Milan - Italy Today


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Earn U.S. Credits Virtually This Summer

Get ahead! Earn extra credit through a globally recognized U.S. education program this summer on our Virtual World DiscoverIES program.

Just picture it: one day you're exploring business ethics with a professor in London and the next it's Japanese pop culture from Tokyo, studying alongside classmates from the U.S.’s highest-ranked colleges and universities. This is what it's like to take a course or two (of your choosing!) from IES Abroad’s most popular centers around the world this summer.

Learn more about how you can discover the world through IES Abroad.

Why Milan?

Ciao! Pack your bags and get ready to indulge your creative side in this modern city that is known for its world-class art, architecture, design, business and finance activities, and fashion. Absorb all that Milan has to offer through IES Abroad Milan’s wide variety of courses, internships, and cultural activities.

What You'll Study

No matter what level of Italian you speak, we invite you to study here and experience Milan’s rich culture. You will be placed in an IES Abroad Italian language course that’s been designed for you based on your language level.

Our Italy Today Program also offers courses in liberal arts and social sciences, all of which address aspects of contemporary Italian society. Courses are taught by highly qualified experts in their fields. You also have the opportunity to take courses at one of five local universities. Two partner institution courses are included in the cost of the Italy Today Program.

You can also add international work experience to your résumé while earning credit by participating in an internship or service-learning placement and accompanying an academic seminar. We work with a wide range of local and international organizations and are always seeking new opportunities to find the best fit for you.

Daily Life

Milan will be your classroom. Only in Milan can you marvel at the grandeur of the Duomo, see the artistic detail of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper in person, find classical manuscripts at the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, and feel the pulse of this world fashion capital by strolling through the designers’ retail heaven known as the quadrilatero della moda, Milan’s fashion district.

We want you to feel at home in Milan so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. We invite you to immerse yourself in the language and culture of Italy through extensive learning opportunities around the city, by attending guest lecture series and classes at local universities and going to social events and activities planned for you and your fellow students throughout the semester.


Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences.

While in Milan, you take 15–19 credits per semester and all courses are worth 3 credits unless otherwise specified.

You are also placed in a required Italian language course tailored to your proficiency level. Language courses are taught in Italian, and all other courses are taught in English or Italian.

Create your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional program components:

  • IES Abroad Italian language course (required, 4 or 6 credits)
  • English- and Italian-taught IES Abroad area studies courses (required, 3 credits)
  • English- and Italian-taught courses at partner institutions (optional, credits vary)
  • Internship and seminar (optional, 3 credits)


This is a full list of courses offered in Milan. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings for your term in your MyIESabroad account. The final course list for each term will depend on faculty availability, students interested in each course, and discipline diversity.

