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Exchange Life in Milan – Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy

After being on exchange in Milan for over two months, I’ve come to know one thing very clearly: fashion is everything for Italians. This city has a touch of style in all aspects of everyday life, whether you’re merely having a coffee at a local coffee shop or attending the Fashion Week and seeing the models walking on the stage dressed in the latest designs of famous brands.

There are a lot of reasons why studying in Milan has been a great experience for me so far. First of all, the Catholic University of Sacred Heart looks incredible and has a beautiful campus. The university’s rich history and traditional Italian architecture style make it one of the most iconic landmarks in Milan.


Secondly, the subjects I’m currently studying are different from what I study at home at UTS. For example, one of the electives I’m taking here is called ‘Luxury for Sustainability. How Values Meet and Cross in Corporate and Brand Communication ’. In this course, I am learning about how brands and companies can implement sustainability to help the planet yet preserve the appeal of style and luxury for their target consumers. As a communications student, I find it very interesting to explore a new perspective on the meaning of sustainability in the corporate context and how as a communications professional I can become a “green stakeholder”.

Thirdly, one of the best parts about the exchange is that I managed to meet a lot of great people and travel around Europe in a very short period of time. I have become a part of ESN which is a university club that organizes trips around Italy as well as events, parties and tours for international students in Milan. The last party organised by the ESN that I went to was the Milan Pool Party which was held during the Spring Break period. There were a lot of students from different universities, water slides and big warm pools which is a perfect combination, especially during winter!

If you’ve never been to Europe before, Milan is the perfect place to start. Milan’s location is very central which makes it quite easy to travel around Europe as well as within Italy. If you’re afraid of the language barrier – don’t be! The university allows you to take a language course simultaneously as you’re studying for your electives. Yet even if you’re not planning on learning to speak Italian, the university staff are extremely helpful and international students here in Milan are very friendly because, after all, everyone is in the same boat!

Milan is something not to be missed and I feel incredibly lucky that I am here today on exchange. And if you are still not convinced, here are the photos of all kinds of coffee I had as well as an example of aperitivo*.



*Aperitivo is an equivalent of happy hour. It’s popular particularly in the North of Italy and what this means is that you can buy one drink that costs around 8 – 12 euro (13 – 20 AUD) and have a buffet for free! You can refill your plate as many times as you want. Some places may have time limitations on the buffet, making it only 2-3 hours, however, in most places aperitivo lasts longer. The photo above is the aperitivo I went to in Navigli, the region of Milan.

Olena Prusenkova
Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Communications (Creative Writing)
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

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