Milan: Best Experience while in Grinnell Past Review

By (Psychology, Grinnell College) for

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC): Milan - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learnt the language, got to meet and work with excellent faculty, made some new friends (both Ameircan and Italian), saw many cities (Rome, Verona, Venice, Mantova, Bologna, Padova and others) and had the time of my life in general. I am international student from India and have traveled a lot, so I've always been culturally sensitive. However, I was appalled by how interculturally-flat most of the American students were.

Review Photos

Direct Enrollment: Milan - Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore 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.

Excellent experience overall. The academic programme is designed based on the American system, so there are no major differences in terms of presentation style and grading. Excellent teaching, with teachers being highly reputed in their respective fields.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

This programme really has no weaknesses, except that the students in it are by and large terrible. Housing, academics and other services are extremely well organised, and we were well taken care of by the programme.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Excellent housing in an excellent, central location. The apartment came fully furnished and with all the necessary kitchen supplies. The neighbourhood was safe and clean, with cafes in several locations nearby, including right outside. A 15 minute walk to class in most cases.

* Food:

This is a tricky question, since we were responsible for our own food. But we did a very good job.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Italy is really the heart of the West, and I was able to explore it well and richly. I really won't be listing individual cultural attraction when the entire country is a cultural attraction.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The city is very safe. The IES programme provides accessible health services through the local universities health care system, and was very similar to Grinnell's own system, except that students meet doctors rather than nurses. Hospitalisations are easily managed and are free. No vaccines required before travelling.

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


* 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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Milan is mostly an Italian speaking city, and to that extent, the programme environment necessitates the use of the language in multiple situations. The programme assigned us to optional language partners who were local students, with whom we could practice speaking the language.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Location
  • People
  • Academics
* What could be improved?
  • Should have more stringent admissions standards (but this may not be possible, because the programme also needs revenue)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Take your roommate with you, be prepared for an experience that doesn't fit your Italian stereotype and be sure to take the Da Vinci Art History class.