Ciao! Welcome to a Week in My Life as a Full time Fashion Styling and Media intern living with a host family in Milan!
My train from Florence returns to Milan Centrale and I hop back on the Metropolitana to head home. This past weekend I took a solo trip to Florence! I got a last minute ticket to the Ufizzi, went on an incredible food tour and spent a day in the countryside visiting a friend.
I get an enthusiastic greeting from my host family and we chat about my weekend adventures! Sundays are pretty laid back and my host siblings are preparing for the school day. The weather is gorgeous so I head out for a run!
I help my host family prepare dinner and we sit down around 9 PM to eat. Dinner normally lasts at least 2 hours and tonight we had spaghetti carbonara and gelato for dessert. My host sister quizzes me on my Italian homework and we catch up about all the latest gossip from her 8th grade class before heading to bed.
At my internship there are four interns in total, one is from the IES Abroad program and the other two are fashion students from the north of Spain! It has been a ton of fun working with students from another country and it’s been great brushing up on my Spanish language skills.
Today we are headed to the company’s second studio. It is located a bit outside Milan inside of a repurposed villa. We had two clients for color matching sessions. During these sessions I assist my boss with appointment flow, film and edit content for social media and work on the media schedule for the following week.
We arrive back in Milan and go for lunch at Locanda, our favorite authentic farm to table restaurant. The menu changes everyday, so today we got leek risotto and lamb chops (all for under 14 Euro). We grabbed an espresso before heading back. To finish out the day I work on research and interviews for a special project before scheduling content to be posted for the evening.
Time for aperitivo! I join up with a few girlfriends in Navigli at our favorite spot, Momo! Because of the gorgeous weather, Navigli is packed with locals coming straight from the office for the great deals on food and drinks. During aperitivo, when you order a drink, you will also get snacks as well. The plates of food that you receive can range from cheese and meat boards to chicken nuggets and pizza to unlimited buffets with traditional Italian dishes. Aperitivo will generally run you anywhere from 12 to 16 euros and is a great way to enjoy the weather and get a cheap dinner.
Tonight my host family is teaching me how to make Milanese risotto! For dessert we have a wild strawberry torte from their favorite neighborhood patisserie and we sit out on the deck to catch the fireworks for AC Milan’s recent victory. Tonight their nonno joined us for dinner! My host family was quick to introduce their relatives to me and it’s not uncommon for family members to pop in and say hello.
Today we don’t have any clients so I am catching up on designing new graphics.
Coffee break! Me and my IES Abroad co intern headed to the cafe right around the corner for a round of cappuccinos “al banco” which means we drink them while standing at the bar. It’s much cheaper to stand at the bar and enjoy your coffee than it is to sit down. Generally once you sit down at a table, you will get charged a “coperto” or cover charge. These normally range from 2 to 5 euros.
Lunch time! This is a sacred time for Italians so our break lasts around an hour. We headed to a very traditional Italian place near the studio. We are considered regulars here so we get a very warm greeting from the owners! They enjoy having some new, American faces around so it's not unusual for them to send a few samples of pasta or pizza to our table.
Head back to the office and wrap up working on a couple Instagram reels and schedule them to be posted for tonight.
It’s a gorgeous day so I head to Bar Bianco in Parco Sempione for a date! The dating scene in Milan is pretty poppin’ and it’s super easy to meet people while you are out and about. Relationships and dating are a lot different than in the US, so adjusting can take a bit of time. We learned about a lot of these cultural nuances in seminar class and my host family was more than willing to give me advice and tips on how to navigate adjusting to Italian norms! Remember: just like dating anywhere else, it’s important to keep yourself safe and let a friend know where you will be and who you will be with:)
A bit about Parco Sempione…
While the park is always packed on weekends, the weekdays offer a bit more peace and quiet and there is always something going on whether it be a concert, carnival or something else! Laying out on a blanket and catching some rays in one of the many grassy areas is a favorite pastime for locals and tourists alike.
Tonight we are eating pulpety with potatoes and salad. After dinner we play a few rounds of Clue in Italian and then head to sleep!
I meet my boss in the Corduiso shopping district for a personal shopping appointment. During these, we hit local boutiques and stores to shop for clients and create outfits that work along with their styling reports. I filmed content and helped pull pieces to match our clients profile. By shopping local, we ensure that clients can physically come to stores to try on what we pick out for them and depending on the client, we sometimes join them while they shop!
Lunch at Bar Tommaso near the Duomo.
