#FoodSavingBEC Initiative for Undergraduate Students

Calling all undergraduate students! Are you interested in spending 1 week in Milan with 199 other students from around the world, to come up with innovative and creative ideas on how to decrease food waste?

With Expo Milan 2015 starting in a few months (the international fair will begin on 1 May of next year), the city is gearing up with a bunch of related events and initiatives, including the Short Food Movie competition, which was discussed in a previous post.

Another competition is #FoodSavingBEC, open to students enrolled in any undergraduate program at any university around the world.

Students participating in the week-long event will attend lectures with Bocconi faculty members and experts from partners of the initiative. They will also be divided into teams to find creative and innovative solutions to the problem of food waste and then vote for the top five ideas. The top teams will compete on the final day of the competition at the EXPO 2015 Italy Pavilion in front of a qualified panel of judges.

To apply for this once-in-a-lifetime experience, all you need to do is fill out the online application, upload a few documents like your transcripts, and submit a video introducing yourself and explaining why you should be a part of the competition, in English.

The 10 students with the most votes online will automatically be chosen to participate, while the other 190 students will be evaluated based on their entire application. And the top 5 students with the most votes who are from outside Italy will be offered round-trip airfare to Milan! All participants will be given lunch vouchers during the week-long program and students attending universities outside Milan will be hosted at a local residence hall.

What an opportunity! What are you waiting for? Go to the #FoodSavingBEC website to get more information and to apply. And for a quick intro on what it’s all about, watch the video below:

Short Food Movie @ Expo 2015

Short Food Movie and Expo logos

Want to win a trip to Milan and the Expo? If you have some video making skills under your belt (or a desire to learn) and a passion for food, you could win by participating in the Short Food Movie initiative. Whether you’re interested food production, cooking, nutrition or you want to create a message aimed at abolishing hunger around the world, you can create a short video and share it with the world, both online and at the Milano Expo 2015.

Short Food Movie and Expo logosVideos will be on the Short Food Movie website, in addition to Pavilion Zero at the Expo itself. Pavilion Zero is the first area visitors will see as they explore the grounds of the fair. Designed by Michele de Lucchi, a large part of the project is a huge panel of TV screens focusing on food issues. This where the videos submitted by people from all over the world will be played (without audio).

When you’re creating your video, you should keep the main Expo themes in mind: improving the quality and safety of food; ensuring a healthy, quality nutrition for all human beings; preventing the key societal diseases of our time, related to nutrition; innovating the whole food supply chain by means of corporate and technology research; educating to a proper nutrition; enhancing food traditions as cultural and ethnic values.

Of course there are also a few rules you need to remember for the competition. Videos should work with and without sound (sound will be included when uploaded to the website, but not at the Expo installation), no logos can be included, they have to last between 30 and 60 seconds and copyright rules can’t be infringed upon.

Also, when you upload your video, you’ll have to choose one of the following categories:

  • Food & Life
  • Food & Nature
  • Food & Sustainability
  • Food & Culture
  • Food & Production
  • Food & People
  • Zero Hunger Challenge (UN initiative)

You could win a trip to Milan and tickets to Expo Milan 2015! The public will vote for their favorite videos and the 15 with the most votes will be eligible to receive this great prize. A panel of judges will choose 3 out of those 15 videos as winners to come to the event. Check the website, as details are forthcoming. Voting starts on 10 November 2014.

So warm up your camcorder (or mobile phone, tablet or camera with video recording functions), get your creative juices flowing and be a part of the Expo!

Top 20 Reasons to Study Abroad in Italy

One of the most frequently-asked question you’re asked before you leave for your study abroad program is, “So, why did you choose that particular country to study abroad?” Your response is usually, “Well, that university had just the right program for my academic interests, it was the perfect fit! And I’ll be able to study exactly what I’m interested in and get the experience I need for my future studies and career.”

But we all know the truth: your decision to study in Italy was probably based in part on reasons other than your education! You’re aware that you won’t be spending the whole time in the classroom. And there are lots of aspects to living in a foreign country that you thought about before deciding which place was right for you.

These are the top 20 reasons to study abroad in Italy, the allure of the bel paese:

Lifestyle

1. Italy is famous for la dolce vita: that means making the most of the little things in life, not sweating the “small stuff” and just enjoying yourself!

2. You love the sound of the melodic Italian language. Living and studying in Italy means you’ll be hearing the dulcet tones of the language every day.

3. You’ve always been curious why Italian people are always using their hands when they talk and you want to find out what all those different hand gestures mean.

Festive Ape Piaggio 4. And you don’t really know the rules of cheek kissing: is it one kiss or two? Or three? When you meet someone, when saying good-bye? Part of your informal education in Italy will include the art of the friendly kiss!

5. The cool confidence of the country’s soccer players was palpable at this year’s World Cup (even if the Azzurri team didn’t get very far in the championship!). And if you’re a fan of the game, the culture surrounding calcio in Italy is pretty serious. There are so many the great teams in the Serie A league to cheer for: Milan, Inter, Roma, Lazio, Juventus, Fiorentina…

6. Small city cars and scooters are all over Italy! Vespas, Ape Piaggios, Fiat 500s, Minis, Smarts… And the vintage models are the best! Why not take a drive when you’re studying abroad?

7. Not to mention all the super-sleek and fast sports cars. Italy is home to Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Abarth and Ducati motorcycles.

8. You might have gotten a taste of Italy from classic neorealist cinema: think a young Sophia Loren in black and white. You need to find out if that version of the country still exists somewhere.

9. And you know that Italy is famous for amazing fashion and design. Even if you don’t go to any fashion shows or the annual Salone del Mobile in Milano, you can still soak in the easy but fabulous style of the Italians around you.

