From its ancient founding by Celtic peoples from the North to its vital role in the Italian Renaissance to its current position as the commercial, financial, and fashion center of Italy, Milan has always been an iconic city in beautiful Italy. Studying abroad in Milan will place you in the midst of one of the largest and most vibrant cities in all of Europe, surrounded by sweeping ancient and modern architecture and positioned to experience and explore all of the best that Italy has to offer.
Students of all different interests and academic disciplines will find a wealth of cultural opportunity while studying in Milan. The city is most famous for its central role in the global fashion industry, making it one of the best places in the world to study fashion and design. There are also numerous opportunities to study the arts in many other respects.
It is also Italy’s most globally connected city in most areas of commerce and industry, making it a great place to study business, marketing, or finance as well. Of course, those who are interested in history or European studies will find few more fascinating cities to study abroad in than Milan.
With a student population hovering around 65,000, The University of Milan is one of Europe’s largest and most prestigious universities. Students who apply to study abroad in Milan at the University of Milan will have access to a thriving student population (both local and international), and a catalogue featuring courses under hundreds of different disciplines. Many programs also allow students to study at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, which has a campus in Milan.
Be wary – many of courses are taught in Italian, so if learning the language is not part of your study abroad agenda in Mian, then your course options may be more limited. But thankfully there are other opportunities for students who have no plans of learning Italian while studying in Milan.
Many study abroad programs in Milan feature their own learning centers within the city, featuring courses taught in English and classes designed specifically for international students. These study abroad programs also tend to include plenty of organized field trips and cultural outings to help you maximize your experience in Milan.
Studying at a large university versus as part of a small program or international institution will prove quite a different experience – do your research thoroughly to determine which route will give you the most out of your time studying abroad in Milan.
Milan offers a little bit of everything for study abroad students. From the fun, young nightlife to the cutting edge fashion industry to the plethora of historical architectural wonders and museums of all types, you will never suffer from a dull moment studying in Milan, an exciting and culturally rich city. Some good spots to begin exploring for a quick taste of Milanese history and culture are the Milan Cathedral, Santa Maria dell Grazie, Duomo, and Trienalle Museum. When you tire, sit back and relax at a café with espresso, gelato, or some of the very best Italian food in the world.
Milan is very well connected via metro and train lines, making travel within and outside of the city easy and accessible. Take advantage of this highly efficient railway system to get to know as much of the city as you can during your time studying abroad in Milan, and also to visit nearby destinations such as Rome, Florence, and even Switzerland. Studying abroad is your time to get out and explore the world without limitation, so enjoy the freedom to do so!
You will find the Italian culture in Milan to be upbeat and friendly, though culture shock may certainly roughen the transition. Italians are quite laid back in most respects, meaning that shops may open and close spontaneously throughout the day, and many aspects of city life may not run as efficiently as study abroad students are accustomed to.
Just relax – enjoy the beauty and intrigue of where you are and make a sincere effort to interact locals. Italians are humorous, animated, and fantastic in conversation, so do your best get to know the people of your host country!
Milan is not the most expensive European city to study abroad in, and it is very much possible to lead a comfortably fun and active lifestyle without breaking the bank. Just be smart with how you spend money. Though it will be tempting, surrounded by elegant restaurants and mouthwatering gelaterias, try not to eat out all the time and do your shopping locally. Use public transportation instead of taxis to get around, take advantage of the city’s many free attractions, and you will be able to enjoy a thrifty life studying abroad in Milan.
Different study abroad programs differ in their expenses, though you will find that, through the combination of scholarship opportunities and financial help from you home university, studying abroad can be an affordable experience for all. Budgeting your on-site and travel expenses while you study in Milan will be good practice for future travel opportunities and city life after college.
There are several different options for housing during study abroad in Milan. Homestays are quite popular for exchange students, giving you an intimate cultural experience with a local host family and the opportunity to develop close relationships that will last a lifetime. Student housing is a great option if you decide to study in Milan at a large university, because it creates the opportunity to interact with the Italian student body and immerse fully into campus life. Independent or group living in an apartment is also an option for the more autonomously driven student, who wants the freedom of living on their own in the big city.
You will likely need to obtain a student visa to study abroad in Milan, a process which your program or host university will likely help guide you through. The Italian bureaucracy can be notoriously slow so it is best to get on top of this process early.
Italy is a country that has been at the center of Western civilization for thousands of years, and today Milan stands as its most important global and economic city. If you are looking to experience modern Italy, then studying abroad in Milan will be the perfect opportunity to place yourself at the frontier of this beautiful country’s culture and development.
At times it will feel overwhelming being a stranger in a strange land, but keep your head up and you will discover that the decision to study in Milan may perhaps be the greatest choice you ever made.