Studying Italian in Milan, Silja’s story
Studying Italian in Milan: Silja’s story
Our chat with Silja
Studying Italian in Milan and at the same time working in the Milanese city. Find out how Silja Tillner, architect, urban planner and leader of a group that promotes the presence of women in contemporary architecture, managed to coordinate her work, two languages and life between two wonderful cities: Milan and Vienna.
For some years Silja has taught architecture and urban planning at the Polytechnic of Milan and has decided to study Italian in ELLCI to be closer to her students and her Milanese colleagues.
The covid-19 emergency since March has revolutionized her habits, but thanks to the ELLCI online Italian courses, she has managed to pursue and maintain her objectives in studying the Italian language.
Our chat with Silja
Ciao Silja, tell us something about yourself…
I come from Vienna, Austria. For the moment I am busy supervising my online Polimi university students and leading my office in these difficult times.
How long have you lived in Milan and how is the city treating you?
For two years I have lived partly in Vienna and partly in Milan. My life has completely changed due to the coronavirus crisis.
I find Milan very interesting because it is an international city and is determined by architecture, art and design. I don’t know of any other city that has so many high-quality buildings than in any historical period.
In Milan, I have slightly different lifestyles compared to Vienna. When I’m here I live in a central apartment near City Life. In Vienna, I live in a small house on the outskirts with a garden.
What were the steps that brought you to Italy?
The steps that led me to Italy are linked to my scientific work and my friendship with a colleague of the faculty of architecture who invited me several times to give lectures and a seminar at the Politecnico di Milano.
Many years ago I lived in Mexico after my high school graduation. In these countries, I was fascinated by the architecture of the Maya and I decided to specialize in architecture.
When did you start learning Italian?
I started studying Italian 6 months ago because I wanted to communicate more with my colleagues and students.
What was your level of Italian when you arrived?
My level of Italian was very low. I speak English, French and in the past, I spoke Spanish very well.
One thing you like about living in Italy and one thing you don’t like.
I really like the joy of life and the positive attitude with which all problems are addressed. I like the “spirit de Milan”. I don’t like Italian bureaucracy and very frequent strikes.
Anyway, I would love to go back to Milan.
What would you recommend to anyone who starts studying Italian and dreams of living in Italy?
Talk talk talk and always smile.
Italian language classroom courses are back in September!
If you enrol in the Standard Course by August 31, 2020, you get a 15% discount on the morning course.