Stephanie: Languages for Life
Milan for 12 weeks – amazing!
I’ve always wanted to go there and my Gap Year was the perfect opportunity!
It was my first trip abroad on my own and it was daunting to even think about it, just before I went. So mostly I tried not to.
The Italian school in Milan was brilliant, in a good location in Navigli, surrounded by bars and cafes. The staff and teachers were all friendly and welcoming. Daily life in Milan took a bit of adjustment, but seeing familiar, smiling faces around the college made life easier. By the end of the second week, I felt totally at home and was having a great time.
The lessons were good. There was a lot of grammar and a lot of emphasis put on speaking the language. This made it impossible not to learn. You had to pick up the language! The teachers really interacted with us and made the lessons fun. I was starting from very basic level and probably should have learnt more, if I hadn’t been enjoying myself so much!
I loved Milan and my most memorable place would have to be the Duomo, it is truly beautiful. Apparently it’s one of the largest cathedrals in the world, covered with over 100+ spires and 3,000+ statues. The front of the Duomo is flanked with an immense piazza filled with people of all shapes, sizes and wealth (or lack of it). The contrast between the fashion-conscious Milan elite and the scruffiness of the poor people you see there is really striking.
There are lots of good cafes and restaurants and the pizza at 5 Euro a pop was gorgeous, though not ideal for the diet!
You cannot go to Milan and not long to shop, it is THE fashion centre! Everyone is dressed to the T and even the train station is plastered with Dolce & Gabanna adverts. The greatest streets for high-class shopping are Via Montenapoleone, Via Della Spiga, Vittorio Emmanuelle, etc. Here in the fashion heart of Milan you will find Roberto Cavalli, Versace, Armani, Valentino, Dolce and Gabbana, D&G, Prada, … all concentrated within one block.
Another few years and I plan to come back with a very flexible credit card…..