Lotte Capel

Doing your BEP abroad is not something a lot of students do but it is definitely recommendable. I already knew that I wanted to study abroad as much as possible, so I would take every opportunity. However, if you are not sure yet if it is for you to study abroad or do your internship abroad, it might be helpful to figure it out with your BEP since it is way shorter.

I basically knew two things, the study field I wanted to continue in and that I wanted to go abroad (preferable somewhere sunny). So I asked one of my professors who is the head of the research group I am interested in if he has connections to other universities to perform my BEP. My professor became my BEP supervisor, he put me in contact with a professor from Politecnico di Milano and so I went to Milan. Unfortunately not as easy as it sounds, finding a room proved to be difficult and finding your way through the Italian documents is a puzzle. However, with a bit of help from the Erasmus facebook groups, this was all figured out.

Since I did my BEP abroad, I did not follow any courses so I was a bit afraid how it would be to meet people. Though as soon as I arrived I have never felt lonely, it was easy to meet people since there is a very large amount of students in Milan from a bunch of different universities. I became friend with internationals, Erasmus and full-time students as well as Italians. Even though the BEP was hard work, it was very doable to do a day trip every other weekend for me with my friend. This way, I got to know the surroundings of Milan, the beginning of the Dolomites and mostly the beautiful lakes and a real taste of the culture. The city itself is full of life and very big, not comparable to anything in the Netherlands, if you are open for it there are always events or places to have an aperitivo with friends.

Unfortunately I have not been able to learn much Italian, I was planning on taking Italian courses but could not find the time. I would definitely advice to learn some of the language before going abroad. Furthermore, I was welcomed in a laboratory with great colleagues, Italians and internationals, where I learned a lot and had a great experience. For me it did take some time to overcome some miscommunication and different expectations but in the end it led to a great collaboration.

Overall I had a great time, learned a lot and absolutely loved living in Milano, I would recommend going abroad to everyone!’’