Fabulous Design Capital Experience October 19, 2017

By (Kansas State University) - abroad from 01/15/2017 to 05/15/2017 with

SAI Study Abroad: Milan - Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti (NABA) Fashion & Design

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained personal growth, a new view on the world in general, something that helps me stick out when applying for my career path, and a great story to tell. I gained new friends, and new contacts. I networked with industry professionals, of whom, I hope to stay in contact with.

Review Photos

SAI Programs: Milan - Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti (NABA) Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I had an overall, amazing experience. The staff was extremely helpful, I loved my classes and the people I lived with. I learned a lot in class and just being in Milan and experiencing the Italian culture. I got to attend Fashion Week, which was a major highlight. The instructors were always willing to assist and answer any questions I had. The SAI Rep. at NABA, Claudia, is the coolest and most helpful person. She is somehow always available if there are any problems, issues, or general questions whatsoever, she's amazing.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

That would be Claudia, again, she is great. She was always so organized on our excursions and there were luckily no serious emergencies.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I stayed in an apartment with other SAI students from the States. We got along and our view was pretty nice too. We could see the mountains sometimes in the morning when the sun was rising. It was nice to live in an apartment where other locals lived as well.

* Food:

Everyone knows Italian cuisine is among the best. Pizza, pasta, wine, gelato; it was endless. There were a couple grocery stores really close to our apartment, which was convenient.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt pretty good about walking among the streets. There are always those times when there is a slight language barrier or some small confusion. But, all in all, I was never THAT nervous about being integrated in the local culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Like I said, Claudia was ALWAYS available. There were a couple times when my roommates had to go to Urgent Care because of a severe stomach ache or a sinus infection. All they did was call or text Claudia and they made arrangement straight away. Because of the health insurance SAI provides, they were able to get the medicine they needed.

* Safety:

I never had any problem with safety. A couple of the other SAI students were pick-pocketed, which is always a risk. Just being aware of your surroundings at all times, especially in a city like Milan. I am much more aware of my surroundings after studying abroad.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I gave my overall experience a 9 because nothing is ever perfect. There will be times when you get lost at midnight in Pisa and have to find your hostel when your phone is dead. Using the independence and self-reliant skills you learn while abroad come in handy more than you think they would.

Finances

* 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 budgeted smartly. I knew I wanted to travel, so I did not purchase hardly any souvenirs other than postcards and a couple clothing items and gifts. Food was reasonable at the grocery store, I did not eat out a lot in order to accommodate my budget.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50 each week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make a goal of how many times you want to pull cash out of the ATM. My goal was only two times, and I stuck to that. I used a card otherwise, but was very cautious on that as well. I had a budget planned out in my head. I also kept a notebook of EVERYTHING I purchased that week so I had a running tab of how much I spent. My roommate saw that I was doing that and she started doing it herself.

Language

* 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

They encouraged us to use basic Italian, just because it's easier to communicate that way. I took an Intro. to Italian course, which was really fun. I still use the DuoLingo app when I remember. Having the Google Translate app was really helpful too.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
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? N/A
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? Just keep practicing it everyday. Watch YouTube videos in the language, listen to music and watch movies in the language. I miss being surrounded by the Italian language so much!

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
  • International Students
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?
  • The people I met, roommates and teachers and locals
  • The city I was in
  • The opportunities presented, like Fashion Week
* What could be improved?
  • Another representative, so Claudia doesn't get too overwhelmed
  • N/A
  • N/A
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I spoke more Italian just because that would be really fun. I wish I would have saved up more so that I could get more souvenirs. I wish I had gotten to know my instructors even better.