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This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, finances and much more.
Remember to also visit the Participants
section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
Click a heading below to see section content.
Study Center Abroad
The academic program in Rome is overseen by the UC Rome Academic Director in consultation with a UC faculty advisory committee. Student services and activities are provided by ACCENT (International Consortium for Academic Programs Abroad) in consultation with UCEAP.
ACCENT/UC Rome Study Center
piazza dell’Orologio, 7
00186 Rome, ITALY
Phone (calling from the U.S.): (011 39) 06 97 99 86 73
Phone (calling from Italy): 06 97 99 86 73
Fax (from the U.S.): (011 39) 06 97 99 86 82
Phone Number Codes
U.S. international code ........... 011 (dial this to call from the U.S.)
Italy country code .................... 39
Rome city code ....................... 06
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Your semester begins with a three-week intensive Italian practicum that meets for three hours per day, Monday through Friday. There is a placement test before the practicum for students who have had some Italian. The practicum earns 4.5 UC quarter units (3 semester units) and must be taken for a letter grade. After the practicum, you will be placed in the appropriate language level by Study Center staff. You are required to continue the study of Italian during the semester.
The Italian courses during the rest of the term meet for one and a half hours four times a week and earn 6 UC quarter units (4 semester units). In addition to Italian language study, you will select two or three upper-division core courses worth 5.5 UC quarter units each (3.7 semester units each) from a list of the semester offerings, which focus on Roman and Italian history, art, cinema, literature, society, and philosophy. You will attend classes exclusively with other UC students. You should expect to take a full courseload of 21.5- 27 UC quarter units (14.3-18 semester units).
Note to Seniors
You are required to take a full-time load of study while in Rome. Work closely with your campus advisor to ensure you do not exceed the unit maximum established by your college on campus. Units may be reduced in some courses for a minimum total of 18 quarter units (approximately 12.5 semester units). Do not apply for graduation in the term immediately following your return from Rome, as grades take some time to post to your UC transcript.
As in similar UCEAP programs designed by UC faculty, there is a class attendance policy for this program. The policy has been in effect since the program’s inception and is endorsed by the UC faculty committee responsible for academic oversight of the program.
The UCEAP class attendance policy is as follows:
The following courses have been offered in recent semesters. Once the course list is confirmed, course descriptions will be available on the UC Rome Study Center
website for preregistration. Courses are subject to change without notice.
Ancient Roman Civilization
The city of Rome is one the clearest testaments of Roman culture. The course mainly focuses on the material remains located within the walls of Rome and examines the history, politics, economics, religion, social structure, public services, and various aspects of daily life in the city from its beginning to the 4th century CE. The secondary focus of the course is to consider the achievements of Roman culture and the impression it has made on Western civilization up to contemporary society. The course has quite a few on-site visits.
Ancient Roman Art
This survey course covers a broad chronological range from the archaic to the late antique, and focuses primarily on the artifacts and how they reflect and chronicle the history of Rome. The course seeks to define what is Roman about Roman art, essentially an eclectic, synthetic mix of styles and traditions from other cultures, primarily from Italy (e.g., Etruria, Latium) as well as various areas of Greek culture acquired with the expansion of the Roman Empire. The course considers bronze and marble sculpture, state relief sculpture, portraiture, mosaics, and wall paintings in their original architectural contexts, whenever possible. It also addresses the role of the patrons, the nationality of artists, and the technical production of the works of art (e.g., quarrying, stone carving, bronze casting), as well as the social-historical and religious significance of Roman art. Site visits will focus on the major monuments and museum collections in Rome.
The millennium following the collapse of the Roman Empire saw the development in Europe of a radically new form of civilization that we now call “medieval.” With its nuns and monks, knights and nobles, artists and troubadours, plagues and famines, castles and cathedrals, crusades, and cities, the Middle Ages left an indelible mark on the Western world. Rome played a key role in medieval Western civilization and was the center of a longlasting tradition of pilgrimage to the apostles’ and martyrs’ relics preserved in its many churches. This course is intended as a broad survey of medieval culture and history with a specific emphasis on Rome—taking advantage of the city’s abundance of medieval monuments and works of art: mosaics and paintings, sculptures, and religious architecture. These works will be analyzed in comparison to the artistic production of the rest of Europe, the Byzantine East, and such other cultural contexts as the Islamic world. Roman culture and history will also be considered in the larger framework of medieval culture and history, and the reading of relevant historical and literary texts will complete the course.
