My Milano is a sociable city with a human dimension
Barbora is a language tutor and expats' counsellor based in Milano since 2013. Initially, she chose the city because of her academic career, but soon after discovered its spirit and fell in love with its style. She loves strolling around the city, vising exhibitions and flicking through books in the local bookshops. She runs her blog 'TurnItalian.com' where writes about an expat's life.
LIFE IN THE CITY: WHAT DID YOU GAIN IN MOVING HERE.
A ton of experience, I'd say. First of all, I was fascinated to see everyday life how it really is. I believe that we move abroad with a certain idea, mainly based on stereotypes, which might turn to be skewed from reality. So, first of I learned to step into any kind of situation with no / little expectations and being more flexible. Speaking about the city itself and Italians, I learned to appreciate little things such as taking a coffee break. Or going for aperitivo in the middle of a week and just don't wait for Saturday to catch up with my friends or have some me time. I learned to enjoy life in more ways to make it short.
WHICH IS THE MAIN SPOKEN LANGUAGE IN YOUR OFFICE? DO YOU BELIEVE ITALIAN LANGUAGE IS IT ESSENTIAL TO START UP YOUR BUSINESS HERE?
Now, I work on my own and do not have real colleagues. However, I use English and Italian 50 to 50 in my private and working life. When I moved here 7 years ago I did various jobs from cleaning to an office job and can say English is definitely a big plus in a working environment as a great tool for connecting with interesting people working here as not all of them can speak Italian.
IN WHICH WAY MILANO HELPED YOU TO REALIZE YOUR DREAMS?
One of my most significant experiences is with Italian university. I find it at a good level and affordable. Tutors are generally helpful and staff try to make things work smoothly. Having said that, Milano offers many valid courses at affordable rates and that's just awesome.
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE TODAY?
I can say I'm satisfied with the quality of my life here. I'd define Milano as a "to the measure of a man" city. I can get everything I want within walking distance and I feel pretty safe here, too. The only issue is so talked bureaucracy. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes ages to complete even a single task. But every place on the Earth has its pro and cons.
TELL US SOMETHING TYPICALLY MILANESE ABOUT YOUR JOB ENVIRONMENT.
My job environment is my flat and not having "direct" colleagues doesn't help. However, I try to maintain my Milanese lifestyle ;) e.g having my breakfast at a nearby bar (cafe)
HOW IS YOUR AFTERWORK LIFE IN THE CITY?
I try to enjoy the different faces of the city. I like going for a walk with my dogs, flicking through books at the bookstore, having an aperitivo with a friend, attending various events, seeing a movie at the cinema and visiting museums, of course. I love the fact the entrance to a lot of museums is free of charge every first Sunday of a month. Isn't it awesome? Also, thanks to various groups e.g. International Women in Milano is always easy to have something to do.