The novelty of a new city, an unexplored culture, the thrill of independence – studying in a new country can often be one of the most exciting experiences of your life! Home to some of the best universities in the world, Italy in particular has a lot to offer in terms of quality education woven with a unique cultural experience in Europe.
However, preparing well for this new stage is just as important as embracing it. Check these must-haves for a seamless student experience in Italy!
Federica Maria Giove
Know your course framework:
If you have already secured admission to an Italian university, congratulations! You are already so much closer to an amazing academic experience. The next step is to familiarize yourself with the structure of your chosen course. Try to answer questions like – How long are your classes? Do you have morning and evening classes? Are you required to obtain additional materials for your course? Does the course framework include on-the-job training courses? Taking note of some key points can help you plan a successful academic day, maintain an active social life plan, and enjoy the Italian Bella vita.
Applying for a Codice Fiscale:
A Codice Fiscale (tax code) is an alphanumeric code used by public authorities to identify anyone who lives in Italy. This tax code is required for many activities such as registration with the Italian national health system (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale, or SSN) and for social security benefits. Students can apply for the Codice Fiscale at the Italian Embassy/Consulate in their home country or, once in Italy, at the local Agenzia Delle Entrate (tax agency). In the majority of cases, the welcome office of the host university will guide the students in their steps.
Applying for a residence permit:
The residence permit is an official card that allows third-country nationals to live, work and study in Italy. To apply for a residence permit (Permesso di Soggiorno), non-EU students must be in possession of an Italian long-stay D visa. Students must apply for the permit at any Sportello Amico in the nearest post office, within eight days of their arrival in Italy. Applications are available free of charge at all post offices.
Reserve sensitive residential facilities:
Be sure to find accommodation that matches the location of your university. Try to figure out which is the nearest bus, metro or tram station that can help you get to your university. You can either opt for university campus accommodation or refer to several sites such as Booking.com, AirBnB and Housing Anywhere that offer accommodation for students. Once in Italy, you can even share accommodation with other students – no better way to start building a social network!
If you rent a house, apartment, room or single bed in a shared room (posto letto), in exchange for a monthly fee, you must sign a Contratto di Affitto (housing contract) with the landlord, who must be registered at the inherent Ufficio Registro. Also, be sure to meet the owner and check out the property before signing, read any agreements carefully, or even ask for an English translation.
Make a list of local resources:
Keep a handy list of local resources that can be helpful for your daily needs as well as for emergencies. Locate police station, hospital, post office, neighborhood office, library, pharmacies, etc. the closest. Write down the addresses and numbers of classmates and friends who live nearby. Several universities offer student support resources, so be sure to check with your university’s welcome desks to take advantage of them. Students seeking assistance can also contact Uni-Italia Headquarters in Rome, located at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, by writing to [email protected]
The easiest way to find yourself in a new city is to get lost in it for a while! Walk around your university and neighborhood of residence. Familiarize yourself with public transport, especially the route to your university. Pass by local shops, cafes, theatres, museums and gardens. Soak up the rich culture and history of Italy!
And finally, let yourself enjoy it! As you work hard as a new student, rise to the challenges, savor the special moments, and immerse yourself in what could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As the Italians say – “Lascia che la vita ti sorprenda” (Let life surprise you), who knows where this beautiful path might lead?
The author is the director of Uni-Italia India. Unitalia’s mission is to promote the Italian higher education system in different parts of the world. For more details, students can visit – https://www.uni-italia.net/mumbai-centre.
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