The interns head out on our own to scout for cool outfits on store mannequins to feature in this week’s social campaign. We walk down Via Torino and take photos of window displays and chat with the sales assistants about our project. Working out in the field has been a ton of fun and the Italian sales associates are more than happy to help us pull outfits for clients and suggest items for individual client reports!
Seminar class with other IES Abroad interns. This week we are discussing cultural integration and how our internships are going thus far. These seminar classes are a great way to find out what other kids are doing for their intern tasks and they also serve as a great forum to discuss any challenges you are having with your internship.
After class we head to La Malgofa, a very well known, cheap Italian resultant in Navigli for pizza and pasta.
I head downstairs to my favorite neighborhood cafe for a croissant and cappuccino. I have been going long enough for the employees to know me and we love to joke around with each other. Because they know I am from the US, they are patient with my Italian language mistakes and are more than apt to graciously correct my conjugation blunders. I think it’s important to find a place for coffee that you can visit often. It’s a great feeling to have someone know your name and makes Milan feel even more like home.
Meet my boss to drive to an at home personal styling and color matching appointment. We will be reviewing a client’s wardrobe and helping her create a fresh start according to her clothing needs and color palette. During the appointment the interns start pulling clothing suggestions and compiling a styling report for the client. We also capture content for socials and assist with color matching.
We all part ways to finish the rest of our day remotely. I head to my favorite co-working coffee shop/restuarant/store, Tenoha, for a bowl of ramen while I continue working. Tenoha has a beautiful glassed-in outdoor seating area hidden behind the bar and they have an awesome selection of clothing, accessories, books, art and knick-knacks in their store.
I head to SignorVino near Sforza for a International Girls Group Milan meet up. Joining this facebook group was such a help for expanding my friend group in Milan and I was able to meet other women from all over the world! I highly suggest joining Facebook groups if you are looking to make new friends or have special interests like running, traveling, skiing, etc.)
Dinner with my host family! Tonight we are hosting family friends for a get-together!
Time to prep for a weekend trip! I regularly have Fridays off because my boss encourages the interns to take time to travel and explore new cities.
The early wake ups for EasyJet flights are absolutely worth it. This weekend I'm heading to Berlin with a few other IES Abroad students!
Berlin was a completely new city for me and unlike anywhere I have ever been. We visited some amazing museums, hit some cool vintage shops/markets and went to a couple traditional techno concerts. Our hostel was pretty social so we were able to make new friends and get some great recommendations for Berlin.
To note: For the majority of my trips, I tried to stick to a very student friendly budget! By staying in hostels and catching EasyJet or RyanAir flights I saved a ton of money and met a lot of new people! If you haven’t stayed in a hostel before, it can be a little daunting to try one for the first time. Over the course of all my travels, I have stayed in 30+ hostels and don’t have a bad thing to say yet. I have met life long friends and been a part of some amazing adventures because of them!
Flight back to Milan
Total Trip Cost: 140 (Flights) + 70ish (hostel) + 200 (Food, Museums, Transportation,Misc.)
To note: Trips outside the country often end up a lot more expensive than you would originally think. I tried to stick to around 50 euros of spending per day and forego-ed the shopping and new clothes I would normally gravitate towards for experiences. Remember that a $50 dress from Zara could be a train ticket to somewhere amazing instead:)
Arrived back in Milan with just enough time to hit my favorite vintage market and one of the biggest in Milan! On the last Sunday of every month, the main canal streets of Navigli are taken over by local artists, vintage fashion lovers and antique dealers. I have scored some amazing finds at this market and it’s the perfect place to find unique and one of a kind gifts for friends or family back home.
I meet up with a couple friends I met through an international fashion program I am a part of. We pick out some cheeses and a bottle of wine at Esselunga and walk to Parco Sempione to pick a good place to sit and watch the sunset.
Dinner with a friend at Terramare, an incredible Sicilian restaurant on the outskirts of Brera.
Amazingly enough there are still a ton of cafes and restaurants open! We head to Terra Gelato for dessert and I catch the bus back to my apartment.
No two weeks were the same during my time in Milan! There were always new adventures to be had and new people to meet, so everyday looked a bit different. Since I was a full time intern my schedule looked a lot different from the majority of IES Abroad students and I found that I had more time to experience Milan and travel around Europe. If you have any questions about going abroad, living in Milan or being a full time intern, don’t be a stranger! My Instagram is @oremixd
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Hello! I'm Olivia and I'm currently a senior at the University of Missouri studying Marketing, Economics and Fashion. I have a love for all things fashion, beauty and travel related and a knack for diving head first into new experiences. This semester you can find me exploring and interning in Milan and trying to find the best Aperol Spritz in Italy!