IES Abroad Milan - Italy Today
97% Rating
(21 Reviews)

IES Abroad Milan - Italy Today

No matter what level of Italian you speak, we invite you to study here and experience Milan’s rich culture. You are placed in an Italian language course that’s been designed for you based on your language level.

Our Italy Today Program offers you courses in liberal arts and social sciences, all of which address aspects of contemporary Italian society. The courses are taught by highly qualified experts in their fields. You can also take courses at a local university—maybe you’ll even make some Italian friends while you’re at it.

Milan will also be your classroom. Only in Milan can you marvel at the grandeur of the Duomo, see the artistic detail of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” in person, and find classical manuscripts at the Biblioteca Ambrosiana. Welcome to study abroad!

Program Type
Subject Areas
Art History
Cultural Studies
Degree Level
Academic Year
Host Family
Online Application
Official Transcripts
Age Requirement
GPA Requirement
Health Requirement
Price Details
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Questions & Answers

For my particular program, there were a few different options for housing - homestay, apartment (with other American students), or Italian dormitory. I chose the Italian dorm, since I wanted to meet Italian students my age and be completely immersed in the language. I didn't have to worry about roommates, since I had a single room, but everyone shared the kitchen and other dorm facilities; it was...

Program Reviews

based on 21 reviews
  • Academics 8.2
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.4
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 15 of 21
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La Bella Vita

My time in Milan with IES was the best four months of my life. It all started with great organization and dedication from the IES staff in Milan. Their main concern was ensuring that everyone had an unforgettable time and their safety. If any problems arose, the staff was ready to address it immediately. My apartment and living situation was great. I was preparing myself for the worst, but it was a large, modern apartment right in the heart of Milan. The selection of classes allowed me to learn about things that I would have not otherwise had the chance to back at my home school. I did not know any Italian before I arrived, but the program required us to take Italian and for that I am grateful. It was a tremendous help at restaurants, asking for directions, and talking to my coworkers at the internship IES organized for me. Many students are drawn to Italy when thinking about where to study abroad because of the food, culture, history, fashion, and climate. However, most choose to study further south in Florence or Rome, but I think Milan is the perfect place. It is a city similar to the other ones in Western Europe and the United States and because of that it is easier to get acclimated. It is also very easy to travel to the rest of Italy in the south and the rest of continental Europe to the north. There is always something to do in Milan, day and night, with green parks, amazing restaurants, and countless bars, pubs, and clubs.
I have nothing but positive things to say about Milan and Italy as a whole. My favorite part would have to be the overall way of life in Milan. It is the financial capital of Italy, so it was very pro-business and at times felt like Philadelphia or New York, but they also had characteristics from the way of life in Southern Italy. While everyone was working hard, they always made time to relax and appreciate the beauty of life in everything from art to fashion and food.
The thing that separated my experience from others in my program was that I opted to partake in an internship as three of my credits. I worked at a consumer packaged goods start-up called Banale. I did everything from marketing, order fulfillment, website design and even new product development. They are currently building a prototype based on my recommendations. Not many people can say they have international work experience before graduating college, and even fewer can point to a product on the market and say that, "I designed that and now people are buying it."
My typical day in the life of my program was a bit different because three days a week I went to work for about five hours per day. In the mornings we would take the Metro to class, and it worked perfectly. There wasn't one time I wished I had a car because the metro ran so smoothly, as well as trams and buses. Midday there would be a break for lunch where students would go home to cook or to nearby cafes and restaurants. Students might return for afternoon classes, depending on their schedules. We would then go home and get ready for the night. We would either cook dinner, go out to a full restaurant, or just go out for "aperitivo" which is appetizers and cocktails. Then each night there was a different club running promotions for international students. Some nights we went to local pubs to watch "calcio" or soccer matches from across Europe.
In my free time it was fun to just explore the city, going to the different districts and seeing what they had to offer. My favorite was Navigli, or the canal district, because of the cafes for aperitivo. It was also fun to go shopping in the fashion capital of the world, even if a lot of the items were very pricey. On sunny days it was nice to hangout in local parks after classes were over. I even made it to a few soccer matches at the famous San Siro stadium, home to both Inter and AC Milan. Again, the nightlife was incredible and each club offered a little something different.
We had the option to stay in an apartment, a homestay with a local family, or a dorm room at a nearby university, but I chose the apartment. I stayed in a three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with four other American students and one local Italian student. We stayed in a very modern apartment that was very spacious. It was in a very safe neighborhood, so that was never a concern. It was actually in one of the wealthier neighborhoods of Milan. The best part was, as they say, the location, location, location. I was only a 5-10 minute walk from the Duomo, which is the heart of the city.
When I first chose Milan, everybody always asked me, "Why Milan?" and my answer was because it was the financial capital of Italy and the fashion capital of the world. I discovered the Milan is so much more than that and I cannot imagine getting to call any other place home for five months. Part of me will always be there, and that's thanks to the amazing staff at IES that run this program.

