Get ready!

Whether you’re still deciding on courses or you’re packing your bags, you can always contact our staff to help you along. Yes there is paperwork and yes there are decisions to make around course selection, housing preferences, dates, travel necessities, registration, budgeting and more. Our staff can walk you through it all.

Once you apply to Arcadia, our program advisors are in regular contact with you about the status of your application and they send out extensive information that will prepare you to go abroad, including information on culture, politics, history and the local higher education system.

Once you arrive, our staff will meet you and introduce you to your accommodation and your orientation program will begin – to help you settle in academically, practically, culturally and socially.

First! Home School Arrangements

  • Let your study abroad advisor know that you are taking part in an Arcadia University program
  • Cancel any housing or meal contracts for the time you’ll be away and make arrangements to reactivate them when you return.
  • If registration for next year's courses on your home campus will take place while you are abroad, ensure that the appropriate arrangements are made with your registrar or study abroad advisor.
  • Some students enrolled on semester programs decide when they are overseas to stay for the full year. This is possible. While home college approval for continued study can be obtained when you are abroad, it will be much easier to make the necessary arrangements and receive preliminary approval before you leave the U.S.

Travel Information


Your program advisor will alert you via email when it is time to book your flight and provide pertinent logistics information at that time.


It’s important to think about all the expenses you are likely to incur while abroad so you and your family can plan ahead. Your program fees section explains what your program fee does and does not cover, and will provide you with an overall estimate of expected expenses. For example, your airfare to Italy is not included in your program fee. It is important to note that the "Estimate of Additional Expenses" information is provided for planning purposes only, and may vary according to your own personal spending habits.

Items to consider

  • Expect to spend extra on meals and basic expenses during your first couple of weeks in-country as you settle in.
  • You will primarily be cooking for yourself in your apartments in Italy. If you shop at the local markets and supermarkets, a budget of about $10 a day should keep you well-nourished. You will need to budget more if you plan on eating out a lot as a basic meal in a pizzeria or trattoria will run you at least $12-15.
  • Students registered at Italian universities may also have the option of purchasing inexpensive meals at the university cafeteria or "mensa".
  • You should budget at least $40-50 per class for required books and supplies. Classes that require standard US textbooks may cost two to two and a half times as much.  Check your online syllabi for required texts.
  • You may want to order textbooks in advance online from UK suppliers. Language texts are purchased on site. A limited number of used books may be available from the program at discount.
  • If you will be taking studio art classes, you should budget about $150 for art supplies and materials per course.
  • Local transportation: Florence and Perugia are easily navigated on foot. Bicycles are also a popular option in Florence and you might consider buying a used one or renting one after arrival.
  • If you are living in self-catered accommodation you may have to budget for some household items such as pots, pans, silverware, sheets etc.
  • Weekly costs for postage, laundry, local phone calls and other miscellaneous expenses can run $30-40 a week. Entertainment can add another $30-40 a week.
  • Vacation expenses can really add up, depending on how far you go and how much time you take. If you plan to travel, you'll have to budget for housing, meals and transportation and other personal expenses while you're on the road.
  • Count up your weeks of study and vacation if any under your program.
  • Make daily and weekly budgets and stick to them.

Sample Budget WorksheetExpenses
Full program fee (including $500 deposit) $              
Orientation expenses
Meals (#program weeks _ x $ _ per wk)
Special Courses Fee
Local transport
Personal expenses
Vacation expenses
Total Expenses

Family contribution $              
Your savings
Stafford Loan (deduct 5% for origination fees)
Other financial aid
Other resources
Total Resources


Financial Tips


You will soon become an expert at international banking transactions…

Italian Bank Accounts

We do not recommend trying to open a bank account in Italy. The following information will help you maintain quick access to your funds, and protect your money against loss

Contact Your Bank

Before you leave the US contact your bank and/or credit card company to let them know that you will be studying abroad – where and for how long.

  • If your bank is not aware that you will be using your card(s) overseas, they may cancel your card(s) due to suspicious activity outside your normal spending patterns.
  • Also confirm with your bank that you will be able to use your card(s) overseas and what their fees are.
  • Ask your bank for a list of overseas outlets where your card is accepted.

