A Semester in Milan

This blog entry was submitted by Edward Varipapa, who is studying abroad in Milan, Italy.
Featured photo by Julien Rocheblave on Unsplash.

“As I left St. Edward’s for Milan I was prepared and ready for an amazing adventure. I gathered clothes, certified my documentation papers, and began researching various things to do in Milan and Europe in general. There were no problems on the way over to the Airport and the orientation process to school going very smoothly. Despite the easy transition, it was still quite cold in January when we arrived, with heavy snow occurring on a few days. While the weather was expected at least until the end of February, what was not expected was the rain, fog, and clouds that commenced following the end of the snowing season until about mid-April.

Before coming to Milan I had heard that its location – in a valley from which many tall mountains rise from – makes the city prone to grey skies and fog. However, I had always assumed that the sun would burn through during the middle of the day. Boy was I wrong. At one point throughout the trip, I could count on my fingers just how many days of sun we had received uninterrupted. The days began to drag on with constant rain, cold, and fog that really started to affect my mood. I could tell the sun made my mood extremely better whenever it came out. I anxiously waiting for every little bit of sun I could find while each day got gloomier and gloomier from the weather. The only break to these grey days were the weekend excursions I took across Europe.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a flip switched. The clouds parted, the rain subsided, and the Sun beamed onto the streets of Milan. The temperature climbed. At long last, the city finally felt like a city located in Italy, a place famous for its Mediterranean climate. People automatically became nicer and my energy and mood climbed just as the temperature did. While studying abroad should not be based on temperature or weather of a place, I think it is crucial to health and wellbeing and should be taken into account. While Milan was an amazingly beautiful city that I would love to return to, I think students should be prepared for the cloudy, grey, and foggy weather.”

 

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