It is so hard to be consistent with a blog when on an exchange program. That’s good though in a way because it means that I have been doing a lot, experiencing a lot, and meeting a lot of great people. If you are reading this and are contemplating doing an exchange, my advice is…DO IT! It will be the most unique, interesting and fun experience of your life. Companies love it. You become more cultured by just merely observing different people in different countries with sometimes completely different lifestyles from what you are used to.
One of the best moves I’ve made this year was to join a group of Italians in my Market Research class for a team project. It was a bit hard at first since most of them didn’t speak English very well, but with the combination of hand motions and basic knowledge of each other’s language, communication became possible. Being in this group is not particularly the best for efficiency or effectiveness purposes for the project we need to complete, but it is such a good way to meet more Italians and gives me a chance to hang out with them outside of class. I went to Aperitivo (Italian-style buffet) with them and they introduced me to their group of friends. We hung out in all the places where the locals hang out. They showed me all the popular places where students get drinks and just chill at night. I had the best time, and they were all so welcoming and friendly. I look forward to hanging out more with the Italians.
I also have an amazing buddy though the Bocconi buddy system. He actually does a great job of following through with things like showing us great Aperitivos and setting up soccer matches between us exchange students and the Italians. We, of course, have beat the Italians every time so far, but it’s getting closer and closer each time. I’m not good at soccer by any means, but I’m getting the hang of it. I scored a few unorthodox goals, and my teammates have been really nice about being patient with me and have actually taught me some techniques. We often times go to the pub across the street and watch soccer on the big screen. It’s a good past time and bonding experience with the other guy exchange students.
A week ago we found ourselves in Rome with a great group of 10 people. All exchange students from Bocconi, and the group was composed of really good friends we’ve made throughout these past couple of months. We did an obscene amount of sightseeing in Rome for the 3 days we were there. I was completely exhausted every single night in Rome. The Coliseum, Pantheon, Palatine, Roman Forum, Vatican Museum, St. Peters Cathedral, Borghese Museum, Trevi Fountain, etc. The trip was very artistic and historical, as well as tiring. A highlight of Rome, aside from the sites, was having the chance to take the group to a Filipino restaurant there. It was so great to have a nice sit down lunch with the group and to share with them a part of my culture. Well until next time. Ciao!