Study Abroad in Milan, Italy

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Live your passions


As I landed in Milano Malpensa Airport (MXP) on January 22nd, I couldn’t help but reflect upon the last time I landed in a foreign country for an entire semester abroad experience. The excitement, nervousness, and wonder all poured over me in that moment. Except this time, I didn’t go with 16 other American classmates, I was paving the road myself and doing it all on my own. Living and studying abroad once again has been a life-long bucket list goal of mine, but this time, in Italy, where I can study in Milan at the epicenter of the fashion world at an internationally-renowned MBA program, and also learn my third language – Italian. Fortunately, due to Carlson’s exchange program with SDA Bocconi at Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi, I have been able to make this life-long dream come true.

Never stop challenging yourself

I am passionate about my classes here at Bocconi. I am furthering my experiential learning by engaging in two real-world projects – one for a luxury Italian outerwear company called Mr.&Mrs. Italy, and another for a global motor vehicle manufacturer that owns four distinct brands – Piaggio Group. I hang on my professor’s every word in Management of Fashion and Luxury Companies as we learn the frameworks and tools to evaluate luxury and fashion brands and operate in this dynamic and ever-changing industry, while we also understand the cultural and historical significance of Western society to the birth of both of these worlds. I am challenged every day by the five various courses that I am taking within SDA’s Innovation, Product Development, and Execution block, where I work in a seven-person team with incredible fellow MBA’s from around the globe.


I feel inspired and alive as I learn the beautiful Italian language, through both a beginner’s crash-course that I took the first two weeks while living in Milan, to now the continuous follow-up course throughout the semester. I try to use my new-found language skills in conversations with local Italians at grocery stores, restaurants, trains, etc., and as I do so, I am so thankful to be afforded the opportunity to travel and know different people and cultures, which is the bedrock of global competence that MBA leaders need to have within our present international landscape.  Most weekends, I am traveling and learning about other European cities and local culture, and most importantly, I’m out and about in the world and living in it – there is no better experiential opportunity than this. Carlson’s understanding of this value and partnership with world-wide universities gave me the chance to complete one of my most valued personal goals.





Reflect on the past to set goals for the future

Back in MXP on January 22nd, as I opened one of the front pockets of my enormously large “study abroad” suitcase that I have not used since undergrad when I moved to Chile, I found a small and symbolic omen to my upcoming travels and experience – a Chilean flag that I had put there some 13 years ago and completely forgot about. In that moment, I knew this was going to be one hell of an amazing semester in Italy.



By Stephanie Perri, Full-time MBA, Class of 2019