My experience was only as great as the friends I've made Past Review

By (Marketing., Bentley University) - abroad from 01/14/2013 to 05/17/2013 with

IES Abroad: Milan - Study Abroad With IES Abroad

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about the Italian culture, and it made me realize how lucky I am to be born an American citizen. We have a better education system that actually forces you to learn as opposed to memorizing useless facts. Our public workers are professional and prompt. They don't start yelling at you in Italian just because you tried to ask a question in English. We have a higher chance of finding a job after college. Every time I go abroad, I come home appreciating the American culture even more. It was definitely worthwhile. I loved Milan because of the people I have met, but I would never want to live here.

Review Photos

IES Abroad: Milan - IES Abroad in Milan Photo IES Abroad: Milan - IES Abroad in Milan Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The courses did not require a lot of extra work. You had to attend your course and pay attention to the lectures, but as for academic rigor, do not expect what you would expect at Bentley. The courses are interesting and the topics are great, but when it comes to testing, unless you are amazing at memorizing everything and being able to regurgitate specific dates, don't expect to get an A. The Italian teaching style is very different from the American teaching style. You could spend hours and hours studying and still not get an A because the professor chose a question on a topic she spent 2 seconds explaining. You never really know what will end up on your test. The again, study abroad courses are supposed to be a bit easier. You will have a lot of free time to travel and explore, especially since this program started giving us some Fridays off! It is very relaxed during the semester and so perfect for studying abroad, but when it comes to test time, everyone goes a little insane!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff was great! Very accomodating!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Beautiful apartment in a very convenient location!

* Food:

It's expensive, but it's delicious!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I had an Italian roommate and I was really lucky to have attender her graduation and spend time with her friends. I was really forced to speak more Italian, but that allowed me to see a lot more of the Italian social culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Italians are crazy drivers, like drivers in New York. Just be careful crossing the streets and DO NOT walk in front of a car. They will run you over.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

I had an internship that required me to work everyday, so I had to book a lot of last minute trips. The ticket prices were obviously more expensive, so it was hard to stay on budget. Also, I had the unfortunate event of having an Italian airline strike during one of my trips, but my friend had already arrived at our destination. I had to book a last minute flight to Sicily (250 euros.....), which is cheap for a last minute flight, but it was still expensive. It really depends on how many trips you plan on taking, but it's much better to have more money than less when abroad in Milan.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150 not including traveling
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Apply for a debit card that doesn't charge a huge amount of fees when you withdraw from the ATM. I had Capital One and that was great. Try to cook at home as much as you can so that you have more money to go out and travel! Go to the clubs that have special events going on (usually a lot cheaper).


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

Italian class

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Beginner's Italian
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Make friends with the locals, and if you don't feel comfortable with that, make friends with your CAs.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Food
  • People
  • Culture
* What could be improved?
  • Professors
  • Grading System
  • Lectures
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I needed to save a lot more money than I did!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Social Innovation & Sustainability

Course Department:
Instructor: Liat Rogel, Daria Cantia
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The class was great. I learned a lot and the professors really forced us to think and participate in class, creating a room full of new ideas. The topics were interesting and the field trips were relevant. What wasn't great about this class was the lack of communication between the two professors. We had a group project at the end of the semester and it was clearly obvious to everyone that they never communicated. One professor would ask us to pursue our project in one direction and the other professor would tell us to pursue another direction. Even though they keep emphasizing that we do not "have to" pursue the direction they want, it was obvious that if we did not make the changes they wanted, we would not get a good grade. There is no use arguing with them because they will refute anything you say. They will say it was "just a suggestion", but it really wasn't. It's hard to get a good grade in this class because they will keep changing their mind. With the amount of work you put into the group project in the end, everyone should get an A, but that is not the case. Again, it is a great class if your grades don't transfer. And if your grades do transfer, make sure you keep in constant communication with the academic coordinator!
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Beginner's Italian

Course Department: Italian
Instructor: Renata Palermo
Instruction Language: Italian
Comments: No one has pushed me this hard before to learn anything. I have also never met anyone as energetic as she is. She is a great professor, and she is really patient. We learned more in this class than in IT150, the level above us. Even if you have a bit of an Italian background, unless you can make it to IT 200, you honestly learn more in IT 100 with Renata. One bad thing, you will always be let out of clas about 10-15 minutes late, but if you have somewhere you have to go, just tell her ahead of time and it's excused!
Credit Transfer Issues: