Early September, I spent a few days in Milan visiting a few of the many universities and college that offer degree courses in English.
Bocconi has one of the most innovative programs in business that I know – a World Bachelor in Business with a year spent in Los Angeles, University of Southern California, another in Hong Kong at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, a third in Milan at Bocconi, and a fourth year at any open of the three locations… For globally minded students, it is an intriguing proposition. Yet, this is just one of the courses in English on offer. While the campus was urban, there was a sense of campus and the dorms looked fantastic. There is a new student centre under construction, and it was marvellous to finally visit in person where many of my students have gone. This is a place where students work hard from day 1 as everyone wants the best possible study abroad or internships (all calculated on GPA).
Milan is synonymous with art. Hence, IED specialising in design, fashion, visual arts, and communication (Italian only at Bachelor’s level). Two courses have dual accreditation from both the Italian government but also from the UK, University of Westminster = namely, Fashion Marketing and Fashion Communication. A primary quality sought was an understanding of the course. While in most cases a portfolio is not required for admission, personal motivation is.
More art. I arrived on an open day so could really appreciate the breadth of offerings here and the expansion of programmes in English. Just as at IED, motivation is a key factor for admission. Students have the choice of either a personal on-campus evaluation or artisitic statement to submit, as well as a “project assignment.” Art and design are not ‘soft’ options with the creative industries growing every year. Looking for “enthusiasm and passion” rather than distinct technical skills, knowing yourself and the nature of the programme was seen as key to success.
Universita degli Studi di Milano – International Medical School
Meeting with the coordinator of IMS in the downtown campus with hundreds of years of history showed the energy and enthusiasm of young programs. The purpose is clear: to ensure the very best most innovative teaching and learning of medicine in English. It is quite clearly distinct, deliberately so, from the curricula of other Italian medicine programs. Yes – you need to learn Italian to speak to patients, and nurses. But the course itself, all in English.
Visiting the brand-new campus on the outskirts of Milan, this would be the new home of one of my former students. What sets Humanitas apart is that the university is “built by the hospital, inside the hospital.” Simulation before students encounter live patients is important here as is problem-based learning. Working across cultures is deemed essential to preparing students for the challenges of medicine in the 21st century.
My few days showed how much has changed in a very short period of time. There was much reference to the long-lasting influence of Expo 2015. A vibrant city with a strong student culture, Milan has options galore for students wanting to stretch their horizons.