My first day at Humanitas: reflection of a student

Written by Philip Yiu, Hunimed Student

Feeling of anticipation

I left my apartment for my first day at Humanitas at 8:00. I paced my way to the metro station. I stood in the carriage, fists clenched on the handrail as countless strangers and stations passed by me. I had no idea what to expect from my first day. I was not nervous; yet not entirely optimistic. “Prossima fermata Abbiategrasso,” announced a mechanics voice. Breaking out of my dazed state, I exited the station. The overcast sky surrounded me. I spotted other presumably students around me all conversing in a language unknown to me. I fumbled for coins as I stepped up on the navetta. I was sick with anticipation.

It had never occurred to me that there would have been many other new students in the same position as me. From the navetta, the warmth of the sun radiated on the frosted windows of the navetta. The opaque, misty windows cleared up. In the distance the clouds parted. As I gathered my thoughts I eased myself, “take a few deep breaths and stay calm”- advise I had always followed when I was tense.

A surprising arrival

The navetta cruised towards the University. From a distance my eyes were dazzled by the refulgent reflection of the chalk-coloured campus. The bright white Hospital shone like a lighthouse, a glowing beacon.

The University Campus gleamed like white marble. Inside, past the rotating glass doors, everything was clean and pristine.

Inside, was a hive of noise and activity; my eyes darted around hoping to catch the eye of somebody I knew. I stood frozen among crowds of students. To my surprise, a stranger pulled up to me. A genial -yet also nervous- voice spoke “are you new as well?” A rush of relief flowed through me. After short introductions, we were ushered into a grand lecture theatre where all of my future classmates were sitting. Our professors welcomed us and devoted sometime to let us get acquainted with one another.

Enjoying the international campus

That day I learned I was not the only non-Italian – indeed there were many of us. Many students came from all over the world – India, Greece, France, UK, Israel, Switzerland. My classmates came from a myriad of backgrounds, different ages, nations and cultures; yet we were all together, with the same feeling of trepidation as we began our medical career.

As I write this, over a year later, I am glad I took a chance with Humanitas. The courses have been challenging, but I guess that’s partly the reason why I enjoy it. Furthermore I have been able to see the benefits of studying abroad because you are enriched with different cultures and you can learn a lot from them. 


Humanitas is a highly specialized Hospital, Research and Teaching Center. Built around centers for the prevention and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular, neurological and orthopedic disease – together with an Ophthalmic Center and a Fertility Center – Humanitas also operates a highly specialised Emergency Department.