How can this program be improved?

The only thing I can think of that would have been better is if there was more flexibility in the section of classes offered. Coming from a huge university like Penn State, I'm used to being able to build my schedule to my liking because there are so many sections offered for the same class. I realize that it is not logistically possible to do something like that in a program of 140 students, but some flexibility would have been nice. Even this was a minor thing.

Yes, I recommend
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A presto, Milano

I'd never realized my eyes were closed until I opened them to the world of study abroad, in Milan. With the support of the wonderful IES staff, I embarked on an incredible adventure, l'esperienza di una vita ("experience of a lifetime"). There were three housing options, but I chose to live in an Italian dorm. In this way, I soon became a part of two unique and welcoming communities, that of my dorm and that of IES. I could practice Italian every day with the new friends I made, learn about life at other Italian universities, and learn about Italian cultural differences from people of different regions. At IES, I had my formal academic classes and heard about all the events, activities, and hidden gems of Milan that we should discover. Of these, for example, I attended a concert at the famous Teatro alla Scala (free tickets from IES!), visited museums on the first Sunday of every month (free in Milan!), and attended the wildly popular Artigiano in Fiera, a massive market with goods from around the world. Milan has so much to offer, and it is truly an amazing city where it's easy to explore via metro, on foot, or even on bike! I recommend taking advantage of all opportunities available- whether that be hopping on a train from Milano Centrale to Torino for a day, practicing Italian with one of the IES Italian community assistants, or taking a stroll around the city and finding a Roman ruin. I felt I learned more in a semester than I had in a lifetime, simply by absorbing these new things around me. I highly recommend studying in Milan; with IES as your guide, you too can discover la bellezza ("beauty") di Milano, just open your eyes and take it all in...

How can this program be improved?

The program should be more clear about what academic opportunities there are- for example, I thought I would be able to get a Computer Science or Biology course at a nearby university (these are my majors), but ended up having a semester without taking credits for either of them (which was very stressful at first, as I was very worried about being behind at my home university).

Yes, I recommend
Nitsa Duda

Hello Adventure

Studying abroad was a strong desire of mine heading into my freshman year of college. For others, it's a "tug of war" decision. As an anthropology major, my goal is to engage with the world we live in and understand how other people live. I studied abroad in Milan, Italy during the spring of my sophomore year. Having the opportunity to travel overseas on my own was a thrilling and nerving experience. As I got dropped off at the airport I said arrivederci ("see you soon") to my family before checking in with security. The beginning of my new adventure unexpectedly turned when my flight was delayed for several hours and eventually cancelled due to weather conditions and flight errors. I chose to spend the night at the airport to make the best of the situation and embrace the experience of traveling. I met five people throughout the night and early morning who shared with me their individual stories and upcoming travels to Egypt, Moscow, Italy, the Philippines, and London. One of them studied abroad in London years prior, returned to complete her master's, and now permanently lives there. The wise women who was departing to the Philippines unfortunately received the news that her flight was cancelled after she shared with me her worldly travels as a foreign service officer. Their company during my wait made the beginning of my adventure all the better. Surprisingly enough, they shared similar advice with me—to be patient, open-minded, and let the experience unfold from itself.
Although I was almost a day and a half late, I eventually made it to Milan and met my host family, IES staff, and classmates. I was relieved to be in the city that was going to be my classroom, which ended up becoming "my home away from home." Listening to people's stories made all the experience profound and enticing. I became friends with locals through a foreign language exchange program through IES abroad. The program is open to all students who wish to improve their language speaking skills and meet new people. From the exchange experience I was invited to a college graduation ceremony and witnessed ceremonial traditions, such as wearing the laurel wreath. Saying hello to what awaited me in Milan helped me control my eagerness and excitement. Moments that included Milan's food and art culture was a whirlwind experience as I lived in it every day. Out-of-class field excursions were memorable, especially the time my Italian professor took our class to a professional cooking studio where we learned to make pasta from scratch.
To expect the unexpected is a lesson learned. There are some circumstances that are out of a person's control and you have to keep calm and keep going. Within my first few days in Milan I did get lost (e.g. ending up in Chinatown instead of class), but I found it rewarding once I figured out how to navigate the entire city and public transport without a map. Study abroad allows you to be independent, be courageous, discover, and grow personally, academically, and professionally with the support of many people.

Yes, I recommend

Everyone Should Go Abroad

Studying abroad will shape you for the rest of your life and my experience did just that. The memories I made and the friends I had the opportunity to meet will stick with me forever. My confidence in my speaking ability has grown and confidence in myself has as well. I got the chance to meet local Italians and learn aspects of another culture. Everyone should live abroad for a time in their life, it will only teach them how to believe in themselves!

