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Italy – Keegan

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Student: Keegan
Course: Bachelor of International Studies/Bachelor of Commerce
Program: Trimester Exchange T1 2023

During my semester abroad, I completed four units: International Relations in the Middle East, Green Management and Sustainability, The European Union in the World, and the Economics of European Integration.

Each unit deepened my understanding across multiple areas of study. For instance, International Relations in the Middle East gave me a detailed understanding of geopolitical complexities, while Green Management and Sustainability equipped me with the tools to understand and advocate for sustainable practices within international frameworks. This extensive academic and cultural exposure in Italy was invaluable for my understanding of European diplomacy and politics, both crucial areas for my future career aspirations within international organisations like the United Nations.

While studying in Milan, I had the unique opportunity to delve into the complexities of the European Union through the eyes of those who are directly affected by its policies – Europeans themselves. Back in Australia, my studies often framed the European Union as a distant political entity, dissected through the lens of external perspectives. However, the experience of living and studying in Italy provided me with an intimate connection to the subject matter. Sitting in a classroom in Milan, I could appreciate the tangible impacts of European Union governance, laws, and regulations in a way that was previously abstract to me. This enriched my academic understanding significantly, adding layers of nuance and real-world context that simply cannot be replicated when studying the topic from afar.

Studying in Milan was an enriching academic experience that also served as a starting point for diverse travel adventures. Italy itself became a vibrant classroom without walls, from the scenic beauty of Cinque Terre to the architectural marvels in Florence, and the iconic canals of Venice. Beyond these well-known destinations, I delved into lesser-known areas like Bergamo, famous for its Venetian walls, Luca, renowned for its Walled City, and Turin, where I took in the local history.

These experiences added unique insights into local Italian life away from the tourist crowds. My travels weren't confined to Italy; I explored neighbouring countries as well, absorbing the Alpine charm of Innsbruck, the understated elegance of Ljubljana, and the rich history of Munich. Extending my journey to France, I found the Eiffel Tower in Paris to be exceptionally captivating at night, its lights transforming it into a glowing beacon of beauty. These excursions provided a broader perspective on European culture, enriching me both personally and academically. The hostels I stayed in at Venice and Nice were more than just places to sleep; they were fantastic opportunities to connect with people from around the world and make new friends.

Learn more about studying at Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

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