Is it Really Almost December?

By: Erica Strathern, Foster Undergraduate

Hello everyone! My name is Erica Strathern and I am a 4th year Foster student studying Accounting. This fall, I am studying at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. I’ve been in Milan nearly three months, and at the moment, I can’t seem to figure out where all the time has gone. It feels like yesterday that I was just arriving in Milan after traveling nearly 17 hours. I’d like to give you some (belated) impressions and thoughts I have about the study abroad experience and life here in Milan:


Bocconi University is a private University here in Milan and is consistently ranked among the top universities around the world (no pressure, right?). It is much smaller than UW, only about 7,000 undergrads and 3,500 post-grads. I am taking three courses here: Auditing, Leadership, and International Law, and they are all given in English, thank goodness! There are many courses conducted in English to choose from. Some of the most popular among exchange students are organizational behavior, e-marketing, fashion industry management, and law. Registering for my courses was a surprisingly easy process! Registration began at midnight here in Milan, which meant 3pm back in the States, and it took place during July before I had left to go abroad. Not having to wake up at 5:30am was certainly a welcome benefit! I researched on which courses were the best for me and my requirements back at Foster, and I selected one or two courses that I thought would transfer to fulfill Foster requirements, and one elective that I had an interest in, though was not a requirement.


The housing here at Bocconi can be a little tricky. The University offers many different dorm options and exchange students need to submit a €400 deposit by the beginning of June in order to submit your preferences for dorms. However, even if you submit preferences for the dorms within walking distance of the University, it seems that all exchange students are placed in a dorm about 30 minutes by public transportation from the University itself. After receiving an offer for this dorm option, I decided it would be better for me to try and find an apartment or sublet closer to the university. This was quite a stressful process! I sent out hundreds and hundreds of emails to those who had posted sublets on the Bocconi Housing Exchange website, but got very few responses and all said the apartment was already taken! I ended up joining a Facebook group for Bocconi exchange students and found that someone had posted that they were looking for a girl to sublet her apartment. We communicated via email, and I had found myself some living arrangements! The downside to living in Milan is that it is one of the most expensive cities in Europe to live in, but also an amazing center for business and a bustling nightlife. When deciding to study abroad, really listen to the Global Business Center advisors when they tell you that living abroad is pricy, they aren’t lying!


 Of course, a major perk of living in Milan is its proximity to amazing places all over Europe. I spent last weekend in Paris, the weekend before in Verona and I have done some traveling all over Italy. Many exchange students travel every weekend, but I thought that would be a bit too much for me, so I have limited my travel to every other weekend or so. Flights to places like London, Munich, Vienna, Rome and so many other amazing places are very cheap and students can find great hostels or inexpensive hotels on a variety of websites.

That’s all for now. I can’t believe I will be heading home in just under a month, it doesn’t seem like it has been three months that I’ve been here! I knew it would go by fast, but I never thought it would go by this fast! If I could give any advice about studying abroad, it would be to really savor each moment and experience, because it will be over in a flash.

Until next time,