I split my post into two sections. Click the one you find more applicable 🙂 You may also choose to read both.
Permit of Stay. Getting a permit of stay is one of the most difficult things ever. You’re suppose to get the permit of stay if you stay over 90 days in a country, but has been quite the challenge. I have officially been in Milan almost 2 weeks now, and I still don’t have the permit. I tried going to the post office to pay for the mail and get a receipt, but they were all out of postages. Gah!! Here’s something to help you prepare before you leave – I recommend it, otherwise, you will have to copy everything at a copier here.
Go here (Bocconi’s website) for more information. Also, be SURE to copy ALL of your passport pages – even the blank pages. It is very important. And attend the information session the school offers – they help you fill out every single page. It is quite helpful. Also, it’ll cost you about 65 euros or so to complete the whole process! 😦
Italian Crash Course. Not bad at all. I actually enjoy class. There’s no real pressure to learn Italian, but it has been extremely helpful. I’ve been able to use the really basic phrases around Milan, and people seem to understand and appreciate that I am giving my best attempt at using Italian. Most of them ask if I speak English and then help me in English. Some will just respond in Italian, and I use my best context clues to figure out what’s going on. Important phrases to know:
- Parla inglese (pahrl-ah ing-glaze-eh) = Do you speak English?
- Dove [insert place/item here] (Dough-vey) = Where is [insert same place/item here]
- Excusi (Excuse-ee) = Excuse me
- Vorrei [insert place/item here] (Vo-ray, o has a long o sound) = I would like [insert same place/item here]; used for ordering
- Qual e fermatta (firm-ah-tah) = How many stops; use for tram/buses/metro
- Questo or questa = This or that, you may use it while pointing if you don’t know the Italian word for it
- Per favore (fah-vore-ay) = Please; add to the end of every phrase for politeness
That’s all I have for now! Most English speakers are at Bocconi or in the center – it gets more difficult as you head away from the school and center.
Apartment. Try your best to arrange living before you leave. A lot of my international friends are having a little difficulty finding affordable places to live! Use Facebook, Bocconi’s website, etc.! Always remember to approach them all with caution!
Metro passes. Be sure to go to under the Duomo to get a monthly metro pass! I mentioned it in an earlier blog. The pass allows unlimited rides on any public mode of transportation. It is important because you can get ticketed otherwise. And note your metro pass may not begin until the next month if you purchase it in the middle of January. A few of my classmates had a metro pass, but it doesn’t begin until the beginning of February, and were ticketed 34 euros a piece. So you can purchase a weekly pass for about 9-10 euro until your metro pass works. Or just buy a one day/way ticket at news paper stands.
By the way – cultural difference – Milanese are very publicly affectionate, so it is normal to find people PDAing on the metro – it is kind of awkward, but something you must get use to. And people dress up nicely when they go out to the center on the weekends. Women wear heels to go shopping. I tried this one time. It hurts. I don’t recommend it, unless you’re feet are pro. And on Sunday, many places may be closed.
Packing. Remember to bring or buy an umbrella! It rains and snows here!
International Exchange Organizations. I think there are about 2 international student organizations. Be sure to join them – they plan a lot of social and travel events! For example, one of the groups is putting on a trip to Venice for Carnivale for 29 euros. If you look up train tickets, one way ticket is 30 euros, so you are saving a lot of money if you just go with the group. Plus, you’ll get to meet more international faces!
Milan is amazing!! This is my first time living in a city setting. Currently, I walk everywhere – my metro pass doesn’t begin until February. I can say, my legs are getting pretty toned.
I went to my first aperitivo at Maya last night with Agustin, Jenna, Tanya (all Longhorns) and a few other Erasmus (exchange) students. The music was very festive and reminded me of Texas (home, sweet home), and the food was alright. An aperitivo is basically an alcoholic drink of your choice. You just purchase a drink, and can eat all-you-can-eat hors d’oeurves. A friend told me that aperitivo’s originate from and the best ones are in Milan – so if you are ever in Milan, you must visit it!!
And, you must try their Tiramisu – so AMAZING. I like HEB Tiramisu, I LOVE Italian (Esselunga, Italy’s version of Walmart) Tiramisu. So delicious! After the aperitivo, we all went to a small cafe and got coffee and Tiramisu. It made me quite the happy camper!
There’s plenty to see and do in Milan! I hope you get the chance to experience it!
Joke of the Post:
Why does Snoop Dogg carry an umbrella? Fo’ drizzle