Discover what some of our Park Scholars abroad are doing.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
By Cady Lang, sophomore journalism major
Ciao from Milano, Italy! It's hard to believe that I've been living in Milan for over four months now. Sometimes, when I look outside my window and remember that I'm 6000 miles from home, my life seems surreal. My study abroad experience so far has been magical. Although Milan is a far cry from the picturesque villages and small towns usually associated with Italy, I've grown to love this busy and bustling metropolis. Instead of quaint villas, the streets are filled with skyscrapers that are next to historic buildings, modern art sculptures that are next to Renaissance era castles. Milan is a mix of the old and new, a city thriving with creation.
As the second largest city in Italy and the center of fashion, finance, communications, and design, Milan has given me numerous opportunities to indulge my various passions. As an art history minor, being in Milan has given me a chance to absorb so much art within one city; from Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper at the refractory of the Santa Maria Della Grazia to the amazing Lucio Fontana room at my favorite art museum, Novecento, I've been devouring art in one of Italy's art destinations. I love fashion and hope to one day write for a fashion publication, so living in the fashion capital of the world has been a daily treat. From seeing models at my local grocery store during Milan Fashion Week to randomly striking up a conversation with a textile designer for Italian label Roberto Cavalli, I've loved that the city lives and breathes moda (fashion.) I've even had the chance to meet and work with one of my inspirations in both the communications and fashion worlds. Renata Molho, who is one of Italy leading fashion journalists (her work has appeared in publications like Vogue Italia and GQ) and the author of the only authorized biography of Giorgio Armani, is teaching a class at my study abroad program this semester. This opportunity, however, is only one of many that have come my way since I moved to Milan.
Since Milan is the center for communications, it is home to the major televison studios, the most respected newspaper in Italy and the best publishing companies and advertising firms. I'm currently taking a class about communications and media in Milan, which has taught me so much about not only Italian programs and publications, but the social and political forces behind it, a relevant theme in the United States as well. The independent media education that I've received at Ithaca has helped me to discuss the differences between Italian and American media. I've had the opportunity to visit the offices of Corriere Della Sera, Italy's best newspaper and was even a member of the television audience for a daytime talk show, Mattino Cinque.
However, what I've truly enjoyed is the chance to meet new people and develop meaningful relationships. The friends that I've gained during this trip are truly a godsend and as diverse as they come. From the kind woman I met at my local café, while stopping for my daily cappuccino to my fellow university students, the people that I have met are lovely and genuine - I know that if I ever come back to Milan, I'll have friends in the city. One of the brightest spots in my week is my volunteering session at Porto Franco, a free educational assistance center for high school students in Milan. Once a week, I help students with their English homework and conversation skills; however, in my case, they're also helping me to improve my Italian. In one short month, I'll be back in the states, first home to California, then off to intern in New York City. However, the time that I've spent here will stay in my heart forever. Baci!
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