  • The State of the Art: Contemporary Italian Artists from 1945 to Present
  • Cracking the Code: Leonardo da Vinci and Renaissance Art in Milan
  • Strategies for Digital Engagement: Italian Case Studies in the Arts
  • Visual Storytelling from Youtube to Film Festivals
  • TV, Communication, and Media in Milan
  • Strategies for Digital Engagement: Italian Case Studies in the Arts
  • Digital Marketing, E-Commerce and Communication
  • Introduction to Business Programming
  • Italian Conversation: Culture and Cuisine of Italy
  • Investigating the Mafia in Literature, Cinema, and Media
  • Tourists, Soldiers, Expats, Spies: Travelling Italy in the 20th Century
  • Italian Design: Theory and Practice
  • Visual Merchandising
  • The Political Economy of European Integration
  • Social Innovation: Strategies of Social and Environmental Sustainability
  • Business Modelling and Planning
  • International Financial Markets and Investments
  • Venture Capital and Entrepreneurial Finance
  • Banking and Financial Intermediation
  • The Golden Age of Italian Cinema: in Between Authors and Genres
  • The Cinema in Milan: An Overview from Post-WWII Until Today
  • Gender in Italian Cinema from Fascism to the Third Millennium
  • Great Age of Italian Cities
  • Never Give In! Fascism, Anti-Semitism, and Resistance in Italy, 1922-1948
  • Introduction to Business Programming
  • Business Modelling and Planning
  • Principles of Marketing Management
  • Business Ethics in an Intercultural Framework
  • Brand Management
  • Managing Fashion and Luxury Companies
  • Strategic Management
  • Managing "Made in Italy" Companies
  • Digital Marketing, E-Commerce and Communication
  • Econometrics for Business
  • Leading Across Cultures: Principles and Practice
  • Internship Seminar
  • The Political Economy of European Integration
  • Leading Across Cultures: Principles and Practice
  • Italian Conversation: Culture and Cuisine of Italy
  • Italian Language in Context: Novice Abroad
  • Italian Language in Context: Emerging Independent Abroad
  • Italian Language in Context: Independent Abroad
  • Italian Language in Context: Emerging Competent Abroad
  • Investigating the Mafia in Literature, Cinema, and Media
  • Tourists, Soldiers, Expats, Spies: Travelling Italy in the 20th Century
  • Literature and the City
  • Music Theory
  • History of Italian Opera
  • Staging Italian Opera
  • Music Performance Workshop
  • Giuseppe Verdi: Melodrama and Italian Identity
  • Individual Performance Studies - Instrumental
  • Photography: a Critical Introduction
  • The European Union: Between Nationalism and Integration
  • Italian and American Approaches to Mental Health: Comparative Study of Bio-Psycho-Social Model
  • Transcultural Psychology: Clinical and Diagnostic Challenges in the Assessment and Treatment of Culturally Diverse Patients
  • Service Learning
  • Social Innovation: Strategies of Social and Environmental Sustainability
  • The European Union: Between Nationalism and Integration
  • Econometrics for Business
  • Individual Performance Studies - Vocal

Partner Institution(s)

Enrolling in a partner institution course is a great way to meet Italians and experience the Italian education system first-hand. As a student in the Italy Today program, two partner institution courses are included in the program cost, provided that you meet the institution's requirements. Any additional enrollments will carry an additional fee.

Most partner institution courses are worth 3 credits. Specific course listings and descriptions are not available on the institutions' websites until shortly before the beginning of the term and may be updated frequently. The IES Abroad staff will assist you with the partner institution enrollment process.

Choose from the following partner institutions in Milan:

  • Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
  • Istituto di Moda Burgo
  • Milano Fashion Institute (MFI)
  • Università degli Studi di Milano - Bicocca
  • Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi
  • Università IULM
  • Arsutoria School
  • Istituto Europeo di Design (IED)

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Liberal Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Founded in 1921, the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore is located in the old city center in the former ancient monastery of Saint Ambrose. It is also one of the largest private universities in Europe. It is also a short walk from Santa Maria delle Grazie, the church where Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper” is located. The surrounding neighborhood of winding, narrow streets blends with the Renaissance architecture of the Cattolica and its charming courtyards. The Cattolica campus is a short 5-minute walk from the IES Abroad Milan Center.

A variety of English-taught courses are offered in the international department. For a sample course listing, please see the Cattolica website. please note that course offerings will change each semester.

Italian-taught courses are available in the following disciplines:

  • Accounting, Business, Economics, Finance & Insurance
  • Art History
  • Communications
  • Language & Literature
  • Education Sciences and Sociology (Educational Sociology)
  • Foreign Languages and Literature
  • Humanities & Philosophy
  • International Economy and Relations
  • Law & Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Social Sciences & Social Services

Most courses in the departments of Foreign Languages, Literature, Philosophy, Economics, Psychology and Education Sciences are semester courses. Most courses in the departments of Law, Sociology, and Political Science are offered on an academic-year basis.