Carrying Cash

  • It's a good idea to arrive with at least the equivalent of $200 in your wallet exchanged into EUR– you can do this at your local bank if you give them notice or at the airport for a hefty charge.
  • Your American ATM card should work at most banks overseas including your arrival airport.  
  • Local banks will also exchange currency but note their operating hours and fees.

Cash Machines (ATMs)

If your ATM card is linked to the Plus or Cirrus systems, your card will work in thousands of cash machines throughout the country. The advantage to using your American ATM card is that you will be assessed the wholesale exchange rate that applies to large foreign currency transactions.  Be sure to check with your bank about using your ATM card in Italy and about any fees that might be assessed. That said, have other sources of money in case your ATM card does not work.

Credit Cards

You can use most credit cards in Italy but they must be in your name, as it appears on your passport.  You should know, however, that Italians tend to pay in cash and shop staff may try to convince you to pay in cash, especially for small/medium purchases, even if they do take cards. Shops and restaurants in smaller towns may not accept credit cards. Visa and MasterCard are more widely accepted than American Express, but AmEx Offices can assist you with cashing US checks. Credit card cash advances are considered loans, so interest is charged from the day the advance is made. Before you depart, check with your card company for more information on what services you’ll have where, what fees are involved and what to do if you lose your card.

Italian Banks

Banks open around 8:30 am and close around 1:30 pm, open again at 3:00 pm, or 3:30 pm for another hour. You should expect to take care care of banking needs Monday through Friday; a few banks may have Saturday morning hours.

In an Emergency

When the program is in session, our offices in Italy can make emergency loans to students. Students must sign a promissory note and repay the loan as soon as they receive money from home. If you find yourself in dire financial straits while traveling, the State Department can help your family transfer money to you (provided you are a U.S. citizen).


Visa Information

Fall 2021

Obtaining a visa

If you are studying in Italy for less than 90 days, you will not need a visa. However, if you are studying in Italy for more than 90 days, you will need to apply for an Italian study visa. This may seem daunting but don’t worry – your program advisor will walk you through every step, and send you a complete Visa Pack with full instructions and details of everything you will need. If you are traveling internationally in the months leading up to your program start date, please let your program advisor know.

Apply with the Italian Consulates

The visa process for Italy is administered in the U.S. by a series of consulate offices located throughout the country. Each consulate office administers student visas in a slightly different way, so please pay special attention to the specific requirements at your Consulate. Most consulates require that you appear in person to submit your application. However, there are some exceptions. Be prepared to travel a great distance to apply. Please refer to the instructions listed on the consulate webpage to determine whether you must submit your application in person.

Step by Step Italian Visa Process

Step 1: Passport

Be sure you have a valid, signed passport that will be good for at least six months following the completion of the program. If you do not have a passport, please begin the process of securing one immediately.

Step 2: Italian Consulate of Jurisdiction

Based on your permanent place of residence or where you attend college, determine which Italian Consulate you must apply to for your visa.

Be certain to contact your Italian Consulate to understand their specific requirements for the visa application process as each Consulate follows slightly different rules. These rules may change without notice and it is your responsibility to know exactly what is expected of you at your particular Consulate.

Step 3: Submitting Your Application to the Consulate

To apply for a student visa, the following items are required by most consulates:

  • Passport – You will need to submit your passport with your application. The consulate will keep your passport during the application period and then place the visa on a blank page in your passport once approved.
  • Visa Application Form – The application form is typically available on your consulates website. Be sure enter all information exactly as indicated on the application form to avoid delays.
  • 1-2 recent, passport-sized photos to attach to your application.
  • Original Acceptance Letter from your overseas Italian program – You will receive two original acceptance letters from your Italian Institution in your Visa Pack. Most Consulates require one original and one copy. Refer to your consulate website for final requirements.
  • Arcadia Certificate of Enrollment – This document serves as verification that your tuition and housing have been paid. It also confirms the dates of the program. This form will be sent in the Visa Pack.
  • Affidavit of Support – This document should be filled out by the person supporting you financially while abroad (typically you, a parent or a guardian). This form proves to the Consulate Officer that you have means of support while abroad. If you are financially supporting yourself, you will need to provide proof of financial aid, scholarships or other financial awards in the form of original, official copies of the award letters.
  • Bank Account Statement or Letter – The Consulate will require an original bank statement or an original bank letter to accompany the Affidavit of Support. You will need to refer to your consulates website to verify if they require a statement or a letter as requirements vary depending on which consulate you use.
    • Most consulates will want to see that you have between $1,000 and $1,500 for each month that you are on the program. Please refer to your consulates website for the amount they require.
    • The account belonging to the person submitting the bank statement or letter MUST be the same person who signs the Affidavit of Support.
    • All documents and letters must be notarized to be considered official, prior to submission.
  • Affidavit of Health InsuranceThis document is required to inform Consulate Officers that you will have health insurance for your time abroad. You should include your Arcadia-provided health insurance letter with this document. All Arcadia students are enrolled in health insurance, which satisfies any health insurance requirements asked for by the Italian Consulates. Because of this, you will not need to include any other health insurance information. The Affidavit of Health Insurance Coverage can be found on your consulate's website.
  • Arcadia-Provided Health Insurance LetterHealth insurance is included in your program fee. This document should accompany your Affidavit of Health Insurance. You will receive this in your Visa Pack.
  • Copy of your round trip flight itinerary – The Consulate will require a copy of your flight itinerary verifying an arrival and departure flight. If you do not have an itinerary showing that you are returning to the U.S. at the end of your stay, your visa application could be rejected. Most consulates will accept a copy/print out from your travel agent/service or airline. You should have this itinerary notarized if you mail the application.
  • United States Postal Service Express Mailer – Most consulates will require that you apply in person at the consulate office. Once your visa is ready, you will pick it up at the consulate office. Many consulates will allow you to provide a pre-paid, self-addressed United States Postal Service Express Mailer and they will mail the passport and visa to you when it's ready. Please refer to your consulates website to find their exact mailing instructions as some consulates have different requirements.
  • An original home school Letter of Enrollment: Please request this letter from your home institution's registrar's office. The Italian Consulate website will explain what the letter should include. Please provide an original letter signed by the registrar or a university representative, including the university seal and/or stamp.
  • As of 2/15/2016, the National Study Visa (for stays over 90 days) may incur the consular fee of the equivalent of 50 Euro.

Other important notes:

  • Be aware that each Italian consulate office retains the right to amend its visa process at any time. Please refer back to your consulate's website frequently throughout the process. As Arcadia University becomes aware of changes in the visa process, we will alert you by email.
  • Retain at least one photocopy of all documents presented to the Consulate.
  • If you are submitting by mail, all documents will need to be notarized.
  • Please note that the visa is simply a sticky label that is affixed to the inside of your passport.
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen, you are responsible for any Italian visa regulations that pertain to your particular citizenship. For more information, contact your local Italian Consulate.
  • Honorary Consulates are offices that have been authorized by the Italian Government to assist U.S. residents with their visa applications. If there is an Honorary Consulate in your area, they may be able to facilitate the visa application process by validating your documents.

Visa Requirements After Arrival - The Permesso di Soggiorno

Once you arrive in Italy, you are required by law to report to the local police department to apply for a Permit to Stay (Permesso di Soggiorno). This is a document that all non-European citizens must have if they are staying in Italy for over 90 days. Your host institution in Italy will review this process during orientation.

The fee for the Permesso di Soggiorno is your responsibility and is approximately 154€ (The Italian government controls these fees, and they are subject to change).

You will need to bring the following items with you to Italy in order to apply your Permesso di Soggiorno:

  • The acceptance letter to your host institution stamped by the Italian consulate: This document should have been sent back with your study visa. If the consulate returned any original documents to you when you applied for your visa, bring these with you as well. Also, if you made a copy of your entire visa application, it never hurts to bring that as well.
  • Italian Government-Approved Health Insurance Letter: This will be the health insurance letter we sent you for your visa documents. This CAN be a photocopy of the original document. We will also email a copy of this letter to your host institution.
  • Photocopies of your passport with visa: You are required to provide the copies of only the first page and the visa pages of your passport.
  • Photos: You will be required to obtain passport style photos when you arrive overseas due to the difference in photo sizes in Italy. Our staff in Italy will provide assistance with this.


Italian Visa Application Instructions

When completing your Study Visa (Long Stay Visa), please enter all information exactly as indicated on the application form to avoid delays. Specific guidance for completing the application is below and should be entered on the visa application’s section exactly as it appears here. If you have any questions or need assistance with completing your application, please contact your program advisor.

