IES Abroad Milan – Italy Today

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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!


IES Abroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

As far as we're concerned, financial limitations shouldn't prevent you from studying abroad with us. That's why we offer more than $5 million in scholarships and aid.

$500 - $5,000

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...


9.67 Rating
based on 27 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 96.3%
  • 7-8 rating 3.7%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 8.4
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 9.6
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 8 of 27
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Yes, I recommend this program

Nothing Was the Same!

Everything in Milan is so much better! The food, style, culture and language are so interesting in a way that made me want to continuously learn and experience more. My time abroad through IES has put me at peace with myself in a way I didn’t know was possible. Give me a couple of years and I’m moving to Milan!

The faculty at IES Milan also played a huge role in shaping my experience abroad. Each of my teachers truly cared about me as not just a student, but also a person. They went out of their way to offer advice, recommendations and helpful tips so that we could have the best possible experience in Milan.

I lived in the Collegio di Milano Residence Hall which gave me a completely different experience than many other students studying abroad. I lived with other Italian and foreign students, and 6 other IES students. The residence hall made my experience so much of what it was because of the incredible people I met. In the Collegio I was exposed to a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds everyday. I can proudly say that I have friends from all over the world now!

I love that IES Milan offers so many different opportunities for students to fully engage and connect with the culture. WIthout the classes, internships, living options and trips, my time abroad wouldn’t have been as successful or as life-changing as it was.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take every opportunity to go out of your comfort zone, talk to locals and visit Milan's hidden gems!
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Yes, I recommend this program

A life changing opportunity

My experience IES Italy Today was absolutely incredible. As I arrived in Milan, I was extremely apprehensive to move to a new city especially one where I didn't speak the language or know anyone. I couldn't believe how quickly Milan became my home away from home. Milan is probably my favorite city, from the gorgeous walk from classes to the duomo, the best gelato places, the most charming neighborhoods, and of course the sandwiches at Panini Durini (a chain coffee and panini shop that is the best- think of Panera but so much better). Studying abroad during fashion week this spring was also a once in a lifetime experience. Milan during Fashion and Design Week is full of the most incredible energy and IES gave us a lot of information about the events going on that were open to the public which was really helpful. IES does an amazing job of having events for students to get to know each other especially in the beginning which was really helpful. I can't imagine my life without this experience and the incredible friends that I know I'll be close to forever. IES also has amazing trips organized, I went on the Venice and Verona trip as well as the Parma trip and absolutely loved the time I spent with my friends. I would absolutely choose this experience over again in a heartbeat.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I think if I did the program over again I would try to do the internship as well because a lot of my friends had incredible experiences interning in Milan. But I absolutely loved my experience!
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Yes, I recommend this program

The best semester ever.

Study abroad was the best opportunity I have ever taken. I was able to grow as a person, and truly gain awareness of the culture around me. In only 5 months, I was able to travel all over Europe and make some new best friends. IES did a great job of helping us adapt to being in a new place and made the experience the best it could be! IES took us on unique trips, provided opportunities to truly immerse ourselves in Milan, and overall did the most it could to help us. The staff were always willing to help us out whenever we needed. The classes I took allowed me to grow in my area of study in new ways. I gained a broader perspective on topics I learned about in my abroad classes. I would highly recommend studying abroad to anyone who is interested in it!

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Yes, I recommend this program

The Best 3 Months of My Life!

The opportunity to study abroad in Milan brought about the most joyous 3 months of my life. From the delicious food to the beautiful fashion, Milan's unique charm was unmatched. What makes Milan so interesting to me is that you can get the large, metropolitan feel of a modern city, while also still being able to find and appreciate all the old-world, antique qualities that define Italy/Italian culture. I cannot thank the IES staff enough for making the immersion process seamless and enjoyable. The genuine relationships I built with native Milanese people, through both IES and my internship, will last a lifetime. My beloved friends at IES pushed me out of my comfort zone and challenged me to look for adventure in each day. Because of this, I will always consider Milan my second home.

What would you improve about this program?
I genuinely believe this program provides the perfect mix of culture, entertainment, and learning. Their knack for teaching not only about Italian history, but also the way of Italian life, is unmatched.
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Yes, I recommend this program

A Wonderful Growth Experience

When I was first leaving for abroad, I was very nervous about having to start over with many aspects I had already concurred in my home university. Making new friends, becoming comfortable in a new location, and adjusting to a new culture were all things I had done two year prior at my College, and I was dreading having to do it again. Yet, when I got to Milan, throughout the four months I grew more personally than I have ever done before. The program was so welcoming, accommodating, and friendly that making friends and adjusting was quite effortless. Italian culture is very friendly and talkative, so meeting Italians and becoming comfortable within a new culture also did not take that long. Yet, most importantly perhaps, I learned how to be comfortable with myself in such an uncomfortable situation. You will inevitably find yourself having to eat alone, navigate alone, shop alone, and other activities that are customary to do in groups in the US, and you will grow more personally because of these experiences. I think that is one of the most important aspects of study abroad, and other than IES's incredible support and academics, the opportunity to grow within a foreign and uncomfortable environment is priceless.

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Yes, I recommend this program

You won't regret it!

Everything from the city itself, the social aspect, the food, the local people, all the way to the professors and faculty at the IES center made my entire experience in Milan unforgettable. Not only did everyone at IES care about each and every students' happiness and enjoyment, but they really made sure that we all received exceptional educations and authentic Italian experiences outside of the classroom.
IES did a fantastic job to integrate the real world as much as possible and give their students exposure to all that Milan and Italy could offer--shopping, fashion, the financial district, etc. I cannot recommend this program enough!!!

What would you improve about this program?
The course selection could have been expanded and varied more.
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Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
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Yes, I recommend this program

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...

What would you improve about this program?
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).