Nicol Rainy Brown

British Master student at Universita Bocconi

University: Università Bocconi

Course: MSc Economics and Social Sciences

Which year you are in: 2nd Year

Home Town or school/uni attended in UK: University of Manchester

1. Why did you choose to study abroad?

I wanted to try studying in a new environment, outside of my comfort zone, and to have the opportunity to learn a new language.

2. How would you rate the assistance of the university before you arrived (the application process, finding accommodation, sorting out financial matters)?

The application process was fairly simple, and with regard to finance and accommodation I was awarded a scholarship which included tuition and housing, and everything was sorted out for me before I arrived.

3. How would you rate the assistance of the university when you arrived (orientation etc)?

The university has a centre which caters for the administrative needs of all students (academics, banking, visas etc), which is very useful for a new international student to have. International students are also offered an Italian crash course when they arrive, as well as mathematics and statistics preparatory courses.

4. Did you feel prepared when you arrived and/or what surprised you?

There are some small differences in culture and attitudes compared to the UK and a UK university, and these can seem very strange at times. On the academic side, even with the preparatory courses and a BEconSc, I did not feel prepared for the level of mathematics required during the first semester. Subsequent semesters were not so difficult, however.

5. How would you rate the learning environment (teaching style, studying with other international students, non-native English speaking lecturers)?

The professors at Bocconi are some of the best, in fact, the main reason I wanted to come to Bocconi was due to the academic standing of the faculty. The teaching is very much based on theory rather than application in my experience, which is important to consider if you are thinking of applying. The lectures are usually quite clear, and while most professors are Italian, they speak very good English.

6. Would you recommend studying abroad to a Brit who might never have thought about it before?

I would absolutely recommend an experience studying abroad, but would note that preparation is important. It may be best to try a shorter duration beforehand, such as a summer school or similar.

7. Would you recommend your course, university, city to British students?

Yes, absolutely! However, I would also warn them it is extremely difficult and competitive.