One huge perk of studying abroad in Milan is its location. Its proximity to the rest of Europe has allowed me to travel to such places as London, Stockholm, and Belgium without any trouble. Simply hop on the metro, take the train for about 40 minutes to the airport, and you’re good to go! It is really a novelty to travel to these places, as I often feel in the United States as if I am “stuck” in my current city…lack of public transportation and just the sheer size of our country make it difficult to hop on a bus, train, or plane and arrive to an exciting, new place! And since this is my first time in Europe, I have really wanted to take advantage of the easy transport here.
In this mindset, I’d like to write a little bit about some of my travels outside of Italy…and try to give you an idea of the jet-setting life of being a student abroad.
First stop: London, England! I was very excited to visit London, especially as an artist. Luckily, I had a friend studying in London, and she let me know immediately how and where to buy the cheapest tickets to theatre in the West End; we ended up seeing the musicals Beautiful and Wicked. I got to see Big Ben, as well as Westminster Abbey. I also ate a classic meal of fish and chips (it was delicious and definitely a nice break from all of the pizza and pasta of Italy!). Finally, my friend and I saw Buckingham Palace and some of the surrounding gardens. And, of course, I couldn’t complete my trip to London without a quick stop at the Royal Opera House, where the opera geek part of me demanded a photo. I really enjoyed this trip, though I have to say it was a little bit strange to be in an English-speaking country once again after becoming acclimated to living in Italy and using my Italian!
Another trip that I have really enjoyed was Stockholm. Stockholm is a very unique, interesting city…and very different from Italy! In Stockholm, I had a feeling that everything was efficient, on time, organized…that everyone knew what was going on all of the time. This is, in many ways, the complete opposite of Italy (and something I actually have grown to love about Italy). In Italy, things are not often on time and sometimes when you ask a question, you receive five different answers! But Italians (and me!) have learned to go with the flow and do their best to overcome these slight obstacles. Anyway, while I was in Stockholm I saw my first (and only) snow of the year. I really liked the unique architecture and the way that the city is situated on the water. But my two highlights of this trip were: visiting IKEA and visiting the ABBA museum. I’m a huge ABBA fan!
I love being able to travel cheaply around Europe…and the convenience of Milan’s location is something I really appreciate. And the nice thing is, when I’m done with traveling for the weekend, I return to Milan and somehow feel like I’ve returned home.
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<p>As an aspiring soprano opera singer, it is very clear why I chose to study abroad in Milan, the very city which houses the famous La Scala opera house! From St. Louis, MO originally, I currently study voice performance and Italian at Brandeis University near Boston, MA. I am an avid reader, dessert-enthusiast, and enjoy animals and taking leisurely strolls where I happen upon interesting people and places to explore. I am a triplet (with 2 brothers!) but am excited to be on my own, meeting new people and learning a bunch from locals and other students!</p>