The two options available to any arriving International Bocconi student are the accommodation provided by Bocconi and private accommodation. In both cases, I would highly recommend you to visit either option before you start, as you will be staying there for some time.
Bocconi itself has several dorms: Spadolini, Bocconi, Arcobaleno, Dubini, Javotte and Isonzo. For incoming non-Italian students who are not able to visit Milan beforehand, this is the safest option for securing a place to stay during your first year in Milan. The dorms are cleaned once a week and are generally of acceptable standards. In any case, you can find out more information on the Bocconi website, where you can also take a virtual tour of the Bocconi Residence Halls at: www.unibocconi.eu/virtualcampus. However, I highly recommend you to visit the housing, if possible, before committing to them.
In order to reserve a place in a Bocconi Dorm you will be required to pay a deposit. If you are not assigned a place in a Bocconi dorm, your deposit will be refunded upon arrival. If you are currently staying in a University Residence Hall (or you are on the Bocconi Housing waiting list and then assigned a room) your deposit will not be returned until the end of the semester (it is held in case of damages). If you decide to leave the dorm before the end of the year, because you are for example moving to private accommodation, you will lose your deposit (the deposit is around €500).
In terms of private accommodation, Milan is not the most straightforward place. It is hard to find English-speaking real estate agents. As a foreign-student, you have to very careful, as not all agents are as honest as they should be. In addition, engaging an agency can be costly. Transparency is also sometimes an issue. Again, you would have to be in Milan to arrange it.
The easiest, and probably safest, way to find a flat to rent or buy in Milano is to use the service provided by real estate agencies specialized in looking for property for foreigners. Agencies work either on a percentage basis, thus asking for around 15% of the total rent fee once the contract has been finalized, or on a fixed-fee basis, where you pay an amount (e.g. €150) to be put into contact with the owner of the property you wish to rent. Most of the classified ads in free ad publications such as Secondamano are of this kind. This means you could find yourself talking to a Centro Servizi which will ask you for money before going any further, so in this case beware! They will often want their commission in cash. But we highly recommend you to do it officially using a bank transfer (for security reasons) and negotiate their bid down.
To help with the hunt for private accommodation with is a student exchange website. This unique website allows you to search for apartments, rooms or even beds. It is geared toward university students, which makes it very practical and ensures the apartment is tailored to the needs of students.
Rents are quite high in the city. Our advice is to share – which can be fun! If you are looking for cheap accommodation, you can try the noticeboards at the various student institutions of the city, where you will often find people who want to share, or let a room.
Should you decide to go and look for a place yourself, we have listed some starting websites to begin your search:
- Agenzia Uni
- EDUCatt – Servizi per il Diritto allo Studio (Cattolica)
- Meglio Milano
- Milan Houses
- Rental Milan
In any case, we wish you well in finding your place. Accommodation is of vital importance and hence worth taking some time for to get right.