Life Abroad in Milan, Italy

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore was founded in 1921 and is the largest private university in Europe and also simultaneously the largest Catholic University in the world. The old campus brings a specific charm to students walking the high ceiling corridors, while the open foyers neatly kept with greenery gives fresh air to all the neighboring cigarette smoke of fellow students. The campus is dispersed all around the city with separate buildings for each faculty, making a daily classroom change, or perhaps commute, sometimes a difficult and stressful task. However, this also gives a chance to catch some fresh air and roam through the beautiful city – maybe grab a brioche on the way! The classrooms are on the smaller scale and stuffy due to the lack of air- conditioning in such older structures. Desks and chairs are fused together causing elbows of students to constantly fight for space. A striking difference to Thompson Rivers University; the campus is modern and up to date with buildings remaining in close quarters to one and other. Possibly the most stressful part of one’s day is the walk from N lot to your classroom. Of course, Thompson Rivers itself is a newer institution than Cattolica, but UCSC still keeps its certain “Harry Potter” feel that captivatingly enchants students as they enter the grounds.

A typical day for me would start with my commute to campus. A short walk to the subway and I am on the rapid transit system. Although I am avoiding the heavy traffic above ground, the metro is packed full of students and people on their way to work. Four stops, a quick transfer, then I am already walking towards my building: only an eight-minute commute. As I make my way through the wave of morning traffic and commuters, I stop and one of the many cafes for a quick caffè macchiato – an instant shot of caffeine. I walk into my classroom and attend lecture for a little over two hours. After the end of the first lecture I have time to run to a nearby café for a quick snack and of course, more coffee, before my next class starts. I head to my class to attend another two-hour lecture filled with visual aspects and class discussions including all members of the classroom. Classes are often filled with student presentations and films to aid and retain content. Some days a fieldtrip was even planned which learning to occur in a fin environment outside of the classroom.

Each day is different; experiences blossom as UCSC makes you feel welcome and valued as an important member of its growing community. Walk the halls. Attend lecture. Make connections. Enjoy Cattolica.

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