Istituto di Moda Burgo

Fashion & Design

Students interested in pursuing options in fashion may enroll in a limited number of courses at the Istituto di Moda Burgo, a local and well-known school of fashion. Courses are taught in both Italian and English on a semester or academic year basis. You may select from courses in two categories:

  • Fashion Design - Jewelry Design, Men’s Wear, Women’s Wear, Children’s Wear, Beach Wear, Underwear, Theater Costume, Accessories, and Shoe Design
  • Pattern Making - Computer Cad-Cam, Pattern Making, Men’s Wear, Women’s Wear, Children’s Wear, Beachwear, Underwear, Wedding Dress

Milano Fashion Institute (MFI)

Fashion (spring only)

For students interested in pursuing options in Fashion, a limited number of courses are available at the Milano Fashion Institute, an inter-university consortium founded by three Italian Universities: Università Bocconi, Politecnico di Milano, and Università Cattolica. While the Politecnico faculty teach classes that explore the design, style and materials-related aspects of the fashion industry, the Bocconi faculty teach classes that study marketing, economics, branding, financial aspects of the fashion business and the Cattolica faculty focus on the sociological as well as communication trends connected to all fashion-related phenomena.

Courses are taught in English and are offered in the spring semester only. Course topics include fabrics & materials, product design, experience & store design, buying and visual merchandising, and fashion press & PR.

Università degli Studi di Milano - Bicocca

Natural Sciences, Physics & Math

Located in the northern part of the city, the Bicocca is a state university that was officially created in 1998 as a science-oriented part of the original Università degli Studi di Milano. Courses in Italian and English are available to students with a major or minor in Natural Sciences, Physics, or Math. Furthermore, eligible students can take part in science lab research teams (together with Italian graduate students), supervised by a graduate Italian researcher.Past students have assisted in the departments of Biology, Microbiology, and Experimental Medicine. In addition to serving as a lab assistant for 10 hours each week, you conduct independent research that is supervised by a member of the lab. You receive 3 credits for the combined research and independent study. Students with advanced Italian can take courses in the Natural and Social Sciences.

Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi

Business, Economics & Management

Voted “number one worldwide in the specific category of value for money” by Forbes, Università Bocconi is one of the most prestigious European schools of business, economics, and finance. The Università Bocconi also has AACSB and EQUIS accreditations. Università Bocconi offers a wide range of English- and Italian-taught business, economics, finance and management courses, which are taught on a semester basis.

After acceptance to IES Abroad, you must complete additional steps to be eligible to enroll in courses at Bocconi:

  • Bring an official, sealed transcript, issued by your home university, to Milan.
  • Complete an online application for Bocconi prior to arrival in Milan. Course selection can still be modified once on-site. This application is released in mid-July for fall students and late-October for spring students.

Arsutoria School

Fashion & Design

For students interested in expanding their knowledge of fashion and design and learning more about the field of leather making, Arsutoria offers a limited number of courses uniquely to IES Abroad students.

Courses at Arsutoria are taught in English and are offered during the Fall and Spring semesters. The courses available to IES Abroad students are:

  • Footwear Design
  • Handbag Design

Università IULM

Communication and Media, Tourism, Gender Studies

Università IULM was founded in 1968 by Senator Carlo Bo and Professor Silvio Baridon. From the very beginning, the idea behind the project was to satisfy the demands of the labor markets based on analyses of current trends. With two campuses throughout Italy (Milan & Rome), Milan IULM University enrollment nears approximately 4,300 students. The IULM campus in Milan fosters an academic community of three departments and two research centers.

Università IULM offers a variety of English-taught courses in Communication, Media, Tourism, and Gender Studies. For a sample course listing, please see the IULM website. Please note that course offerings will change each semester.

Italian-taught courses are available in the following disciplines:

  • Accounting
  • Art History
  • Business
  • Communications
  • Language & Literature
  • Economics
  • Foreign Languages and Literature
  • Humanities
  • International Economy and Relations
  • Literature
  • Psychology

Istituto Europeo di Design (IED)

Fashion & Design

Founded in 1966, Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) has several locations in Italy (Milano, Roma, Turin, Venice, Florence, Cagliari) and around the world (Barcelona, Madrid, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, Shanghai). IED has reached an enrollment of over 8000 students who operate in the fields of design, fashion, and visual communication.

