I completed a semester exchange to Milan, Italy in September 2019. I have always found Italy to be an interesting and magical place. Doing an exchange program became a dream of mine in the early years of high school and then transformed into a goal after VCE. It then became a reality thanks to RMIT’s Global Experience program.
I felt very nervous starting at Cattolica but only the good nerves. I knew it was the right place for me. It was harder to make friends than I thought so in the beginning I remember sitting alone in my room thinking, “wow is this really what the next few months will be like?” After only a week, somehow, something almost unimaginable happened; an all-female group formed and we were as thick as thieves from the beginning. I couldn’t believe it, not only did I make some amazing friends and bonds with interesting and beautiful people, I was part of an all-girl group with a group chat (I know it seems silly but it has been something I’d only heard about and never experienced before).
The friends I made allowed me to fully experience Milan and everything it had to offer. Milan really changed my life. It was almost as if everything just clicked into place over night. I grew stronger mentally and grew into a person I am now proud to be. My advice for any future university student would be; DO IT! Put in some time to research a suitable program and just apply. There are so many different types of programs that are all equally as beneficial to not only your professional development but also your personal development, you will definitely find something.
The friends I made allowed me to fully experience Milan and everything it had to offer. Milan really changed my life.
The friends I made in Milan mostly came from different cities around Australia, and so the Nutbush became a comical catch phrase and dance as our peers had no idea what it was. We performed the Nutbush multiple times in various locations like houses, bars and clubs in Milan. One of my favourite memories was one on our last night all together, it was around 1am, we went to say goodbye to the Duomo, and luckily, I had my speaker in my bag. My friend asked for it and just said, “Trust me”. Once we all heard the first couple of beats to the song, we lined up, 3x2 and danced to the Nutbush right at the entrance doors to the Duomo for the very last time. A beautiful and classic send off to a place we will all hold close to our hearts. An unforgettable memory to send off an unforgettable experience.
Milan will always have a special place in my heart. I am so grateful to RMIT and Cattolica for allowing me this opportunity. I am so grateful for the beautiful friends I made and we have actually already started planning our reunion!
If you are ever sitting on the fence about exchange or any overseas program; JUST DO IT! You will never regret the choice!
Acknowledgement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.