View the completed sample application for additional guidance as you complete the Study Visa form.

  1. Last Name: Provide your Last Name
  2. Last name at birth: Provide your last name at birth, if different from #1.
    If same, leave blank.
  3. First and Middle Names: Provide your First and Middle names
  4. Date of birth: Provide your birthdate in format – day/month/year.
  5. Place of birth: Provide City and State where you were born.
  6. Country of birth: Provide Country where you were born
  7. Current nationality: Provide your current nationality
    • Nationality at birth, if different: Provide Nationality if different from, above.
  8. Sex: Male/Female: Check appropriate box.
  9. Marital status: Check appropriate box.
  10. Write “N/A” or leave blank
  11. National identity number, where applicable: N/A or leave blank
  12. Type of Passport or Travel Document: Select “Ordinary Passport” or “National”
  13. Passport number: Provide Passport Number
  14. Date of issue ( day /month / year): Provide Date Passport was issued
  15. Valid until day /month / year: Provide date of expiration
  16. Issued by: Provide Country of Issue; ex: “USA”
  17. Applicant’s home address and e-mail address: Provide your Home Address and Email Address
    • Telephone: Provide your Cell Phone Number & Home Phone Number
  18. Residence in a country other than the country of current nationality: Check “NO” unless applicable
  19. Current occupation (if full-time student, state “student”): List “STUDENT”
  20. Employer and employer’s address and telephone number. For students, name and address of home institution: Provide your Home University Name & Address
  21. Main purpose(s) of the journey: Check “STUDY”
  22. City of destination in Italy: List appropriate city: (Florence, Perugia), Italy
  23. Other European Schengen country of first entry: List “ITALY”
  24. Number of entries required: Check “Multiple Entries”
  25. Duration of the intended stay. Indicate number of days (max 365 days): Provide the Number of Days between Your Arrival and Departure Dates.
  26. Shengen Visas issued during the past three years: Check “NO” unless you have another Schengen Visa in your passport.
  27. Schengen Fingerprints collected previously for the purpose of applying for a Schengen visa: Check “NO”
  29. Schengen/Intended date of arrival in the Schengen area: List Arrival Date – Must Match Flight Itinerary
  30. Intended date of departure from the Schengen area (only for visas between 91 and 364 days of stay): Departure Date – Must Match Flight Itinerary
  31. Surname and first name of the inviting person or employer. If not applicable, in case of visa for Adoption, Religious reasons, Medical reasons, Sports, Study, Mission: address of institution in Italy - Please provide appropriate information as per program:
    • For Florence: Accademia Italiana, Piazza de Pitti, 15, 50125 Firenze, Italy
    • For Perugia: The Umbra Institute, Via dei Priori, 84, 06123 Perugia, Italy
      • Address and e-mail of person(s) requesting the reunion, or of the employer:

        For Florence
        Barbara McHugh
        (address as above)
        Tel: 39.055.284616
        Fax: 39.055.284486

        For Perugia:
        Daniel Tartaglia
        (same as above)
        Tel: 39.075.573.4595
        Fax: 39.075.573.3257
  32. Name and address of inviting company/organization:
    Arcadia University - The College of Global Studies
    Italy Programs
    c/o: Universita' degli Studi Roma Tre
    Rettorato, via Ostiense 161,
    stanza 208
    00154 Roma Italia

    Tel: 06/57332893
    Fax: 06/57332894
    • (Second section): Paola Cascinelli, Interim Resident Director, (address, same as above)
    • (Third section): Tel: 06/57332893; Fax: 06/57332894
  33. Cost of traveling and living during the applicant’s stay is covered by:
    • Check the following – By the applicant himself/herself

      Credit Card
      Prepaid transport
    • Check the following – By the sponsor

      Accommodation provided
  34. N/A
  35. N/A
  36. Today’s Place and Date: Provide City, State and Date of Signature
  37. Signature (for minors, signature of parental authority/legal guardian: Student Signature – must be signed in front of a Notary Public, Honorary Consul, or In-Person at Consulate Repeat place/date & signature at end

If you are appearing in person at the consulate, sign in front of a Visa officer If you have permission to mail your application to the consulate, please have your signature notarized by a notary public or an Honorary Consul.