Exchange in Bocconi, Italy : Part 1

I am from Norway, and Bocconi was one of the universities I had considered before I chose to study at QUT. Bocconi is famous for being one of the best universities in Europe and has a strong focus on economics and finance.

It was hard to not speak Italian in Milan, but at Bocconi almost all students spoke English pretty well. Their teaching methods were a little bit different than on QUT. They like to get to the point as fast as possible. I would recommend all students considering going on exchange to Italy to at least learn some basic Italian. I believe that the more Italian you speak, the better your experience will be. There were also very few assignments and you had the option to the final exam two other times if you failed the first time.

There are three different Bocconi buildings and you will likely have classes or exams in at least two of them. All of the buildings are located in the city and are approximately five minutes apart from each other. To be honest I like the Gardens Point campus better because you have everything you need at one place and it feels more like a community then the Bocconi campus. When it comes to the city it is a very old and beautiful city.

They do have a big emphasis on fashion, so you might get some weird looks if you are wearing the “wrong” clothes. Soccer is the main sport and the two big teams are AC Milan and Inter Milan. They both share the same arena, San Siro, located in the western part of Milan. Bocconi is located south in Milan. In the centre you have the famous church Duomo and one of the world’s oldest shopping malls, La Galleria (Vittorio Emanuele II). A little bit north of the centre you have an old castle called Castello Sforzesco.

What to expect in Taiwan: Transport and food


Because Taiwan have a lot of roadside stalls and night markets, food pricing are so much cheaper compared to in Australia. Road side stalls are considered a big part of Taiwan culture. On the weekdays, the night markets could be open from 4 in the afternoon till say about midnight. And, for weekends, it could open at 3 in the afternoon till 3am the following day.


One thing good about the train station here were that they had announcements in multiple languages such as English, mandarin, Hakka and Taiwan language. Thus, making it easy for foreigners to know which stop they had to go down. This made travelling much easier in Taiwan.

Even on the Train maps, it has both English language and Mandarin, so it is much easier to plan trips around Taipei..


What to expect in Taiwan : Cultures & household practices



Most Taiwanese goes to a temple to pray, be it Buddhist or Taoist despite other minority religion. When I was there, I had the chance to go to a Temple Fair, where people from one temple would go to another temple to perform rituals, it was a big event, and we travelled from North of Taiwan which is Taipei to the extreme South of Taiwan. The event lasted for two days one night. It was quite an experience as it was something new to me.

Household Practices

Fortunately, I had applied to go to National Chengchi University with another mate also studying at QUT. We both rented an apartment near the Uni and I remembered clearly when I moved into the apartment, if we had trash, there was a specific room to throw rubbish at. I quickly realised that they were very environmentally friendly, they had their garbage split into different kinds, this was very seldom seen in Singapore and for Australia, we do have it, but it seemed that Taiwan was more precise in doing such.

What to expect in Taiwan : Language and Lectures

There was a country that I had always had in mind to stay for a few months, and that country was Taiwan, and it happened to be one of the countries under the list that QUT has partnership with. I have been to Taiwan before, but it was only for a week, and I did not get the opportunity to learn the culture and practices of Taiwan completely in such a short period of time. I wanted to go back there. National Chengchi University is named as one of the top three universities in Taiwan and it was well known for its Business faculty.So, I chose this university for my exchange program.


When I reached Taiwan, I needed a little bit of time to adapt as everyone was either speaking in mandarin or some in their native languages. Although I was capable of conversing in Mandarin, but I was not as fluent.


When going for lectures, I realized that their classes we different from QUT, while in QUT most subjects would be lectures followed by tutorial on each subject. But for NCCU, they did not have lectures and tutorials split. Both were being held in one lesson. And, for most subjects in QUT, lectures would comprise of more than 100 students depending on each individual subject, but for NCCU, each class would only comprise of about 50 or less students, which was something new to me as I was already used to having lectures and tutorials separately. The campus at NCCU was quite big as compared to QUT.