Renaissance Art in Rome
This course covers the art and architecture of Rome, from the return of the pope from Avignon around 1420 to the Council of Trent in 1545, with particular attention to the renovated papal majesty and its visual expression. Successors of Peter, heirs of the emperors, and yet akin with many other biblical and classical figures, the Renaissance popes created the basis for an ideology that had an immediate impact on the physical structure of the city. The rediscovery of ancient statuary; the classical topoi of pictorial description (ekphrasis); the concepts of architectural symmetry, axiality, and focus; and the revival of the rhetoric of “praise and blame” became the ideal means for the restoration of Christendom’s capital. Artists such as Masolino, Masaccio, Fra Angelico, Bramante, Raphael, and Michelangelo came to Rome—at the service of popes, cardinals, and nobles—for the renovatio urbis, the monumental project that aimed to restore the city as a universal mirror of the Greco-Roman and Judeo- Christian civilizations.
Gender Wars in Early Modern Italy
From the 14th to the 17th centuries, a vivacious intellectual debate on women took place in Europe. This course focuses on the Italian—by far the most prolific and influential—contribution to that polemic, also known in French as the querelle des femmes or the “woman question.” We will read some of the canonical texts of the Italian Renaissance such as Francesco Barbaro’s On Wifely Duties and Baldesar Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier as well as dialogues and treatises by women authors, only recently available in English translation, such as Moderata Fonte’s The Worth of Women and Tullia d’Aragona’s Dialogue On the Infinity of Love. The course aims to explore the construction of gender in a wide range of genres—lives of illustrious women, household management literature, conduct manuals, dialogues, and polemical treatises—and authors at a time when the formation of the self (and of the other) occupies public critical debate. The issue of gender is clearly at the heart of that process of identity formation and we will explore how it is constructed and functions. The course also aims to introduce you to a number of important cultural debates that took place in the Italian Renaissance such as the role of the individual in the polis; the development of manners and public behavior; and the function of love.
Rome: The Age of the Baroque
This course analyzes the masterpieces of Roman Baroque art and architecture from the end of the 16th century to the beginning of the 18th century. While analyzing urbanism, architecture, sculpture, and painting by some of the major artists of the period (Caravaggio, Bernini, Borromini, Cortona), the course considers the artistic trends that characterize the patterns of patronage in Counter-Reformation and Baroque Rome. Special attention will be given not only to the literary sources that shaped art theory, practice, and criticism, but also to important issues such as propaganda, the viewer’s emotional engagement, and the artist’s social status. This course explores such themes as the unity of the visual arts, rhetorical effects, artistic rivalry, scenic urbanism, the relation between art and poetry, the use of classical and “bizarre” vocabulary, the concept of the pastoral, the representation of ecstasy, and the idealization of death. Each art work, building, or urban plan will be studied as a document to understand broader concepts related to politics, religion, music, science, theater, and philosophy.
Culture and Identity in Modern Italy
The course explores culture and identity in Italy, starting from the Italian historical awareness that emerged in the 19th-century foundation of the nation, up to the present day. The focus is on culture and identity in the 20th century. Various materials and techniques will be used, including lectures and readings, the screening of video material, and the study of audio recordings. By the end of the course, you will attain a significant understanding of the variety of cultures in modern Italy, as well as master an analytical framework for understanding everyday life in this country. The course carries up to contemporary times with an exploration of the impact global trends have had on Italian culture, particularly with reference to contemporary popular music.
Sociology of Rome
The course explores social and political issues concerning the city of Rome. It provides background on the role of the city in the unification of Italy, and then focuses on the period following the Second World War. Topics include the image of Rome in popular culture, the modern evolution of the city as a physical entity, the migration of southerners to the city, the dynamics of family, and the role of gender. Soccer is examined with particular reference to citizen participation. Local criminality is put in a national context. Other topics include the church, education system, and government. Final consideration is given to Rome as a European capital city. Throughout the course, attention is paid to relevant administrative issues and social contexts in an attempt to grasp Italian and European perspectives of Rome. The course includes visits to historic parts of the city, a major public housing project, and an area noted for excellence in developing the extreme periphery.
Making Italians: Nation and Identity in Modern Italy
This course will engage with contemporary debates on the origins and development of national identities and nationalist ideologies, using modern Italy as a case study. Although Italy has been a nation state since 1861, scholars across a variety of disciplines have argued that the political unification of the peninsula did not reflect a widespread Italian identity. Indeed, many living within the borders of the newly created state remained ignorant of or actively resisted such identification so that even the architects of Italian unification recognized a need to “make Italians.” Subsequent governments undertook various social and cultural policies aimed at instilling a sense of national community. This course will trace the fluctuating fortunes of national
identity in Italy, focusing on four periods when major social, political, and economic transformations have brought the issue into dramatic focus. After an introduction to theories of nationalism, we will examine Italian unification and early nation-building efforts, the Fascist period, the “boom” years after WWII, and finally the immigration waves of recent decades.
The Urban History of Rome: A Survey of Roman Urbanism from Antiquity to the 20th Century
Emperors, popes, kings, and dictators have left indelible marks on the city of Rome. This course explores street planning from antiquity to the Fascist regime under Benito Mussolini in the 1940s. We will discuss the politics of urban planning, the mythology of Rome as caput mundi (“head of the world”), and the physical city and its infrastructure. This survey considers the practicalities of urbanism: how streets were planned and funded, which planners and agencies were involved, and what laws governed the process. Further topics include street design and the model of long, straight roads with vistas; the importance of urbanism and how projects symbolically expressed power and strategy; and the representation of the city and the early science of cartography. Class discussions include examples of architecture and major architects in this context.
Courses may apply toward GE/breadth, major, or minor requirements with the approval of individual UC departments and colleges. The Study Center does not determine the applicability of its courses to your particular set of major, minor, or general education requirements; this is determined by your UC campus.
The core courses are designed by UC faculty to utilize the opportunities in Rome, especially for studying art history, history, architecture, literature, archaeology, anthropology, and sociology.
You are required to enroll in at least one core course that covers a historical period previous to 1850.
All core courses are upper division. The coursework is rigorous; be prepared for an academically challenging semester. All courses involve writing research papers in English (a total of 2,300 words minimum) as well as regularly scheduled midterm and final exams.
Classes are held Monday through Thursday with some required activities on weekends. Do not make weekend travel plans until after you arrive in Rome and learn what classes you will be taking.
After being accepted into the program, and once the courses for the term have been confirmed at the Study Center in Rome, the Study Center will e-mail you instructions on course selection. This will be approximately 4–5 weeks prior to the start of the program. An initial e-mail will provide you with a link to course offerings for your term and the calendar of classes. A second e-mail will give you a password to pre-enroll in classes. Bear in mind that due to space limitations for the site visits, enrollment to all courses is capped. Therefore, respond immediately to the second pre-enrollment e-mail, as class placement takes place primarily on a first-come, first-served basis, though other factors are also considered. It is important to respond quickly to the enrollment notice from UCEAP. This is especially important if you need courses to fulfill requirements on your home UC campus.
Occasionally, site visits are scheduled for Fridays, sometimes even on weekends. Additional costs for museum entrances, bus rentals, or performances are associated with most courses. These are referred to as lab fees and must be paid to the ACCENT front desk by the end of the second week of classes. Depending on the course, lab fees can range from €10 to more than €130 per course, but on average, you will be required to pay about €60 per core course. Be prepared to pay these fees out of pocket.
Grades for the fall semester are usually available in February and grades for the spring semester are usually available in July.
For more information about grades, see the Academic Information
chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
Internships for academic credit are possible on this program. Past students have participated in internships in the fields of Art History, Contemporary Art, Architecture, Political Science and Leadership, Travel Writing, Marketing, TV Journalism, TV Production, Culture and Arts, New Media, Urban Planning, Teaching English, Editorial Work, and Theater Production Assistant.
There are many opportunities for internships throughout the city of Rome. If you have a specific field that you are interested in working in, contact UCEAP to be put in touch with the UC Rome Study Center. Please do not contact any organizations directly, the UC Rome Study Center can help you get in touch with the appropriate internship supervisor.
If you decide to participate in an internship for academic credit in Rome, you will enroll in a 1-UC quarter unit Internship course that introduces you to the Italian workforce and workplace environment. Your internship will be in addition to your 4 required courses for the program. You cannot replace one of your core courses with an internship.
