Student life in Milan
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Updated 2 weeks ago

Milan is not only the Italian capital of fashion, but it is also the city where students and workers come from all over the world. This makes life exciting and demanding at the same time. Those who strive in its environment though, get top class education and a wide range of opportunities.

Surviving the student frenzy

Excitement is the first feeling that comes to newcomers in Milan, and it is with a reason. Milan is the city that makes all the difference in Italy and is spoken about abroad. It offers a broad range of study opportunities in its public and private universities. The university life is what gives liveliness to the city, as it hosts more Italian, international, and exchange students, that any other place in Italy.

Student accommodation in Milan

Milan is not a cheap city but does offer opportunities for those who are willing to make sacrifices for their studies. Many students live close to their university areas, in apartments or rooms shared by two or more students. University areas are important as they offer good social connection, are safer, and well connected to the available bars and supermarkets.

University housings

The leading public universities are:
Università degli Studi di Milano (UniMi)
Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca
Politechnico di Milano

Università degli Studi di Milano annually offers around 530 accommodation places in the residences and apartments of the university. The places are available for about 11 months and awarded by merit or income. Bicocca offers some help with collaboration apartments, which allow students to reside in them for a discounted price. Politechnico provides the possibility to reside in its housings and residencies called case dello studente.

Students from public universities can request a grant from the region of Lombardy by the name DSU (Diritto allo Studio Universitario). The scholarships are assigned annually, through a competition, to university students with specific requirements regarding merit and income, provided they are enrolled in a regular degree and post-graduate courses.

The private universities in Milan are:
Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
IULM, Libera Università di Lingue e Comunicazione
Università San Raffaele

All of these universities offer the possibility to reside in some of their student residences. The accommodations depend on merit and the economic situation of the student.

Apartment rental

The most popular choice for housing in Milan remains to rent an apartment or a room. This allows students to have more freedom of choosing a neighbourhood and residing without the restrictions that student housings implore. The best neighbourhoods for international students are usually those close to the universities, but this is not the only prerequisite, as the public transport is efficient, and it is easy to move quickly from one part of the city to another. Some of the best neighbourhoods are Bicocca, Porta Romana, Porta Genova, and Città Studi where rents cost around 500 per single room.

Bureaucracy and the cost of living

As an international student in Milan, you will have to deal with the stress of bureaucracy. Universities can help with these, as the whole procedure can be slow and complicated. Usually, students need to get three important documents:
Codice Fiscale (fiscal code for each person residing in Italy, that is done only once)
Permesso di Soggiorno (for the non-EU students, costs around 250 euros per year)
Health insurance (that enters in the costs of the permit of stay)

The cost of living for (without housing) varies between 350 and 400euros monthly. Students under 27 get discounts for public services, such as public transportation, bike rentals and even some sports facilities. There are some bars and restaurants convenient for students. However, compared to cities like Berlin or Barcelona, Milan is a bit less student-friendly.

To sustain the cost of living, some students choose to do a part-time job like waiters, babysitting, or promotions. Starting with professional experience is not an easy path, especially as many companies offer low paid internships for students (maximum 500 euros monthly). However, it is a necessary step that will, later on, open the doors to more work opportunities.

Discounts for students

Milan offers many fun activities for students. Joining the ESN community is helpful, especially for new students, as it organizes trips to the surrounding cities, aperitivos, and events that cost little but allow meeting many international people.

For those students who like visiting places like museums or theatres, there are some student discounts in all the cultural facilities, with the prerogative of bringing the student card.

Travelling around Milan as a student

Another valuable advice for students is to be careful with their travel arrangements, especially in times of holidays and weekends when the prices rise. Companies like Trenitalia offer some modest discounts, which however in high demand won’t reduce the travel expenses. Flixbus also is famous among students who like to go around the European cities, but it also depends on the season.

In the end, Milan is not a cheap city to live in, but it offers plenty for those who know where to look. It is fun and has a constant plethora of events that do not require spending tons of money to see. Besides, the excellent climate and the charming streets offer an enjoyable time for people to just go for a walk around the city centre or to get a drink in Colonne di San Lorenzo.

 Useful links:

Skuola.net
Zero.eu
Reddit – Student life in Milan

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