Ciao! My name is Megan Hines and I am a biomedical engineering major heading into my sophomore year at UT! For the May 2019 mini-term, I took Intro to Material Science in Milan, Italy. This course introduced many different aspects of material science and focused specifically on its applications in the bike racing industry. Biking is a huge part of Italian culture with the Giro d`Italia being such an important race in Europe. Many people in Milan especially use bikes to get around the city or commute to and from work. It was amazing having the chance to bike around the city, watch a part of the Giro d`Italia in Como, and go to class in the city center, one of the oldest parts of Milan.
I loved taking MSE 201 in such an amazing place, and the application of bicycle racing and manufacturing made it even more enjoyable. I loved our class visits to famous manufacturers such as Casati and Rossignoli. I especially enjoyed going to Como to watch the Giro. It was exciting to see all the bikers racing by and the Italian fans cheering them on. MSE 201 is an interesting course and is applicable to almost every engineering discipline, and the class in Milan shows specifically how the course content is applied in real life, even outside of biking. In many cathedrals, we could see how material processes were used to make beautiful patterns in ceramics or stone tiles.
Italy has many wonderful cities outside of Milan that are perfect for weekend trips, such as Rome, Venice, and Cinque Terre. Our class spent the weekends traveling and experiencing cities very different from Milan. Some were busy with tourists, and others were small, quiet towns, but all of them were fun to explore. Italian food is delicious, and it’s easy to end up eating gelato every single day without even realizing it.
I learned so much from my study abroad trip about Italy, and hope to have a chance to go back!