I have now spent about three weeks in Milano so I thought I would recap! 


I landed in Milan, Italy on the morning of Monday, January 22. My flights went smoothly and my luggage did not get lost, so praise Jesus for that! I then taxied to my apartment with some people in my program and after a tour of the building and unpacking, IES treated us to dinner at a local pizzeria. Then, it was off to bed! I was exhausted after a long day and a half of travel with little sleep. 

Week 1

The following day we began orientation by learning how to use the metro to get to the IES center, as well as a tour of their new center building, and some informational presentations. 

The rest of my week consisted of travel around Milan including visiting the Duomo for the first time & stumbling across a beautiful church, too. 

To end the week, I attended my first IES field trip where we were bused to a parmesan cheese a balsamic vinegar factory. I was able to try a balsamic vinegar that was aged for 100 years – how crazy is that! We concluded the day by going to the Ferrari museum, and that was very cool.

Week 2

I began my two-week Italian intensive class. We met every day Monday through Friday for 2.5 hours at the IES Center to learn some basic vocabulary, verb conjugations, greetings, pronunciation, and numbers. It was really fun to get to know some of my classmates – one of them is from Wisconsin too!

My second weekend in Europe I spent in London! My roommate at Hope, Macy, is studying at IES London so it was lovely to see her there and tour the city she’s been living in! Coincidentally, three other Hope students spent their winter break in London so it was quite the Hope College reunion — shoutout to Elsie, Clara, and Haley! Macy took me to almost every major attraction in London in just one day — that trip has been my favorite memory of my abroad experience so far.

Week 3

Our Italian intensive class continued this week and on Tuesday IES treated us to a light lunch at a local cafe so we could practice our Italian with the vocabulary we had learned so far. It was a success!

In addition to all-day field trips, IES Milan also puts together a list of “bucket list” items that students can sign up for. On Tuesday, I attended an Italian cinema to watch a movie (with English subtitles) that was entirely filmed in Milan. The movie was called L’ultima notte di Amore (Amore’s Last Night). It was a thrilling movie with an enthralling plotline that kept us engaged the whole time. While we watched the movie, we were served a traditional Italian aperitivo.

That’s all for now! I can’t believe I’ve already been here for three weeks, but I’m so excited for the adventures I have planned. Arrivederci e a presto!

Published by Emma Low

Class of 2025 IES Abroad - Business Studies in Milan, Italy

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