Italian seaside town at nightTravel

10. The weather: most of the country has a nice, mild Mediterranean climate, not too cold in the winter and not too hot in the summer. When it is cold, skiing is usually an option. And when it is hot, the beach is usually only a short trip away!

11. Lots of famous art and culture from the Renaissance was produced right here in Italy. That means the museums all over the country are bursting with masterpieces!

12. Venice, Florence, Rome, Naples, Sicily… There are so many tourist destinations, it’s hard to choose where to start!

13. With 7,600km of coastline, Italy has been ranked the 14th country in the world for length of coastline. And much of that is covered in beautiful beaches, perfect for people watching, getting a great tan and swimming in the Mediterranean. You have to experience it for yourself.

Food and Drink

14. Italy is serious about its pasta. And each of the scores of shapes has a specific traditional sauce to go with it. You need to learn more about all those recipes and especially how they taste!

15. Italy’s famous for so many delicious delicacies: tiramisù, varied pastries, as well as so many kinds of cheese, prosciutto, truffles, olive oil…

16. Lots of Italians take part in the pre-dinner ritual of taking a moment to relax over drinks with friends, usually with a snack or maybe a buffet. When you’re studying abroad, you have to learn more about the Italian tradition of the aperitivo! Try a Negroni, a Bellini, a Spritz, or just a beer, a glass of wine or a soft drink.

Bocconi students tasting wine17. Espresso! And of course caffè macchiato, latte macchiato, caffè lungo, caffè corretto, cappuccino, marocchino, orzo in tazza grande, cioccolata, decaffeinato, however you like it!

18. Because what better way to learn about wine varietals, vintages, aromas and tastes than a Tuscan vineyard? Wine is produced just about everywhere in Italy and each region has its own specialty.

19. Italy invented possibly one of the most perfect foods in the world: pizza! While you’re studying abroad here, you can visit Naples and try the original pizza margherita. Or just enjoy anything your local pizzeria serves up, it’s all wonderful!

20. Italy is also home to the best form of ice cream on the planet. Gelato is served in a variety of traditional and innovative flavors all across the peninsula. During your program you can take your time trying them all!

All About the Expo

What do Paris’s Eiffel Tower, Brussels’s Atomium and Seattle’s Space Needle all have in common? They were all built for a world’s fair hosted by the city and are now major tourist attractions, decades after their original construction.

World’s fairs generally focus on the innovation and technology of a specific and they aim to bring together experts from around the world. The very first expo dates back to 1851 and was held in London, while the most recent were held in Yeosu, South Korea in 2012, focusing on smart cities, and in Shanghai in 2010, with the theme of the oceans and coasts.

Tram on Milan street with Expo signMilan Expo 2015
If you’ve been in the city of Milan recently or even just tried to read up on the city for a future visit, you’ve probably heard something about Expo 2015. What is this event and what does it mean for residents, students and visitors?

The Expo event that will be in town next year is a continuation of this tradition that has been around for over 150 years. And, as is fitting for a country with a long and varied culinary history, the Milan edition’s theme is nutrition and food. Stands from all over the world will participate (there are currently 147 official participants).

Construction
As we count down the days until the event begins in May of next year, many residents have mixed feelings about the Expo because of all the construction that seems to have invaded every corner of the city! Whether it’s for the subway line that has been opening up slowly over the past few months, projects for skyscrapers in the CityLife area, the park at Porta Nuova or the terrace that’s being built in the Navigli area, it’s hard to get around the city without running into a construction site. The good news is that the works are planned to end by the start of the Expo, so the city should have a shiny new feel to it for all the extra visitors next year.

Public bikes with Expo logoWorking at the Expo
From an economic point of view, the influx of people is a good thing for the local service industries like hotels and restaurants. But it also means there are quite a few openings for people with international skills at the fair itself. There are even two sections for students, one for internships (the Youth Training Program) and one for students or new graduates who already have some professional experience (the Experience Development Program). Applications are now being accepted, but the recruitment and selection process will take place later in the year. It’s a great opportunity, especially for international students who have language skills.

For general info and updates on the Expo 2015, go to their website.

Easy Late-Night Recipe

What do you call a late-night snack with friends? If you’re in Italy, it might be called a spaghettata, a slang term which basically means eating lots of spaghetti with your buds.

Pasta is such an important part of Italian cuisine that it would be hard to walk into any restaurant and not find it on the menu. And it would just as hard to walk into any Italian home and not find some kind of pasta in the pantry. It’s more popular in the southern half of the peninsula and the islands, but it’s also part of many Northern Italian traditions. Especially since the 1600s and 1700s, when producers in Naples began making dried spaghetti and distributing it to other parts of Italy, pasta has been a major Italian staple.

So, to continue this long-standing Italian tradition, why not have a spaghettata? The next time you’ve been out on the town with a rambunctious group, nobody’s ready to hit the sack, but you’re all famished… here’s a recipe that should hit the spot. And the great thing is that all the ingredients can be stored long-term and are probably stuff you already have in your cupboard. But, most importantly, it’s tasty enough to satisfy your cravings!

Plate of spaghetti and forkSpaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino

Ingredients
300-400g spaghetti
2 cloves garlic, sliced or smashed
60-70g olive oil
1-2 small dried red peppers (more to taste)
salt to taste

Preparation
Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt with a generous pinch and add the spaghetti. While the pasta cooks, heat up the olive oil in a frying pan over low heat, add the garlic (can be sliced if you want to eat it or just smashed if you want to remove the garlic before serving) and red peppers. After garlic is browned, turn off heat. When spaghetti is al dente, drain and add pasta to the frying pan. Finishing cooking in the oil and add salt if necessary. Serve hot.
Protip: If you have some Italian parsley, sprinkle chopped parsley on top of the pasta as a garnish.
The recipe can be doubled or tripled for larger crowds!