Time has flown by and I am now just two weeks away from living in Milan and three weeks away from beginning my MBA! The summer has been filled with plenty of paper work, travelling and…. Facebook! Which is where I will begin this post…

Facebook has been an incredible tool while preparing for my MBA. One of my classmates started a group for the MBA 37 class and since the acceptance letters went out, the group has grown to more than 100 people. It helped me to meet my roommate and also gave me the opportunity to meet up with the MBA 36 students when I was in Milan.

Throughout the whole process, everyone has been contributing to the group by sharing their experiences with loan applications, pre-course prep, apartment hunting and recently setting up bank accounts in Milan, Italian paper work, cell phone carriers, etc. It has been extremely helpful! Lastly, it has allowed me to connect with some of my classmates before beginning school and this has definitely helped settled my nerves.

Upon receiving my acceptance letter, there were a number of things I needed to get lined up: one of the first being a student loan. In Canada, students are eligible for both provincial and federal funding; whereby you are granted a loan and interest is waived until six months after completing school. I qualified for both, but I still needed additional funds. For the remaining amount, I went to my bank and got a student line of credit. The interest rate was very reasonable and it was simple to set up.

Next on the list was my student visa; however, I took a different route on this one. Both my grandparents were born in Italy and I am, by way of Italian citizenship laws, an unrecognised Italian. So I chose to apply for citizenship rather than a student visa. Not only will it eliminate a considerable amount of the paperwork when I arrive, it will open doors for me post-MBA if I choose to stay in Europe. And then of course there is simply the pride that comes with being a dual Canadian-Italian citizen!

The last significant thing that must be done before I begin my MBA is complete my pre-courses. We were given the option of doing them in-class or online. Due to prior commitments I was unable to be in Milan at the time, so I am currently completing them online.

There are four pre-courses: macroeconomics, microeconomics, accounting and quantitative methods. I have a minor in business from my undergraduate degree and so I am familiar with this material. However, I am certainly glad I chose to take the pre-courses as a refresher. Especially considering that we have exams on all the subjects on the first day of classes!

I would highly recommend taking the pre-courses for anyone without a background in accounting, finance or consulting. It will help get you back in school mode, as well as give you more confidence on your first day. At least I am hoping that is the case for me!

And with that, I must return to my accouting pre-course. My next post will come to you from Milano!

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