You are here

My First Week in Milano

by Max Leo
September 11, 2018

I came to Italy with very few expectations. I knew that there would be great food, friendly people and nice scenery, but I decided that for just once, I would jump into things without completely knowing what I was doing. I am usually the person who will watch videos, read articles and look at pictures before visiting a city, yet I did none of that when moving to Milano for the fall.

And surprisingly enough, that is what has made my experience great so far.

I arrived last Monday and have enjoyed every second since then. I landed that morning and then moved in with my host family that afternoon. My host father is a professor, my host mother is a middle school English teacher and then I have a host sister who is 21 and studying law in Milano. They immediately welcomed me into their home and made me spaghetti. It was the most Italian thing that could have happened on my first day.

I had a few days of orientation and workshops before starting my intensive Italian classes on Thursday. I have never taken Italian before, but having class every morning from 9:00 to 11:30, living in a homestay and venturing out into the city, I found that I am learning a lot more than I would have expected to in only a few days. It also probably doesn’t hurt that my Italian professor is incredible and speaks ten languages fluently.

After spending a decent amount of time in classrooms last week, I took the weekend to really explore. On Saturday, that meant taking a walking tour of Milano with the director of IES Abroad followed by a pizza dinner and walk with my host family. Living with a host family has provided me with so much insight into the city and Italian culture. Despite only being a week in, I am so glad that I chose to do a homestay!

On Sunday, I took a train to Torino for the day with some friends. We had very little planned and spent most of the day walking around. The streets were pretty quiet, and the buildings were beautiful, which provided for some great photos. The only thing that we had planned was to go up to the top of the Mole, the tallest building in Torino. It was originally built as a synagogue, but the builders ran out of money about halfway through and turned it into a cinema museum (highly recommend) and observatory. From the top, you could see for several kilometers, which helped to put Torino into perspective.

On Monday, I started my internship. I am working for a small menswear accessories company that focuses in silk goods, producing ties, pocket squares, suspenders and scarves. I went to lunch with my boss, the founder of the company, and she gave me an overview of what they do. Then she had me analyze the competition on the website of a retailer that she sells to, so that we could choose which products to send them for the upcoming season. My opinion is valued, and I am getting an in depth look at menswear in Milano.

In one week, I have already seen and done more than I could have imagined, and I still have another three months left. I can’t wait to see where my internship takes me, or where else in Italy and Europe I will get to explore!

From Our Blogs

Nov 15 9:26am

Sharing the Joy of Studying Abroad | October Ambassador of the Month Meredith Hawley

by IES Abroad

We're thrilled to announce Meredith Hawley (Granada, Spring 2018) as our October Ambassador of the Month! As a volunteer Ambassador, Meredith shares her study abroad stories and advice back on campus at Loyola University - Chicago. Read more about Meredith's experience in Granada and how it motivated her to inspire future study abroad students.

Learn more
Nov 14 5:10pm

Joining the Siena Community

by Andrea

Siena is a beautiful medieval city located in the heart of Tuscany. From the moment I moved into my apartment overlooking the mountains and the stone walls of the Basilica of San Domenico, I knew that choosing this to be my home for the next three months was the right decision.

Learn more
Nov 14 10:06am

A Weekend at The Clinton Global Initiative-University: Engaging Hispanic-Serving Institutions

by Hernando Sevilla-Garcia

Hernando Sevilla-Garcia, IES Abroad Diversity Relations Manager, reflects on his experience at the Clinton Global Initiative University.

Learn more
Nov 14 3:22am

Reflections with Raisa

by Raisa

I could never take any of this for granted. I can’t believe I’ve traveled as much as I have. So far I’ve been to Paris, Amsterdam, and Italy.  Hungary is coming up for Thanksgiving break. I think it’s so easy to get caught up in it all.

Learn more
Nov 13 7:28pm

Kyoto and Nara

by Sara

Too many temples and shrines to count.

Learn more
Nov 13 5:26pm

Homestay v. Apartment: Why I Switched!

by Claire

Stuck between these two housing options? Maybe I can help.

Learn more