Planning your Trip
Below is a Pre-Departure Planning Checklist and additional information that may be useful to students before leaving for Italy. All students will receive a comprehensive Pre-Departure Guide along with other helpful details prior to program start.
Pre-Departure Planning Checklist
– Valid passport/identification card
– Health insurance coverage for living abroad (students may also purchase an Italian health insurance upon arrival in Italy)
– Plane ticket/Travel Itinerary
When making outbound travel arrangements, be mindful of the time change. Please be sure that your flight arrives in Italy on the correct day, as international flights often arrive the day after departure. Additionally, students who request LdM housing should be aware that they must arrive at housing check-in no later than 4:00/4:30 pm on the indicated check in day.
– ATM card(s)
– Credit Card(s)
– Cell phone
– Prescriptions: if needed, prescription drugs (Students must remember to bring enough medication with them to last their entire stay in Italy. If this is not possible, at minimum they should bring to Italy original prescriptions from their doctor. See the Health/Medication section below for more information.)
The most important document students will need before planning their trip abroad is a passport and/or identification card. Obtaining a valid passport and/or identification card is the student’s responsibility.
Study Visa, Permit of Stay & Declaration of Presence
The documentation required to study in Italy depends on the student’s country of residence and duration of stay. Some students will require a Student Visa, which they must apply for and obtain in their home country months before their arrival to Italy. It is recommended that students contact the Italian Consulate or Embassy of their jurisdiction for the latest rules and regulations. The majority of students studying in Italy will either need a Permit of Stay or a Declaration of Presence, which they must obtain after their arrival to Italy. Students receive detailed information about this immigration documentation in their pre-departure materials as well as upon arrival at the Orientation Meeting. Learn more…
What to Pack
Before students start packing, it is recommended they consult their airline carrier to get information on what items can be placed in a suitcase and what items can be taken in a carry-on bag. Students should also check plane tickets or call their airline to confirm luggage restrictions on size, weight, the number of luggage items, locks, and so forth. Be reminded that many airlines now charge an extra fee for traveling with more than one bag. After packing, students should take another look at the items packed and try to avoid taking any items they think they will not need or use to reduce additional baggage fees.
– Proper clothing for weather conditions, such as shorts, jeans, sweaters, boots or sandals, depending on the study abroad period. (Consult average seasonal temperatures before packing.)
– Flat shoes (no heels): People in Italy walk a lot! Good, thick-soled, closed shoes will provide protection and warmth while walking on cobblestone streets.
– Warm winter coat, gloves, scarves, hats (when seasonally appropriate)
– Raincoat and umbrella
– Contact lens solution and eye glasses
– Camera, film or sufficient memory, batteries (all of these can be more expensive abroad)
– Small bilingual Italian-English Dictionary
– Flip-flops or sandals that can be used at pools, on the beach, or in showers
– Warm pajamas and slippers are also recommended (when seasonally appropriate); apartments in Italy will not be as warm as in the student’s home country as the buildings are often old and difficult to heat adequately.
– Backpack or duffel for carrying books, picnic lunches, or supplies during tours and travel (perhaps one big enough for weekend excursions). A small carry-on sized suitcase for small trips taken throughout in Italy may also be useful.
– Vitamins, aspirin (pain relievers), cough medicine, an antihistamine (especially those students who suffer from allergies), medicine for motion sickness.
– Adapter or transformer: Italy uses the standard European 220 volts.
It is recommended that students have a medical and a dental check-up before they leave their home country. It is recommended to bring copies of important health records and a doctor’s statement about any special health problems a student may have.
Student who regularly take medication should:
a. Bring enough prescription drugs for the entire stay and an extra supply. Remember to pack these in their original containers.
b. Bring original prescriptions signed by a prescribing physician.
c. All prescribed medications must be labeled clearly with the student’s name to avoid any problems with local authorities. Sometimes prescriptions from a student’s home country may not be valid in Italian. Therefore, to obtain a prescription that is valid in Italy, students will need to visit an Italian doctor, who will be able to write a valid prescription. Students with comprehensive study abroad health insurance should consult their insurance provider regarding access to prescription medication abroad.
Living Costs in Italy
It is extremely difficult to estimate average living costs for students’ studying in Italy as preferences vary greatly. Students on a shoestring budget in the past have spent between around €3.000,00 per semester, while those on a lavish budget have spent around €6.000,00 on average per semester. At the time of visa application, the student’s home Consulate will identify a financial support minimum; this should give students a better idea of how much to budget. In determining a potential budget per semester, students should factor in the following: day-to-day expenses on campus (e.g. for books, entertainment, meals, and so forth); travel expenses for day, weekend and week-long trips; an emergency fund; eating out, grocery shopping and laundry costs; cell phone and internet services and calls; cultural and social events; other excursions and supplies.
In the event of an emergency, it is possible for family or friends to wire money directly to students. However, this procedure is rather lengthy and should be restricted to emergencies only since there is a fee to pick up wire funds. Please remember that the rate of exchange will be the official exchange rate on the day the transaction takes place.