Yes, I recommend

La Dolce Vita--Milan, Italy

Studying abroad with IES Abroad in Milan was truly my best semester of college and four and a half months of my life that I will never forget.

The IES staff were so accommodating and really cared about each individual student. The professors were easy to communicate with and really got students engaged in their subjects with off-campus field studies and field trips.

Milan is a wonderful place to experience living the "big-city life." The apartment I lived in, which was provided by IES, was in a great location in the city center. It was easy to get around the city using the metro and buses. The city is so full of life! There are hundreds of wonderful restaurants and lots of great shopping. Some of my favorite days were spent sitting on the steps of the Duomo, eating gelato, and observing the diversity of the people that passed. The night life in Milan is like no other--the clubs are unreal!

Milan is a great place to study abroad if you plan to travel a lot. It's location in northern Italy makes it easy to travel to other cities quickly and very affordably. With inexpensive airfares from Milan's centralized location, I was able to take weekend trips to London, Berlin, Budapest, and even Morocco! The train fares to all the other major Italian cities--Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona,etc--are also inexpensive and make for easy trip planning.

Milan is a unique city filled with history and urban charm--the perfect place to spend a semester abroad.

Yes, I recommend
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Ti voglio bene Milano

Studying abroad in Milan was one of the best experiences. There was a little bit of old Italy and new Italy, and lots of gelato. If you didn't know Italian you were still able to get by. IES does a wonderful job with placing students in beautiful apartments so close to the center of the city and to the program center. The staff was super helpful and was always offering different excursions in Milan to get us to know our host city better. One of the best parts about this program was having an Italian roommate who was the same age as us who worked for IES. She helped us with our Italian, getting around the city, and told us all the best places to go for aperitivo, shopping and all other things. Traveling from Milan to other places in Europe was also very easy because we were in close proximity to 3 international airports and had the train system that brought you almost everywhere in Italy and to many other neighboring countries.

Yes, I recommend
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Milan, you're wonderful!

I spent my Spring 2015 semester abroad in Milan, Italy - it was the best decision I ever made. Everyone always says that studying abroad is a life-changing experience. Until I went abroad, I didn’t fully understand just how great it really would be. I chose Milan as my study abroad destination because I had always wanted to travel to Italy and I thought what better way to get there than to spend an entire semester LIVING there.
While in Milan, I was able to live with a homestay family. I highly recommend choosing the homestay option for this program. My homestay family was so great and they made my abroad experience so special. I feel like I really connected to my family and the Italian culture more than my fellow students who chose to live in an apartment.
Spending a semester abroad allows you to become more independent and confident in yourself. When you get back to the U.S., you will notice things about yourself that have changed, for the better, thanks to spending time abroad. I cannot encourage you all enough to go abroad, whether it be in Milan or on another IES program. You’ll be so happy that you did!

How can this program be improved?

I would suggest talking to the professors for the IES Abroad-taught courses to make sure they are all on the same page about what they expect from their students on this program. Some professors seemed to have very high expectations and others seemed to be more realistic in realizing that the students are also busy experiencing life in another country.

Yes, I recommend
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My Time in Italy

Travelling to Milan through the IES Milan: Italy Today program was one of the best experiences of my life. IES not only helps you provides you an opportunity to travel to a foreign country, it helps you immerse yourself within a foreign culture where you are able to learn, experience, and take in all the sights, sounds, and smells of Italy. This program provides you with opportunities to travel outside of your chosen Italian city, and also provides many opportunities to experience day to day life as an Italian. Activities such as Italian conversations, tours around the cities, trips to soccer games truly shows what it is like to live in Milan. In addition to this, courses that cover Italian cinema, history, art, business, and more truly show life as an Italian young adult. These courses, which are both provided at the IES institution as well as partner institutions helped my immersion into Italian education. The internships provided by this program also add an aspect of Italian life that one couldn't get anywhere else. Overall, this experience was wonderful and I would highly recommend it.

Yes, I recommend
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The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Never have I experienced or paid thousands of dollars on something (besides college of course) that has tripled, no, quadrupled it's worth everyday. I am a changed human being because of this grand experience. I think of or reference an experience from my study abroad trip EVERY SINGLE DAY OF MY LIFE and I have come back to the States over a year ago.

How can this program be improved?

Diversity and inclusion, but then again, if you don't have the applicants, you can't get them to go, right? So I don't know how that problem could be improved.

Yes, I recommend
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Milan My Love

My study abroad experience with the IES Abroad Milan Italy Today Program was absolutely unforgettable! Milan is a beautiful city full of amazing fashion, historic art, delicious food, and vivacious people! The IES Abroad center offers many wonderful opportunities for students to get involved and immerse themselves into the Italian culture.