Four customized courses are available to IES Abroad students:

  • History of Fashion
  • Textiles and Trends
  • Design Material Culture lab
  • Design Research & Methods Workshop

Service Learning

Participating in a service-learning experience in Milan is one of the best ways to gain a deeper understanding of the city’s culture and society. Working alongside local people toward a common goal, you experience first-hand some of the social issues that affect Milan while contributing your skills toward a community-driven solution.

A service-learning placement consists of time spent with a local organization, accompanied by a weekly academic, for-credit service learning seminar. Through the seminar, you have structured time for

reflection, discussion, and research on the issues of your host community.

IES Abroad Milan partners with the local city government’s immigration department to provide a range of service-learning opportunities from working to grant asylum to migrants to developing job-training programs.


Interning while you study in Milan gives you a rewarding job experience with a wealth of long-lasting career benefits. You will:

  • Gain a better understanding of the real-life, everyday culture of your host country
  • Add global work experience and skills to your resume or your application for graduate school
  • Improve your confidence

All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. You participate in a 3-credit seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship.

Personalized Placements

Once you indicate your interest in an internship, we work with you to find the ideal internship placement that fulfills your academic and career goals. We've placed students with a wide variety of organizations and businesses. If we don’t currently work with a business or organization in your field of interest, we will search for a placement that's right for you.

Placement Fields

Past students have interned in the following fields. Don’t see your field listed here? Just talk to your IES Abroad Advisor—new internships are always being added.

  • Advertising
  • Art Gallery
  • Business
  • Education
  • Fashion*
  • Finance*
  • Marketing
  • Media/Publishing
  • Psychological Rehabilitation
  • Theater

*Some placement fields require a knowledge of the Italian language.

Field Trips & Events

Even though your adventure starts in Milan, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country. You share a portion of the cost with IES Abroad. Here are a few possible destinations:


3 Days | Fall

Experience the cradle of Western Civilization, the home of Magna Grecia, a unique place full of art, archaeology, myth, history, folklore, and breathtaking scenery. Visit baroque Catania; Europe’s highest active volcano, Etna; and the magical mountaintop town of Taormina.


3 Days | Fall

Tour the Tuscany countryside and visit the medieval towns of Pisa, Siena, and Montalcino. Hear the Gregorian chant of the monks of Sant’Antimo Abbey and savor unique wine and cheese while admiring the Tuscan countryside.

Alps Ski Trip

3 Days | Spring

A charming town in the Alps is your destination for skiing in Europe’s highest mountain range.

Culture & Cuisine of Northern Italy

3 Days | Spring

Dive into the music, culture, and cuisine of Northern Italy with guided tours of Cremona and its violin makers, Parma and its parmesan cheese factory, and a family-run agriturismo for dinner.

Secrets of Hidden Lombardy

1 Day | Spring

Explore the Romanesque and Gothic heritage of Lombardy by visiting abbeys and castles located in the Lombardy region.

IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, and lengths of stay may vary according to term and availability.

Course-Related Trips

We organize course-related trips that complement IES Abroad courses and contribute to a better understanding of the Italian culture and society. Possible course-related trips may include:

  • Visit Sala delle Asse, a room at the Castello Sforzesco with recently discovered frescoes by Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Visit Fossoli concentration camp with a History course.
  • Tour of the Museo del Novecento with an Art History course.
  • Visit collaborative housing and agriturismo in the city to learn about sustainability and preservation.

Daily Life

Part of making you feel at home in Milan is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is an orientation program that prepares you, housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.


The program begins with a short orientation to help you become familiar with the IES Abroad Milan staff, your fellow students, and the city of Milan. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered during orientation.

After orientation, you participate in a three-week intensive language program designed to help you gain practical language skills and to acclimate you to the local environment. IES Abroad schedules several excursions and tours to introduce you to the history, culture, and districts of Milan.

Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.


We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Milan, it will feel like home.


Placements are available in Milanese homes throughout the city. This is a priceless opportunity to learn about Italian families first-hand and engage directly with Italian culture.

