As I walked off the plane in Milan, I knew this city was special. There were so many fashionable men and women, and this was only in baggage claim. From gorgeous leather handbags to beautiful coats and shoes, I realized the fashion here was serious.
As I begin to settle in, here are a few things I have learned in my first week:
1. I should have tried to learn some Italian before I left. The only thing I did was to download Google translator on my iPhone. I really regret not taking a college class or trying to teach myself some before I left. I am learning, but the language barrier is very strong. With that being said, Italian is very easy, because it is very similar to Spanish. I am slowing learning the basics, but it is going to take a few weeks!
2. Learn the metro/bus system. Milan is a very industrial city. Public transportation is a vital way of getting around. Our SAI advisor showed us the bus system and how it works the first night in Milan. When she showed me, I thought to myself, oh this is easy! Well, the next day without her, it was not so easy. Not having a GPS available, I had to go old school with a map. With only getting lost once, I found my way from the apartment to the center of the city and back. Yay me!
3. Don’t be afraid! I came to Milan not knowing anyone, and I’ve already made good friends. Everyone in the SAI program is in the same situation. I also have made friends through NABA, my university here. They do a great job of integrating all of the students. There are many university planned trips and day events that I am excited for. It is a great way to learn a little more about Milan, while meeting new people!
All in all, it has been an amazing first week. I never though in just a few days that I would have made so many friends, eaten the most amazing food, and seen such beautiful sights. Milan, I can’t wait for what’s to come!
Molly is a current student at University of Missouri studying at Nuova Academia di Belle Arti in Italy during the Spring 2016 term.