Current students

Study Abroad in Milan, Italy in 2022-2023

Destination: Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Study Period: September 2022 – July 2023
Affiliation/Grade at the start of studying abroad: Graduate School of Design, Environment and Heritage Design Course, Master Year 2

Looking back, my fascination for Italy started when I was instructed by an Italian architect during a design exercise during my undergraduate years. I naturally wanted to pursue my architectural education in Italy, as it is the graduate school of the architects I admire, such as Aldo Rossi and Gio Ponti, the classes are in English, Milan is an easy city to travel around Europe, and I love Italian food… I had no hesitation in choosing Politecnico di Milano as my exchange school.

The university’s very large student population and big compound made it an attractive place to study. Regular lectures by well-known architects and guest speakers not only broadened my professional knowledge but also gave me a first-hand insight into their approach to their work. The various events, such as the marathon, also provided me with a very fulfilling experience. The international environment with students from different backgrounds was stimulating and helped me to develop a multifaceted perspective and a wide range of communication skills.

At first, due to the large number of students, there were few small groups like those labs in Japan, and many students were on their own. I felt lost and insecure, but I tried to motivate myself, and I overcame this hurdle by actively participating in classes and events.

Milan is a place where historical and contemporary architecture coexist, and I was able to see and experience beautiful styles from classical architecture and movements rooted in the historical background of contemporary architecture. The combination of different classes at the university also gave me a systematic knowledge of Italian and European architecture. Also, I was able to broaden my horizons internationally. At Politecnico di Milano, which has a large student population, there are many international students from all over the world, and working on projects together with students from different cultures and backgrounds gave me a lot of stimulation. Communicating with students from different cultural and educational backgrounds through dialogues and drawings, I gained knowledge of the architectural situation in different countries that I did not know about, which gave me confidence, and this knowledge became a great asset. Furthermore, I was able to get a sense of the architectural philosophy behind their designs through exchanges with local architects. Through dialogue with many architects, I was able to deepen my understanding not only of theory but also of the actual architectural process and issues.

You will encounter new things every day while you are studying abroad. It doesn’t matter what it is. Try to go with the flow and try things that interest you. You may see something that stands out for you only.

Naoto Sawada