Sustainability, Fashion and Culture: Get the Most Out of Studying Abroad in Milan

By Olivia O’Connell, ISA Italy Site Specialist

Studying abroad in Milan can be a fantastic way to enhance worldly travels and help students to flourish academically.  Milan is a vivacious Northern Italian city that links the country to the rest of Europe and is home to the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC), the largest private university in Europe. While UCSC and its internationally focused curriculum offer courses in a variety of fields, the one thing that truly makes this university so special is how it connects students to the Italian culture and current events of the city.

Sustainability: In 2015, one of those events is the World Expo. Milan has the honor of playing host to the event and visitors to the city will have the chance to partake in its many events throughout the year.  It is anticipated that over 20 million visitors will come to the city throughout the fair’s six month duration.  The theme of this year’s expo is “Feeding the Planet: Energy for Life,” and taking UCSC’s courses in the sustainability field would be fitting for this motif:

Green Management and Sustainability

Green is the New Black

Sustainable Food and Green Communication

Social and Eco Entrepreneurship

Fashion: Milan is also the fashion capital of the world.  Many famous Italian designers are headquartered in Milan and the city hosts a glamorous fashion week semi-annually. UCSC has courses in this field as well and taking any of these classes would give students insight into the Italians’ success with marketing and producing some of the industry’s top couture.

Some of the classes include:

An Introduction to Modern Italian Fashion

The Luxury Market

Luxury Goods and Fashion Brands in a Visual Culture

New Frontiers in Brand Communication

Courses with Locals: The University also offers courses with locals in the Italian language for students who have completed or tested out of at least four semesters of college Italian.  As the only ISA program in Italy that offers courses taught in the host country’s mother language, this is a great opportunity for students with a background in Italian to flex their linguistic muscles.  Taking classes with local students is an excellent way for study abroad students to immerse themselves in the Milanese culture and make friends with Italians.  This program is a gateway to la bella vita!

Italian Culture: Whether you’re interested in learning Italy’s native tongue or not, students will have the chance to complement their knowledge acquisition in and out of the classroom with courses that focus on various aspects of Italian and Milanese culture, such as these:

Creative Italian Storytelling

Contemporary Italian Cinema

Reading Milan and Italian Cities

The Italian Approach to the Media

Internships: Interested in doing an internship? In 2016, UCSC will begin offering ISA students the opportunity to partake in an internship during the spring semesters. UCSC has the unique position of being connected with many Milanese entrepreneurs and its internships will mostly be in the fields of fashion, business, marketing and communications. As a prerequisite to an internship, students will enroll in an Intensive Month crash course in the Italian language in order to ensure that they’ll be able to communicate effectively with the small businesses for which they will be working.

For more information on courses or internships in Milan, please contact Olivia O’Connell, ISA Italy Site Specialist.  Applications for Summer 1 are due on March 25, for Summer 2 on April 25, and for Fall on June 1.  Please visit our website to view the application.


Author: International Studies Abroad (ISA)

Since 1987, International Studies Abroad (ISA) has provided college students in the United States and Canada the opportunity to explore the world. ISA offers a wide variety of study abroad programs at accredited schools and universities in 73 program locations throughout the world.

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