Preparing for Study Abroad in Milan: What to Pack and How to Get Ready

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Astha Dave
June 18, 2024

Studying abroad in Milan, Italy is an exciting opportunity filled with cultural experiences, academic growth, and personal development. Milan, known for its rich history, vibrant fashion scene, and delicious cuisine, is a city that promises to make your study abroad experience unforgettable. To make the most out of your time in Milan, it's essential to be well-prepared. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to prepare and what to pack for your study-abroad adventure in Milan.

Pre-Departure Preparation

  1. Research and Documentation:
    • Visa Requirements: IES helps you out with the visa process to make everything easier for you, but if you plan to travel abroad before the departure date for study abroad you will need to opt for an independent visa application. I started mine in October to have enough time for everything in case something goes wrong. The process was quick and I got my visa within 2 weeks! 
    • Financial Planning: Please look into the conversion rate and the fees your bank will charge for overseas transactions. I used an Apple credit card and it saved me with the transaction fees, so look into this as carefully as you can. Also, plan your travels wisely to fit your budget. 
  2. Language Skills:
    • Although many people in Milan speak English, learning basic Italian phrases will enhance your experience and help you navigate daily life more easily! You will also take an Italian language course in IES that will help you with the language. 


Packing Essentials

  1. Clothing:
    • Seasonal Wear: Milan has hot summers and cold winters. If you are going during the spring semester, the weather is going to be rainy and cold till mid-April so make sure to bring warm clothes and boots.
  2. Adapters and Converters:
    • Italy uses type C, F, and L plugs. An all-in-one adapter can be handy if you plan to travel to other European countries.
  3. Miscellaneous:
    • Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial, and Milan has many public water fountains.
    • Backpack or Tote Bag: Useful for daily classes and weekend trips.
    • Toiletries & stuff 


Tips for a Smooth Transition

1. Public Transportation:

  • Milan has an efficient public transportation system. IES will give you a transit card that works for metro, buses, and trams. It is super easy to use and you can get it recharged monthly for 18 euros. 

2. Connectivity:

  • Purchase a local SIM card upon arrival for easier communication and internet access. I cannot stress enough on this, but using local SIM will make your life much easier. 

3. Grocery shopping:

  • The variety of pasta blew my mind, and so did the Italian titles. It was difficult to grocery shop at first because the products were in Italian, I used Google Lens to help me understand what each item said, even though it's quite easy to tell what's salt or olive oil. 

4. Stay Open-Minded:

  • Embrace the new culture, try local cuisines, and participate in cultural events. This is a unique opportunity to broaden your horizons and create lifelong memories.

Buon viaggio e buon studio! 

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Astha Dave

Hi there! I'm Astha Dave, from Denison University majoring in Psychology and Journalism. If you ever need a dance partner, don't hesitate to reach out to me, I love hip-hop, salsa, and bollywood dance :)

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