Study Abroad in Milan, Italy 2016 - 2017
Study Period: March 2016 – March 2017
Affiliation/Grade at the start of studying abroad: Graduate School of Design, Department of Design Strategy, Design Business Course, 1st year
Reasons for the Choice of University
I studied in the Department of Visual Communication Design at the Graduate School of Design, specializing in visual design and design strategy. At Politecnico di Milano, I am also a member of the Department of Communication Design, which is in the same field. The Politecnico di Milano has a fashion course within the School of Design. Since I want to be involved in the field of fashion in the future, I chose this university where I can study both visual design and fashion, which is my specialty.
Life in the University
There are two classes in a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Each session lasts four hours, with half of the time use for lectures and the other half for exercises. In addition, some classes are a full-day project. Most of the classes are held in the same building, so students from all grades and departments of the School of Design are in one place, just like our School of Design. There are many international students on campus, and students spoke in Italian, English and Chinese.
I took classes on Scent Design, Trend Evaluation in Fashion, and Fashion Techniques and Materials. In the fashion classes, we worked on group assignments with students from China, Malaysia, India, and Israel. All three classes were taught in English with students from all over the world, different majors and different grades. It seems there is no departmental framework. I peeked at the Italian language class, but all the students were Italian. It appears to be rare for students from Japan to come to this school, and they often asked me my opinion in the classes. I felt a little nervous because I needed to understand English and gave my opinion in English. Students from all countries are very fluent in English.
When you apply for a visa, you need to decide on where you are going to stay. As I went studying abroad in the second semester, there was no available room in the dormitory recommended by the school. Hence, I rented an apartment using an agency website. However, due to the time difference, it was challenging to communicate with the owner. The rent was 550 euros per month, including furniture and water. If you are studying abroad from the first semester, I think it is better to choose a dormitory to save money on rent. The rent for a shared room is about 200-300 euros.
Eating out is a bit expensive, but the cost of living is not too high. If you cook, you will pay about 200-300 euros a month for food, electricity and gas. Transport is very convenient in Milan, and a pass for trains, subways, trams and buses in the city costs 200 euros a year. Other than transportation, most of the shop signs and street signs are in Italian, so I shopped with a translation app at hand. As you might expect, there are many cafes, pizza shops and gelato shops in the city.
A tax number is required when using gas or electricity in Italy. It seems that it can be issued in Japan, but I got mine in Milan. (For information on tax number issued in Japan, please go to the Italian Embassy). There are also procedures required for foreigners who want to stay for an extended period, and they have to go to the post office and the police station. It’s very time consuming, and I don’t speak English very well. In my case, the owner was able to interpret for me.