Nicholas Erasmus

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University: Bocconi University

Course: Economics and Finance

Which year you are in: 2nd year

Hometown in the UK: Cobham, Surrey

1. Why did you choose to study abroad?

Primarily I chose to study at Bocconi not only because of its high global ranking but also because of the advantages of studying abroad provides; not only in terms of enhancing your CV but you become more self-assured and independent than if I stayed in England. Of course, studying in England seemed the easier alternative to Bocconi, but easier does not mean that it’s a better outcome.

Fundamentally, I wanted something different than the usual “status quo”. Being able to step out of your comfort zone, discover new countries/cultures and the fact of becoming truly independent for the first time was a factor for me choosing to study abroad.

2. How would you rate the assistance of the university before you arrived (the application process, finding accommodation, sorting out financial matters)?

The application process was incredibly stressful. Clearly, it had been adapted to an American or alternate system other than that of the UK. Many of the required ‘documents’ did not exist in the UK educational system, and I had to ask for quite a lot of help from my school to provide me with what they thought would be most necessary.

Finding accommodation also was very stressful. Particularly given that there was no guarantee of me having a residence, which I found bizarre as it makes complete sense for Bocconi to guarantee overseas students above Italian students accommodation. However, luckily in the 2nd round, I was allocated Dubini residence but some of my overseas friends were not so lucky.

3. How would you rate the assistance of the university when you arrived (orientation etc)?

The university provided all that was necessary at the start and the crash courses in maths and Italian were very useful.

4. Did you feel prepared when you arrived and/or what surprised you?

I was very surprised at the pressure academically at the start. I never before heard of the GPA grading mechanism. From the first few weeks, it was evident that the pressure from work would be continuous throughout.

5. How would you rate the learning environment (teaching style, studying with other international students, non-native English speaking lecturers)?

The teaching style at Bocconi (having regular lessons vs. reading weeks in the UK) is something I really enjoy. The fact that TAs and lecturers are often available to clarify concepts is very beneficial. Also, one aspect I never fully anticipated before was that having international students study and work with you is an incredible asset. Having such a broad field of connections plus at the same time practising a foreign language is immensely useful.

6. Would you recommend studying abroad to someone your age who might never have thought about it before?

Yes.

7. Is there anything you wish someone had told you at the time you applied?

Be familiar with the GPA system, and learn some basic Italian to get by.

8. Would you recommend your course, university, city to British students?

Definitely. Particularly to British students.

About A Star Future

A Star Future provides information and guidance to British students looking to pursue their undergraduate studies abroad.

Through our presentations in schools and our websites we aim to ensure that British-educated students are well informed about their choices.