The education system is completely different to the one of the U.K. and to me. I’ve been here a while now and I still don’t have the slightest clue of what’s going on. But anyway, here’s what I eventually ended up studying and what I’ve learned (or not learned) in each class:
1. Publishing, Publicity and Cultural Journalism
This was my “core” subject for the first semester in Milan. As the title suggests, it was all about publishing and journalism. On the first lesson we were all asked the reason we took the course. Personally, I was interested in the journalism section of the module and it was very relative to my ambition to be a photojournalist after university.
We were taught all about how a book-publishing house works and the different types of roles. We then visited a real book-publishing house in Milan where we had our first assignment: simply to design a book cover for an existing book.
We then went through the publicity section of the module and were taught the methods of how books are publicized and promoted when they are published. We then had a two-hour midterm exam, which I thankfully passed with a high mark.
Lastly, we learned about Italian journalism. The history of Italian journalism, how it differs to other European publishing and the kind of content that is necessary. To finish this module, we then visited one of Italy’s leading newspapers – Corriere Della Sera. It was really fascinating to see how a newspaper company works and how the daily life of a journalist is so stressful.
2. Urban Cultural Studies
My second subject was Urban Cultural Studies and honestly, one of the most confusing things I’ve ever had to study. I can’t really tell you even now, what exactly this course was about but I can tell you what I assume we were learning.
It was sort of like a geography lesson with a pinch of art thrown into it. We were learning how creative people move to different cities to find creative jobs and what encourages (or discourages) them to various cities across the world. We also looked at what governments were doing in cities to attract more creative people but also become a “creative city”.
That’s all I really understood about it. It seems quite easy from that, but honestly it was ridiculously confusing. But even still, I managed to pass it, with quite a nice mark too.
3. Television, Advertising, Music: The Italian Approach to the Media
This is my “core” subject for the second semester. Similar to the first core subject, this also focuses on the media in Italy. However, I haven’t finished this module just yet.
The first section was all about Italian television. We learned about the history of Italian television and how it progressed throughout the years to the present day. While learning, we had some short assignments such as to create a 60 second news story and present it, and to create a full day schedule for a specific TV channel dedicated to a certain target audience (I had the “golden age” which was people aged 35-55 years old).
We then went to a live recording of a morning chat show (We had to meet at a metro stop 50 minutes away, at 8am!). Even though it was a really early start, it was a great experience and I even got myself on TV.
After the studio visit, we had to write a 800 word essay on what we observed.
(There's more about my claim to fame in the next blogpost).
We then went moved on to music however we have just started so there’s not much I can tell you about that. It’s a really interesting module and the best part is, we have a funny lecturer that looks very similar to Jeremy Corbyn.
4. Strategy in the Arts
This is another difficult subject but more understandable than Urban Cultural studies (not that it was going to be any competition anyway). However when I enrolled onto this subject, I wasn’t told that it was actually a masters class.
The best way I can describe this class to you is just to think of it like The Apprentice. We basically learn about strategies that creative businesses and organisations use to maintain and improve their status. The final assessment of this course is that we have to create a full business plan and present it to our lecturer (our Alan Sugar, if you will).
It is quite a difficult subject that requires a lot of hard work. But we have just had our first group assignment, which we have passed with a good mark, so it’s going well.
5. Study Tour in the Visual and Performing Arts Field
This one is another complicated course that I haven’t really got an idea about. It’s a small class and a lot of the classes have been suspended, meaning we’ve only been to two of them. But what I assume it is about so far, is visual arts and the role it plays in today’s society but also how we can sustainably manage it both in the present time and in the future.
I’ll have to get back to you on how this one goes…