What do students say about their study abroad experience at Monash Prato? Read, watch and listen to why students decide to study here, how the experience has changed them and what life is like in Prato.
Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Economics
Issues in Global Business, 2014
What Joel says
Monash University’s BEX2622 Issues in Global Business is a great experience for any student wishing to become a Monash-minded global citizen. The opportunity to study overseas at the Prato Centre in Italy, whilst travelling around Europe throughout our winter break, is a wonderful experience. What more could you want? Don’t forget the extensive amount of Italian pizza, pasta, risotto and other delicious dishes available during the Italian ‘siesta’. Monash Prato is the perfect starting place for learning, exploring and experiencing.
Vibrant and lively, the intensive winter course enabled us to learn about the social, cultural, political, and economical issues that impact the strategy and operations of businesses in a global context. Sustainability, corporate social responsibility, ethics and the environment were issues explored throughout the course with insightful case studies and interactive presentations being the key cornerstone of the unit. Led by Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) Dr Nell Kimberley, the unit allowed us to develop and strengthen our public speaking skills, business awareness, and team work and communication skills as well as guide our moral and ethical compasses as future graduates of Monash University.
We, as global citizens, must continue to adapt and appreciate the opportunities that come our way, and to understand the issues that affect us and the world around us. This winter intensive course has ultimately allowed my fellow peers and I to become more well-rounded, confident and culturally-sound citizens. Highly recommended.
View Joel's photo blog.
What Arianna says
Studying at Monash Prato was truly a remarkable exchange opportunity. As Prato has minimal tourism in comparison to other larger cities in Italy, it meant that I was exposed to a really native Italian culture. The geographic centrality of Prato as a city meant that I was only 20 minutes away from Florence by train and less than 2 hours outside Rome, which ultimately made for some great weekend visits. The central location of the Monash residences meant that I was always close to the city centre and everything was easily accessible. I have to admit that I had underestimated the facilities, services and activities available to students at Monash Prato. The centre ultimately acts as a base for an international community that aims to integrate the global Monash campus cultures with the local pratese community.
The thing I loved most about living in Prato was my ability to merge into and partake in the pratese everyday life. Whether it was having macchiato at the coffee bar downstairs from the apartment before going to uni, or listening to the sounds of Italian families going for a passeggiata during the evening, I never really felt like an outsider or a straniero within the pratese community.
What Rhys says
I'm an Arts/Science student hoping to get into physiotherapy and I decided to do Italian electives in Prato purely to try something outside of my comfort zone and hoping for a new experience and some life-long memories. I certainly haven't been disappointed on any of those fronts.
The center itself is a beautiful, old (yet well maintained) building, and the facilities are much more modern than the building might have you believe. My favorite place would be the excellent student lounge which has everything you need to study at your fingertips, while providing a great space to relax and socialize with other students.
The staff are incredibly approachable and friendly, and always happy to help with any queries - or even just for a chat if they have the time.
The city itself is a wonderful taste of Italy - without all the tourists to contest with. The streets and squares alternate between busy and bustling to quite and calm depending on the time and day. The locals are friendly and even those with no English are still cheery and tolerant towards my tourist-like behaviour. You can barely walk 100m in the city center without stumbling across another magnificant monument - be it a church, tower, castle or one of Prato's many charming and historic squares (or piazzas). I felt perfectly comfortable exploring the area, knowing that there's many a landmark to re-orientate myself if need be, and as long as you stay within (or near) the city walls, you cannot wander too far.
What Nadali says
I just came back from studying MGX3100 in Prato and would like to commend Monash for providing such a valuable learning experience. First and foremost, the chance to study in Italy was the highlight. The country was so easy to travel in and the culture was amazing to be absorbed in. My education has been unbelievably enriched by this program. What an excellent option other than a semester abroad.
Bachelor of Engineering / Bachelor of Arts
Intensive Italian Beginners; Imaging Australia and Italy on Film; June-July 2012
What Rachel says (watch her video interview)
My name is Rachel Kamath, I’m studying a Bachelor of Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts and I’ve been in Prato for one month.
What made you decide to study at Monash Prato?
I wanted to go overseas and study so Prato was the perfect opportunity, because it was during the winter and I wanted to try something different and challenge myself.
What do you love about studying at Prato?
I like that Prato is a very nice small town so it’s very cultural, it’s very Italian, not so many tourists, you can really experience the Italian culture as such…life in Prato is fun, it’s tranquil during the day, but you can have a lot of fun during the night, there are places you can visit with your friends, meet local people. In particular because I was doing Italian 1, during the first two weeks, I enjoyed the conversation exchange, which happened every week, so great opportunity to meet up with locals and to try to learn Italian and speak with them, so that was very interesting.
What would you say to anyone thinking about coming to Monash Prato, what should they expect?
I would tell them to definitely come to Monash Prato, it’s an amazing experience, you meet new people, you make new friends, and get you know a lot about yourself as well…so if they can definitely try out Monash Prato.
What Rachael says
This song was written whilst on a study trip in beautiful Tuscany, Italy. I loved the School of Music in Prato, so at every spare minute (and sometimes at the tail end of a long lecture) I would retreat into one of the beautiful practice rooms, equipped with no less than a grand piano, overlooking the Tuscan streetside.
This song encapsulates my feelings of being away from home and experiencing a totally foreign place for the first time.
Listen to the song entitled ‘Prato’ by Melbourne band, Finding Isla. Released 6 October 2013.
Joseph Batrouney, Matt Hayes (Monash Prato alumnus),
Rachael Comte (Monash Prato alumnus), Curtis Reardo.
Photo credit: Whitney Comte.
Share your experience with us! Send your testimonial along with a photograph of yourself during your study abroad experience in Prato to the Student Services Officer.