IES Abroad Milan and the Expo Milano 2015, a Recap

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Ashley Houston
November 19, 2015

From May to October 2015, our IES Abroad Milan students had the rare opportunity to attend the World Expo (also known as the Universal Exhibition or World’s Fair) that was held in their host city.

Attended by 21 million people, Expo Milano’s theme was Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, which encouraged the 140+ participating countries to showcase innovations and ideas that could help to sustainably and nutritiously feed an ever-growing population, with as little negative impact to the environment as possible.


Our IES Abroad Milan blogger Madison Qualy (Summer 2015) explains, “The Expo Milano 2015 was the strongest factor pushing me to travel to Milan. …As an Environmental Science major, this topic is very important to me. While studying in Milan, I am taking a course on social innovation and strategies for environmental sustainability, which ties in perfectly with this year’s theme.”

In addition to the exhibits, Madison enjoyed food stalls offering delicacies from around the world. She writes, “I’m going to be completely honest and transparent with you all here…the first conversation between my roommate and I regarded our plan of attack for eating throughout the day. After some careful and delicate strategizing, we discerned that if we split everything, we would be able to consume the maximum amount of food.” You can read the rest of Madison’s post about the Expo here.

    Belgian Waffle                                 Tree of Life (at the Italy Pavilion)
Credit: Madison Qualy                     Credit: Madison Qualy

A real surprise for blogger Meredith Wadsworth (Spring 2015), was Kazakhstan’s impressive exhibit, “…which started off with a very talented sand painter, followed by an interactive room about their arable land (I’m talking virtual reality and video games. My kind of pavilion.). Finally, you are ushered into a ‘moving’ theater that plays a 3D film as though you were a flying drone.”  


For three former IES Abroad Milan students, the opportunity to work the Expo was more than enough reason to come back. Rachel Niemoller (Spring 2013, University of Southern California); Jadil Rodriguez (Fall 2013, Bryn Mawr College); and Lucas Padovani (Spring 2014, Brandeis University) all returned to Milan to work the Expo. According to Lucas, studying abroad in Milan was key in his being selected for the position.

    Spring 2015 IES Abroad Milan Students at Expo Milano
    Credit: Carmen Caldero Crespo

Since the World’s Fair was first held in 1851, it serves as a celebration of human progress and international comradery. Keep an eye out for the next World Expo, which will be held in Kazakhstan in 2017!

Find out more about all of our programs in Milan.

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Ashley Houston

IES Abroad News

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