The most important suggestion is give yourself some time for accommodation before the classes start. Keep in mind that even if you are coming to Milan from the neighboring Austria, there will be a lot of stress involved. Getting used to a new place and a new language might be more demanding than you thought. The stress increases exponentially when you arrive from other parts of the world and have to deal with the time zones. For the first couple of days everything, from figuring out the public transportation to buying a loaf of bread will represent a problem.
During the fashion course you don’t want to lose a single hour of the precious three weeks. You want to have your full and undivided attention in the class, rather than thinking where the closest supermarket is and which bus to take to get home. And obviously you don’t want to be running late every single class during your first week.
Therefore, you will do yourself a huge favor if you arrive 3 to 5 days prior the classes start date, settle down, figure out the public transportation and get a feel of the city. You will do yourself even a bigger favor if you take at least one week of the language classes, before your fashion course kicks in. Even if you learnt Italian at home. Even if your teacher was a native speaker. Italians, when they are in their home country speak differently than when they are abroad. They just do. Trust me. Taking a week of the Italian language prior the Fashion course will help you get the most out of your Fashion class.
Keep in mind that Fashion world is a fast paced environment, especially in Milan. The class schedule may change on a short notice. Don’t make any major plans along with your fashion course. You will end up cancelling tickets or missing classes. Also, for that reason, if you decide to take a language course it is important that you do it before your fashion course. You won’t be able to combine the ever-changing Fashion Course with the language class.
During the Fashion Course you will be taken to “Sfilate” (the catwalks). It is extremely hot in there, while it may still be chilly outside. Dress in layers. The lighting at the catwalks doesn’t allow good pictures (unless you are at the designated press spot), but you will be taking them anyway. So, keep your hands free for the camera and carry a really large purse where all your layers can fit in as you take them off, including the overcoat.
Your three weeks fashion course will be over before you know it. Try to concentrate on it fully and enjoy every single minute of it!
Natalia Lavrishina (Scuola Leonardo da Vinci Milano)
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