 100% happy, I gained so much more from this than I could have imagined. I lived on my own in a new place and I learned how to integrate into a culture. I learned a lot about myself as a person, and what is important to me. I saw incredible sites and experienced amazing things that I will remember for the rest of my life. Study Abroad is such a unique opportunity and I am so glad that I took that chance.