NU welcomes students and staff from Bocconi

Julianna Nunez

While some students only have to walk a few blocks to get to a lecture, one group of students has traveled more than 4,000 miles to attend classes and explore the Northwestern campus.

Twenty-nine students from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy, arrived on July 1 and are staying on the Evanston campus as they study and attend lectures and seminars for three and a half weeks. The students are a part of Campus Abroad, a program that sends undergraduate and graduate Bocconi students to college campuses in different countries to take a class and experience a new culture.

Marta Ciborra, the program coordinator from Bucconi, said the program also gives the students the opportunity to learn about businesses in different countries.

This is the first time NU is participating with Campus Abroad with Bocconi, Cibora said. Ciborra said that the prestige and location of NU gave it an advantage when schools from the program were being selected.

“It is always interesting for our students to attend a course at an American university,” she said. “Furthermore, Northwestern is nearby Chicago and this is a very interesting city for our students to get to know.”

The Bocconi website states, “The Program aims to create a bridge between the conceptual theories, methodologies and techniques taught in class and their application to real case studies in organizations, public institutions and business companies.”

In order to be accepted into the program, students must display high academic marks and a proficiency in English. All 29 students chosen will be taking a course called Economics of Globalization, taught by Paolo Epifani, associate professor in the Department of Economics at Bocconi University.

Epifani has been participating in the program since 2007, but this is the first time he is teaching in a university in the United States. Epifani said he plans on dividing his course into two sections.

“In the first part of the course I will provide an overview of the main facts and the main concepts of globalization,” he said. “Then, we will address some specific issues, some specific topics. For instance, how globalization is likely to affect the geographic distribution of economic activity, so how this relates to geography and trade and another specific topic is how a country’s institutional quality may affect the country’s production structure and international specialization.”

Students will also be attending a seminar taught by two NU professors, Mark Witte and Mary Pattillo. Witte’s seminar focuses on economics while Pattillo’s seminar concentrates Chicago, gloablization and race in the United States and its connection to the 2012 presidential election.

Greg Buchanan, program coordinator in the Office of International Program Development, helped coordinate the exchanges for the program. NU Global Opportunities works to develop partnerships with other universities around the world.

“Bocconi has been a partner of ours for the last couple of years,” Buchanan said. “It started off with a few exchange students going back and forth. Now, it’s actually grown to 10 Northwestern students going in the fall.”

Buchanan said he hopes that the program will act as a stepping stone for more programs with Bucconi in the future.

“I think a workshop would be nice, a kind of cool idea. A conference or a program where we can bring not only Bocconi students, but students from our other partners to do a sort of collaborative effort here on campus, sort of get some top institution to come here, maybe for a summer conference or in the fall or something like that.” he said.

Buchanan also said he would like to see more exchange of faculty members.

“We like the idea of bringing faculty members from Bocconi here,” he said. “We already have a couple of former Bocconi graduates on staff in the economics department and Kellogg.”

But it is not all work and no play for the Bocconi students. The students have gone on a an architectural tour in downtown Chicago and have gone to the beach. Carlo Gallovich, a rising third year Bocconi student from Northeast Italy, said he is open to the differences he sees between NU and Bocconi.

“We were really, really shocked (about the differences),” he said. “This is something amazing. Northwestern University is an experience.”

Matilde Cerruti Quara is another a rising third year student. She said she had a great first impression of NU and chose to do the program because of the University’s reputation.

“Northwestern is extremely prestigious and I wanted to see how that was,” she said.

Cerruti Quara also noted the differences between the Evanston campus and the Bucconi campus. She called the Evanston campus, “amazing” and noted the abundance of trees and other plants.

Cerruti Quara said she specifically noticed the abundance of trees and other plants on NU’s campus.

Gallovich said it is very easy to do anything at NU.

“All of the experiences you can (have) here are particularly amazing,”

Corrections: A previous version of this story misstated Greg Buchanan’s title and the office in which he works. He is the program coordinator in the Office of International Program Development. A previous version of this story misstated the name of Matilde Cerruti Quara. The Daily regrets the errors.

[email protected]northwestern.edu