Studying in Italy: Getting Prepared Where to study

by Brenda Anugwom

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Studying in the beautiful home away from home – Italy, is a dream come true for anyone who has got the opportunity to do so. Italy is a tourist location, filled with ancient monuments, sites and cities that have spectacular themes. The country is also home to the magnificent Vatican City and hosts millions of tourists from all over the world yearly. This is the reason why anyone going to study in Italy should adequately prepare to have a rewarding stay.

As a non-EU citizen, the first thing to do is to determine which school to study at, the language of instruction of the programme and expected diploma. These details will help one ascertain the usefulness of the course to one's future and career. Italian is mostly spoken at schools, except select schools with courses taught in English or any other language. Language is important for prospective students; it is important to know the basics of the Italian language before leaving for Italy so a crash course on the language is advisable.

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Once the admission to study comes through, a prospective student needs to start assembling travel documents – original admission letter, international passport, academic certificates and any other documents the embassy may require. Embassy locations and required documents can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. It is important to thoroughly study the requirements and comply with instructions to avoid unnecessary delays. In certain countries, a period of 2 – 4 weeks is needed to process visa application; it is advisable to apply early enough in order to have enough time to prepare for the travel.

In most cases, the school requires that a prospective student obtains the consular formalization of their documents at the competent diplomatic authority located in their country. This may well be copies of degree certificates submitted to the embassy to be formalized with a “Dichiarazione di valore” (DV). It is important to keep the school authorities in the loop while the process is on-going as they may lend a helping hand in facilitating the quick processing of the visa.

There are other essentials for prospective students coming to Italy. Every student should have health insurance for the duration of stay and the “codicile fiscale”, which is a number assigned by the government to anyone staying more than 3 months in Italy. The health insurance is usually required by the embassy for visa processing and also required to obtain the “codicile fiscale” needed to stay in Italy. Also, one should bear in mind that health insurance coverage obtained from elsewhere may not be acceptable in Italy or recognized by the agency issuing the “codicile fiscale”. It is best to obtain a students’ health insurance coverage acceptable in Italy.

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Pinacoteca.jpgOnce your travel visa is ready, ensure that you have both warm clothing for the winter and light clothing for the summer. Also, remember to pack an umbrella for the rainy days. Check the weather forecast to know which season you will meet on arrival and be ready for it. Another important thing to do is to search the internet for the map of the city where the school is located and identify landmark locations close by. Driving from the airport to the school may require mentioning certain locations and communicating with the basic Italian words already learnt.

A very important aspect is the currency exchange. Italy is within the Eurozone and transactions are carried out in the Euro. Currency exchange is best done at the airport so that initial basic expenses like taxi fares, motel costs and meals can be met. The next and final thing to check is that the list of items not allowed in Italy and can be removed at the airport during luggage check-in.

As soon as all these steps are followed and completed, you are ready to travel. Good luck!

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