As a Fashion Design student the IES Abroad program gave me the opportunities to pursue an internship at the e-commerce company, LACROM, take fashion classes at the, Istituto di Moda Burgo, and attend Milan Fashion Week events.

This program also provided me with a wonderful place to live in the heart of the city. The Italian family I was assigned to live with taught me a lot about the Italian language, cuisine, and culture. IES Abroad also hosted fun events around the city and exciting field trips. The staff were very friendly and helpful and took the time to build strong relationships with the students. This city and program is perfect for someone who wants to make the most of their study abroad experience both academically and socially.

How can this program be improved?

If the program provided meal vouchers for the students that would be great! Students can be given a certain number of vouchers to use throughout the semester and they will be able to experience all of the delicious food the city has to offer.

Yes, I recommend
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My Milan Experience

I had the absolute best time in Milan thanks to IES. Everyone who worked there helped to show me an amazing side of Milan that made it such a wonderful experience. I got sick once and one the CA's, Lorenza, was incredibly sweet and walked me to the university's health clinic and she made me feel completely comfortable and I didn't feel like I was sick in a different country where I didn't speak the language that well, she made me feel like I was sick at home.
In terms of academics, I took a film class which really helped me understand Italian culture and politics. The professor was so passionate about it and always made time after class for any discussions or questions. My favorite memory from my classes was probably this extra credit outing where I was the only one who could make it. So it was the professor, the guest speaker (an art historian), and me as they lead me through this secret museum in the fashion district where the paintings show the history of Milan. They showed me all the cool little secrets of Milan and the weird quirks of Italian culture.
The housing is also unbelievable! I was in an apartment with four other American students and our Italian CA, and I know I really lucked out with my roommates and my CA, but in terms of our living situation all of the other apartments I saw were the same amazing quality as ours. I also heard great things about the homestays. My mother was so impressed with my apartment she wrote a letter to the housing coordinator, Manuela Nigrelli, to thank her for doing such a fabulous job.
I really cannot stress how wonderful everyone was! I would choose the IES program every time.

How can this program be improved?

I really loved everything about the program, the only thing I would hope to see improved is a class I took that was a little unorganized. It was Tutti al Opera, a class where we (the students) created an opera under the supervision and direction of our professor. In the beginning we kind of struggled to figure out what we were doing but once we had an idea we made it through. Though, it's hard to criticize this class seeing as it was the first time they ever tried it, so the only thing is that I hope it improves over the years, but we did it. It can be done!

Yes, I recommend
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Milan, you stole my heart

My experience abroad was amazing. I had the opportunity to travel, try amazing food and live as a local. Every day after class I would find a new lunch spot, or try a new thing at my favorites so I had the opportunity to try everything the area had to offer. Some times it didn't work out to well and I would end up with a roll full of anchovies but it was all part of the experience. You can eat peanut butter and drive your car for the rest of your life so go our of your comfort zone! I lived with a host family and I was able to become a part of their family. It was so great to get to see how they went about their normal life and to discover the stark differences but also the similarities.

Yes, I recommend
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Living La Vita Bella

I absolutely loved my study abroad experience in Milan. Milan is an amazing city with so much to offer and IES did a great job of giving students information and opportunities to explore the city and different regions of Italy. I took 2 courses at the IES center and 2 courses at their partner institution-Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. The courses were interesting and provided cultural and academic information about Italy, which was extremely helpful! IES also helped me find an internship at an international non-profit organization in Milan, which taught me a lot about Italian and European culture and history.

Yes, I recommend
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La bella vita

Studying in Milan was the greatest experience of my life. I learned so much about myself, Italy, and the world. The best parts of IES Abroad - Milan, in my opinion, are:
1. The community assistants
2. Living in a non-touristy city
3. Italian food, culture, language, etc.
4. Ability to intern at a real Italian company
5. Having every-other Friday off of class to travel
6. Field trips for classes
7. IES-sponsored trip to Sicily and Tuscany in the fall

How can this program be improved?

I would've liked to know my housing, class registration, and academic calendar information sooner than they sent it out.

Yes, I recommend
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The professor and staff at IES Milan were so wonderful and they made my transition so easy. My classes were exciting yet challenging. The city of Milan has everything a student could every want or need. There is so much to do and see. Eating and shopping are both amazing. I made some wonderful friends during my time in Milan who I am still great friends with today.

How can this program be improved?

The living costs in Milan are very expensive.

Yes, I recommend

About IES Abroad

IES Abroad offers 140 programs worldwide for college students. We are a highly charged force of study abroad enthusiasts. Every day we have the privilege of witnessing how study abroad changes our students’ lives. We also believe that every student...