...in Milano, Italy
Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi, Mailano, Italy
WU student Selina vom Hagen completed her exchange semester at the Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in Milan, Italy. In an interview, she tells us what she experienced and what makes studying at Bocconi so appealing.
How did you come to choose Bocconi in Milan?
A saying by the philosopher Lao Tzu goes: "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step". This is exactly where I found myself two semester ago. It was not only about the journey and the experiences during my semester abroad itself, no, it was about the choice of the respective country or the respective partner university. Overseas or Europe? This is a question that probably all of you have when it comes to a semester abroad. I, too, thought long and hard about which partner university to choose. And indeed, it is a fundamental decision, because this stay abroad will stay in your memory forever.
Already during the time of my high school graduation in Germany, I had the desire to complete my studies in another country. However, since Austria is not too far from my home country, both geographically and culturally, I have longed to spend a semester abroad since my first semester. Of course, in the beginning, I only thought about America, Canada, or Australia. But I really want to encourage everyone of you to apply for a semester abroad in Europe. Even if you think that countries in Europe are similar and that you can't learn much in terms of cultural diversity.
In particular, Milan is an interesting and diverse city, where there is so much to explore. Especially in spring and in the beginning of summer, it is simply wonderful to to experience the Italian lifestyle up close. It is great to "enjoy" Italy's flair and to meet up for an "aperitivo" every day.
Can you tell us something about university life at the partner university?
The attitude towards life is also reflected at university level: it's not just the lectures, which don't start until around 11 am on average, but also the mentality of every single professor and, of course, the great gastronomic offer around the Universitá Bocconi. You can say that Bocconi is a very prestigious university, which is why the courses have a high "workload" and also the students are extremely competitive among each other. Nevertheless, due to the highly professional teaching, you can learn a lot and make progress for your further education. In addition, I can say that the difficulty of courses depends very much on the respective professors and the subject matter. While economics or finance courses are rather difficult, courses in marketing, international business and entrepreneurship are a bit more easy because the lectures are quite interactive and you also work on a variety of real-life cases.
How were the courses organized? What can you say about the workload?
At the beginning of the semester at Bocconi, you can choose whether you want to attend courses as a non-attending or attending student, i.e. whether you want to commit to attending the lectures (cf. PI at WU) or whether you don't want to attend the whole semester but want to write an exam about the complete course book at the end of the respective semester (cf. LVP at WU). In this regard, I can only recommend to everyone to take the courses as an attending-student. As an attending-student you have the chance to get to know other students better and on average the evaluation is better (not only the final exam is decisive for the grade, but also many other partial performances, such as case studies, group work, research, interim tests, cooperation, etc).
Would you recommend other WU students to apply for a semester abroad?
Yes, I definitely would. In summary, I can say that the semester abroad was an incredibly great experience for me that I always look back on with great pleasure. I would really like to point out that you can also gain a lot of new cultural experiences in Milan and that there is simply always something to experience in the city. Be it Fashion Week, Design Weekend or just the many concerts, summer nights and world-class restaurants. Also, there are many exciting places to visit around Milan. At Bocconi, great importance was placed on the connection between international students, which is why I can only suggest that you really take advantage of their offers. During my semester abroad, I got to know a lot of students from all over the world, with whom I am still in close contact and who I can visit any time anywhere in the world. This is really cool!
Content and pictures by Selina vom Hagen. Thank you very much!
Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi
Location: Milan, Italy
Population Milan: 1,352,000+
Number of students: approx. 14,428
Exchange level: Bachelor, Master