- Academic experiences
I was doing a double major of the Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting and Corporate Finance, and the semester I chose to study abroad was also my very last semester overseas. I had 4 subjects needed to be completed:
- Portfolio theory management III – equivalent to Equity Portfolio Management
- Options, Futures and Risk Management III – equivalent to Introduction to Options and Futures
- Corporate Finance Theory III – equivalent to Corporate Finance
- Auditing – equivalent to Auditing and Assurance Services
Fortunately, Bocconi University offers all the courses that are equivalent to these courses, which was the major reason I chose Bocconi as the study destination apart from its prestige in Europe as being in the top 10 European business schools.
Overall, honestly speaking, the courses are not as challenging as those in Adelaide, but it does not mean that less effort should be put into them as the chances of failing are as equal. The big difference at Bocconi University is that there are no tutorials as well as no lecture recordings, there are only 2 lectures for each course every week, in view of the fact that a plethora of classes do not take students’ attendance into account, most exchange students tend to make the most of the time travelling, especially non European students, hence the balance between studying, travelling and socialising should be achieved. Furthermore, regarding the university facilities, the lecture halls have various sizes depending on the number of students enrolling in the courses, which can range from approximately 30 to 80 students.
In terms of exams, all the exchange students are arranged a special exam period before Christmas holidays in December, the exams are usually one or one and a half hour long, some of which account for 100% of the final grade, making the exam revision really tough if you do not catch up the work during term.
- Personal experiences
I can say the the biggest thing I have achieved the past 5 months spent in Europe is the possibly everlasting friendship with people from every corner of the world. It extremely amazes me how people from different cultures, speaking a totally different language can get along so well, can understand each other so well, which could not have been realized if I hadn’t gone on exchange.
On top of that, studying abroad has boosted my cultural sensitivity and understanding as well as my confidence. Immersing myself in the Italian culture, getting to know the people, trying all the different food, mumbling the language that I’m not used to and even using body language to get myself across have made the experience even more unforgettable.
Living in Italy has made me a lot more patient due to the inefficient procedures from time to time and the quite remarkable differences in lifestyles as the Italian lifestyles tend to be more laidback and relaxing.
Exchange students can choose to stay in the university residence or in a private house/apartment. The greatest advantage of staying in the university residence is that students get to meet other exchange students from other countries and it would be a lot easier to make friends and travel together.
I live in a small apartment with another friend and the rent is about 450 euros a month, which is quite inexpensive compared to the university residence, and personally speaking, living in a shared apartment is actually a lot more convenient and comfortable.
Milan is more or less in the centre of Europe, which is really advantageous once travel bug hits you, you can get really reasonable deal with the train, bus and flight tickets to travel around Europe. Named as the fashion capital of the world, except for the rent which is slightly more expensive than Adelaide, the commodities are, however, less expensive, eating out in Milan allowed good quality Italian food and drinks is not as costly.
- Make the most of the time you have in Europe, it’s a big continent, try to meet as many people as possible, go to different themed parties and travelling orgarnised by ESN Bocconi, also try to travel as much as possible, especially during weekends, take the advantage of the various deals offered by European low cost airlines.
- Try the Italian aperitivo, where you pay 10 euros for one drink and you are offered all you can eat food with different variety of choices, which is a really amazing deal.
- Take the Italian Crash Course as you can make really good friends in the beginning, taking into account the fact that it becomes a lot harder to make friends during class.
- Last but not least, keep an open mind, learn as much from others as you can, and remember wherever you go, go with all your heart, that’s how you are going to create memories around the world!!!