Guest post by Hewan Solomon, a Foster senior studying Finance and Information Systems, who participated in the Foster exchange at the Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.
Every time someone asked me where I was doing my exchange and I told them “Bocconi”, all Italians would smile and call me “Brava!” which I learned meant “good job”. I quickly understood that I was lucky enough to attend one of the best schools in Italy and even Europe. Once arriving at the school and hearing about all of the resources and how the professors were often featured on the Italian news, the level prestige definitely set in.
My classes were equally challenging and enriching. My teachers made an active effort in giving the class a European perspective, but also showing how the rest of the world interacts and utilizes things like banks and the financial markets. This was a nice change from Foster, where most of our classes focus on the American way of doing things. I learned so much about finance in these four months, and it was pretty cool when my professor told us about how class was rescheduled so she could attend international financial summits and discussions.
The social aspects were so interesting to observe, for example the way students drink a quick cappuccino, while standing, and speed walk to class, arriving seconds before it started. The way the students socialized after class in huge groups was also interesting, because of the fact that there was less of an individual mood and more a group/community one. Hearing students de-stress between classes was a nice refresher from the quiet I’m used to hearing after classes in Foster. Although I didn’t make any Italian friends at school, I really enjoyed watching how they interact, and I definitely learned some style and fashion advice from my observations!