One month down, four to go!

By Julia G.

Feb. 12, 2020

Arriving in Milan, Italy was a whirlwind. At first, my bags did not arrive which was very stressful. I then had to navigate the Italian public transportation system within an hour of arriving, full of jet lag. I had to take a train from the airport, to a metro station, and finally a few stops later I arrived at my apartment. After receiving my bags later that night, I began to settle into my new life in Milan. The first week was full of orientations, getting a permit to stay, and figuring out what my classes would be for the new semester. The biggest challenge was figuring a sim card for my phone. I ended up using an Italian company called Vodafone. I went in thinking it was going to be really easy to get a sim card and a phone plan. This was not the case. No one spoke English in the store which made everything much harder. An hour later and with the help of Google Translate, I was able to get what I needed. This was my first realization that the language barrier was going to be harder than I expected. Coming into Italy, not learning Italian, I knew this barrier was going to be hard. However, I did expect many people to know English. Most Italian’s know a basic amount of English but it was still hard to communicate at the beginning. With one week down, I felt much more comfortable with public transportation and the immediate shock of the language barrier. With one week down, I felt way more comfortable in Milan and was ready to start classes. Overall, this first month was full of learning experiences. I now know how to navigate the public transportation system and communicate better with people in Italy.

School in Milan
Julia G. at the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti.
About the blogger

Julia G. is studying abroad on the SAI Programs: Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti program in Milan, Italy.