Language Lessons & Internship
Greetings from Milan! My name is Amanda Comunale, I am a junior at Drexel studying Design & Merchandising and Marketing. I will post from time to time in order to give advice and share my great experiences.
I am currently doing my co-op in Milan through a program called Global Experiences. I highly recommend this company because not only do they help to set up a co-op position, but they also arrange language lessons and accommodations. They were very helpful through the entire process. They offer the language and internship placements for areas other than Italy as well.Check it out if you are looking to gain a working experience abroad!
When I first arrived in Milan I had three weeks of language lessons at Linguadue. There are ten different levels of Italian within the school. I asked to be placed in level two just because the lessons are more in depth (and my teacher knew absolutely no English, so it helped the learning process). Level two at Linguadue is equivalent to Ital102-103 at Drexel. It is an amazing school even though it is not a university (solely a language school). There are people from everywhere! My class consisted of three girls from Thailand, two girls from Sweden, a guy from France, and two girls from Russia. It is absolutely incredible. I met so many different people. It’s a big world out there and I strongly suggest experiencing it at some point in your life… the sooner the better!
During the weeks of the language lessons I was preparing for co-op. Fortunately, the interview went well and I was hired at Studio Zeta (one of the largest fashion showrooms in Milan). The concept of an internship is very new to Italians. Their own word for it is a ‘stag’, so I am currently a ‘stagista’ in the showroom. If you are looking to work in a showroom and do not know much Italian, don’t worry about it. Some of the sellers know up to three languages fluently! If you know broken Italian and your employer knows at least the basics of English, you should have no problem. I absolutely love work! If you are looking for a fast-paced environment and want to observe both the selling and buying aspects of the industry I suggest looking into a showroom for your co-op, or at least for half of your co-op due to the short time of the selling campaign.
My responsibilities include assisting the sellers during the campaign. We stylize and keep in order the designer collections for our clients (the buyers). I also work with the models. The days can be very long and hectic, but it is all worth it in the end. Fashion Week was absolutely amazing, even though it was extremely exhausting. We worked long hours everyday and then attended fashion shows, presentations, and the designers’ after parties. It certainly was a rush. I was able to attend the Spijkers en Spijkers presentation (Dutch sister designers) and the Angelos Frenztos presentation (both hosted in the showroom). I was also invited to the Marco de Vincenzo runway show!