My name is Parker and I have just finished my second month of exchange in Milan, Italy.  I know my first impression blog post is a little bit past due, but it seems fitting to me as after two months of living here I finally feel like I am settled in and can call this place home.

Milan, at first glance, isn’t how I imagined a typical Italian would look.  With busy streets, big buildings and cars honking on every block, Milan seemed to have more a New York or San Francisco feel.  While the big city atmosphere was initially intimidating after a week of exploring the streets I found that the city is far more enriched in Italian culture than I initially thought.  With small, family owned shops on every corner you can learn a lot about the local cuisine as well as the social atmosphere.

I knew coming into Milan that many people consider it to be a fashion capital.  However, I could not have been more surprised with how much fashion plays a role in the every day lives of the people that live here.  Wearing T-shirts to class is not an option here.  Sometimes it feels like even my nice clothes don’t cut it.  You can see designer brands as you walk through the hallways, ride on the subway, or even work out in the gym.  Fashion is such an important part of not just the Italian culture but especially the Milan culture and that has taken some time (and shopping) to get used to.

After two months I can honestly say that I finally feel like I have settled into the lifestyle here.  There are still mild differences that throw me off every once in a while, but for the most part I don’t feel like my life is all that different from my life back home.  It has been a great start to my time abroad and I am so excited to see what the net couple of months have in store.