Milan Study Abroad: The Ultimate Guide

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College Study Abroad

Milan, referred to as the fashion capital of the world, is a beautiful Italian city known for its multicultural vibe, design and retail innovations, and incredible museums and architecture. For these reasons – and many others – Milan is an incredible place to live and learn abroad.  

Let’s dive right into this ultimate guide to studying abroad in Milan.  

Why Study Abroad in Milan 

As the second largest city in Italy, Milan guarantees a diverse study abroad experience.  

Considered the economic capital of Italy, local businesses in the fashion and wine industries thrive in this cosmopolitan city that also boasts a complex and lengthy history. Here, you’ll get to explore both modern and traditional facets of the city while learning more about Italian culture, dining at unbelievable restaurants, setting your sights on breathtaking natural landscapes, and more.  

There’s a ton to do in this city but here are just a few attractions we consider must-sees when you study abroad in Milan 

  • Duomo di Milano: A stunning Gothic church built in the 14th century  
  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele: The country’s oldest shopping gallery  
  • Navigli District: A beautiful and historical canal district boasting tons of bars, restaurants, and cafés 
  • Quadrilater d’Oro: Also known as the Golden Rectangle, this area of Milan features the most exclusive shopping district in the world including brands like Gucci, Prada, Versace, Dior, and more.  
  • Teatro alla Scala: A gorgeous theater dating back to the 18th century  
milan plaza famous church

Milan vs. Rome vs. Florence Study Abroad  

There’s no denying that Italy has some of the most inspiring cities in the world. And they make for great study abroad locations. So, if you’re considering a study abroad program in the country, but you’re not sure which city makes the most sense for you, be sure to explore our program offerings in Milan, Rome, and Florence 

From there, you’ll be able to decide which program best aligns with your personal and academic goals. And trust us, there’s no wrong choice. You’ll have an incredible experience in each Italian city and if you’re dying to check out more than one, we offer organized excursions to other parts of the country in each of our Italy study abroad programs!  

We’ll give you a brief rundown of the other two cities here too to be extra helpful:  


Florence is known as the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, which is just as magical as it sounds. Tuscany boasts rolling hills, villas, farms, and some of the world’s best wineries and vineyards. Florence is set in the quintessential Italian countryside but is also famous for its Renaissance art, architecture, and monuments.  


The capital of Italy, Rome’s historic sites, culture, and deliziosa cuisine are out of this world. You’ll take in some of the globe’s most famous landmarks here, like the Trevi Fountain, and will be impressed by every corner of this bustling city.  

rome canal buildings

Top Milan Study Abroad Programs  

We offer some amazing study abroad programs in Milan – note the program details below to see which one makes the most sense for you!   

Program #1: Semester in Milan  

Designed for students interested in all sorts of disciplines, spending a semester in Milan is a great way to learn more about this exciting city and Italian culture. Students will have the chance to study at CIEE Milan or our partner institutions, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Milan Fashion Institute (MFI).  

Program details:  

  • Program Length: 15 weeks 
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA 
  • Credit: 12-16 semester hours /18-24 quarter hours 
  • Featured Course: Culture and Cuisine in Italy  
  • Excursion Highlight: Visit some of Milan’s iconic museums and galleries like Pinacoteca di Brera or Museo del Novecento 

Program #2: Business + Culture  

Milan is considered a global economic hub for a variety of industries including finance, fashion, design, media, and publishing. And with some of the oldest histories and traditions in the world, choosing to study business and culture in this bustling city is a great choice.   

Program details:  

  • Program Length: 15 weeks 
  • Eligibility: 2.75 Overall GPA 
  • Credit: 15-18 semester hours /22.55-27 quarter hours  
  • Featured Course: Global Change & The Environment   
  • Excursion Highlight: Explore Lake Como, a stunning lake located near Milan in northern Italy  
milan waterway colorful houses

What better place to study fashion, retail, and innovation, than in the fashion capital of the world? Home to some of the world’s top luxury brands, including Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, and more, this is one incredible Milan study abroad program.  

Program details:  

  • Program Length: 15 weeks 
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA  
  • Credit: 15-18 semester hours /22.5-27 quarter hours 
  • Featured Course: Digital Marketing & E-Commerce  
  • Excursion Highlight: Travel to other Italian towns like Bologna or Verona  

Studying Abroad in Milan Tips  

Like any country, Italy, and even the city of Milan, has its own customs and norms. Note a few below and read on as we offer some additional travel tips during your study abroad adventure:  

  • Wear modest clothing when visiting religious sites 
  • Plan ahead when going to some of the city’s most famous museums and galleries, as they get crowded fast; and The Last Supper at the Santa Maria delle Grazie is one of the busiest attractions of all 
  • Italian is the official language in Milan, so brush up on some simple phrases ahead of your travels  
  • Bring a travel adapter with you to keep your electronic devices charged 
  • Don’t tip when you dine out – it’s not the norm in Italy 
  • You’ll see a lot of fashionable people in Milan, so bring your best outfits 
  • Familiarize yourself with the city’s public transportation; it’s an efficient way to get around the whole country, really 

And we’re always happy to help should you have other questions!  

milan night canal

Milan is Calling 

Exploring Milan is an experience like no other. Get started on planning your study abroad adventure today! Buona fortuna!