Guest Post by: Marketing Senior Alizeh Karmali. She is a Foster School Undergraduate who participated on Foster Exchange at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.
8/26/2018: Well, today is my first day in Milan. My dad and I landed in the afternoon, and this place is not what I thought it would be. Everything is so run-down and honestly not so pretty, like how I imagined Italy to be. But I haven’t seen much yet, including the famous city center, so I can’t say much. Walking into my apartment for the first time was when it really hit me that I am going to be here for the next four months… and that deeply scared me. I lived in the student housing offered through Bocconi University, in Arcobaleno Residence, where most of the exchange students lived. I thought my apartment would have a living room, but there is just a small kitchen, two bedrooms, and a bathroom. I immediately unpacked everything, thankfully there is a lot of closet space. I decided I was going to spend as much time as I could with my dad before he leaves in six days. My roommate is not here yet, but I am excited to meet her!
8/27/18: Thankfully, I slept the whole night and felt super fresh in the morning. Today I decided to go to Bocconi University to get my ID card and get a campus tour. I take the tram which a bunch of people from my building, and met someone who actually became one of my closer friends during this exchange. Her name is Sophia, and she is from New Zealand. We got to campus, and not going to lie, it is extremely small and not as exciting or beautiful as UW. I don’t really know how I feel now… it is so weird not being at UW, and I feel so lost. After the tour, I went to the Duomo (which is the main church in Milan, right in the city center) to meet my dad for lunch. This area of Milan is so lively, so beautiful, and full of all the shops you can imagine and more! We ate some amazing lasagna and had such a great conversation. Towards the end of the conversation, everything goes downhill. Two lady beggars came up to us and asked us for money. One of them was pregnant, and she made sure she showed that to my dad so he feels guilty. As my dad pulls out his wallet, the other beggar put a sheet of paper on our table, and then give minutes after they left, I realized my MY PHONE WAS GONE. We soon learned that we were conned, and tried to find the ladies but had no luck. What a great welcome to Milan! I had never felt so frustrated or stressed. We ended up going to the Apple Store, where my dad bought himself a new phone, and I took his, and we switched his SIM card to my number. The whole process took a few days. I would not have known what to do had my dad not been there. Everything did work out in the end, which I am grateful for. I also met my roommate, who is from the Netherlands, and is so sweet. From now on, I am going to be a hawk over my things, because I do not want to get conned again. I miss home a lot and am not feeling the study abroad excitement yet…
8/29/18: There was an event tonight for exchange students at Old Fashion, which is a well-known club in Milan, and I was considering going. I am not one to go out, especially to a club, which is why I was very hesitant. But, a huge reason why I came on exchange is to come out of my comfort zone and try new things. Waiting for the bus to come pick us up from campus, I met a few girls who were so nice. I met my closest friend, Mish, on this night and am beyond happy that I decided to go to this event, otherwise I would not have met her. This was my first time going to a club, so I was scared, but it ended up being a really fun night of just talking with these girls and making travel plans. After this night I felt so much better and started to get more and more excited about being abroad.