You have a private or shared room at your homestay and receive breakfast and dinner daily. Enjoy your other meals at university cafeterias bars, or restaurants. Commuting time from a typical homestay to the IES Abroad Milan Center can range from five to 40 minutes.


Share a furnished apartment located in a safe and lively district with three to six IES Abroad students. These apartments are single-sex, and you generally share a bedroom with another student. Single rooms in an apartment carry an additional fee.

Some apartments are also shared with a live-in Italian roommate called a Community Assistant (CA). These assistants can help you improve your Italian language skills, get to know the city of Milan, and integrate more fully into the local culture. The Italian CAs also spend time at the IES Abroad Center answering questions and working for the program. If improving your Italian is your priority, you may request to live in an Italian-language only apartment.

Meals are not included, so you normally eat lunch at a local café or a university cafeteria, and prepare your own breakfast and dinner at home. Located on main public transportation routes near the Center, apartments offer fully-equipped kitchens, Internet access, a dishwasher, and a washing machine.

Collegio di Milano - Residence Hall

This residence for Italian and international honors students offers single rooms with private bathrooms and balconies. The facilities include a computer room, library, small gym, cafeteria, private park, security system, kitchenette, and an auditorium for special cultural programs.

Breakfast and dinner are provided daily and lunch is available on weekends. Space is limited and students are chosen by the Collegio based on academic merit. Because of the extra amenities, this option carries an additional fee.

Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events

Redefine the way you live and learn in Milan through cultural events, such as:

  • Participating in language exchange with native Italian speakers
  • Attending performances at Teatro Alla Scala Opera House
  • Going to soccer games
  • Visiting museums, sporting events, and local fairs sponsored by Italian peers
  • Taking cooking lessons


Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Spring 2020

Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Spring 2020 $14,900 $3,800 $230 $18,930

Academic year

Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Academic year $26,285 $7,440 $455 $34,180

Scholarships & Aid

Program-Specific Scholarships

Robert McNeill Need-Based International Business Scholarship

Up to $3,000; awarded to 2 students each year.

This scholarship is named in honor of Robert McNeill, a member of the IES Abroad Board of Directors for 25 years (6 years as Chairman). Open to students who have an interest in international business. Majors might include management, marketing, economics, finance, international relations, and social and behavioral sciences.

Dr. William Louis Gaines Need-Based History or International Relations Scholarship

Up to $1,875; awarded to 4-6 students each year.

This scholarship is named in honor of Dr. William Louis Gaines, President of IES Abroad from 1974-1992. Dr. Gaines was dedicated to strengthening IES Abroad's academic framework, broadening the scope of IES Abroad locations, and securing the financial foundation of the organization.

Open to students majoring in History or International Relations.

Adelyn Dougherty Leander Need-Based Urban Issues Scholarship

Up to $3,000; awarded to 4-6 students each year.

Open to students who have an interest in urban studies (a major in urban studies is not required).

Our Center

The IES Abroad Milan Center is located in the city’s bustling historic center, within walking distance of the Duomo, DaVinci's "Last Supper" and the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.

Features include:

  • High-quality multimedia classrooms
  • Music practice rooms
  • Student lounge
  • Digital photo facility
  • Video editing lab
  • Library and reading rooms
  • WiFi Internet access
  • Student computer lab and printers
Last updated May 2020

About the School

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectation ... Read More

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectations. Our goal is to rock the world of some 6,000 study abroad students every year. Read less
Chicago , Amsterdam , Arles , Auckland , Barcelona , Beijing , Berlin , Buenos Aires , Cape Town , Christchurch , Dublin , Freiburg , Granada , London , Madrid , Milan , Nagoya , Nantes , New York , Nice , Paris , Oxford , Quito , Rabat , Rome , Salamanca , Santiago , Shanghai , Siena , Sydney , Tokyo , Puerto Ayora , Vienna , Hong Kong , Puerto Baquerizo Moreno , Cambridge + 35 More Less