Extending UCEAP Participation
Plan Ahead to Extend
If possible, use this program to prepare for further study of Italian in the Language & Culture, UC Center Florence program. You also have the option to extend from the Rome fall program to the Rome spring program. You may have a maximum of five quarters (three semesters) of university-level Italian at the end of the Rome semester to qualify for extension to these programs.
If you are considering extension, complete the UCEAP Departmental and College Preliminary Approval to Extend (DPA) form before departure. Once abroad, you must complete either the Request for Final Approval or the Petition to Extend before the November 1 deadline (for extension from fall to spring programs) or the April 1 deadline (for spring to summer programs).
You must meet program requirements and have the approval of the Academic Director and your UC campus to extend to another program in Italy. The Academic Director will determine your level of language competency. If you meet all program requirements and the extension is approved, you will have to extend your residence permit (permesso di soggiorno).
Once your extension has been approved, UCEAP will notify your UC campus registrar, Financial Aid Office, and Campus EAP Office. For information about the steps you need to take in regards to finances, see the Extension of Participation
chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
Get acquainted with Italy and its culture before you leave the U.S. Travel guides and travel-related websites such as Lonely Planet
and Urban Lowdown
are excellent resources. UCEAP recommends that you buy a guidebook for Rome; Georgina Masson’s The Companion Guide to Rome
and Blue Guide Rome
are both highly recommended.
Keep up with current events by reading articles in newspapers, magazines, and journals. Check out the ACCENT Blog
for up-to-date information on things to do and see in Rome.
You will also need to understand the local culture and history. It is a very exciting time to travel to Italy and, if you are prepared, you will find this time even more rewarding.
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
Attendance at all orientation sessions is mandatory (UCEAP Student Agreement, Section 10). If you miss the orientations, you may be dismissed from UCEAP.
The program begins with an orientation, during which you will learn important information about academic, logistic, and cultural aspects of your stay in Rome. This introduction to life and study in Rome will help you adjust as quickly as possible to the new city and culture surrounding you.
The specific arrival date, time, and meeting place for the orientation are listed in the UCEAP Predeparture Checklist. Bring your passport and residence permit papers in order to complete the check-in.
Short walking tours will introduce you to the UC/ACCENT facilities and the area around the Study Center in central Rome.
A group welcome dinner is held during the first full week of the program.
Travel to Your Host Country
Travel Arrangements & Arrival
Be sure to note the program start date and time before purchasing an airline ticket!
You must make and pay for your own travel arrangements (even if you are on financial aid). You are strongly urged to purchase a changeable roundtrip airline ticket. You may wish to contact fellow UCEAP students to discuss the possibility of making joint travel plans.
Detailed arrival information, including Study Center contact information and directions to Rome are provided in the Arrival Information Sheet in the online UCEAP Predeparture Checklist. Carry this information with you to Italy.
You are responsible for arriving at the specified location in Italy on the required date and time for the official start of the program. The Official Start Date and Time are listed in the program calendar. If you fail to appear on the Official Start Date, you will be subject to dismissal from the program (Student Agreement).
The start date and calendar of the program can change due to unforeseen circumstances. You are responsible for making modifications in your travel itinerary to accommodate such changes. UCEAP is not responsible for any unrecoverable transportation charges incurred for independent travel arrangements. In order to be kept informed of any program changes, you must update MyEAP with any changes in your address, phone number, or e-mail, and notify the UCEAP Systemwide Office that changes have been made.
If you feel more comfortable traveling with a companion, contact fellow UCEAP students at your home campus to discuss the possibility of making joint travel plans. You can also look for a travel companion on the UCEAP Italy Facebook
Provide a copy of your itinerary to ACCENT by the deadline indicated in the Predeparture Checklist. Inform ACCENT of any changes to your itinerary thereafter.
All non-U.S. citizens must arrange for round-trip flights prior to departure, as proof of a round-trip ticket will be requested by the Italian consulate for visa purposes.
Additional information about passports, visas, and other required documents is provided in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
and in the UCEAP online Predeparture Checklist.
You need a passport at the time you apply for the program. If you do not already have a passport, you must apply for one immediately, and you may need to expedite it. The regular process can take approximately four to eight weeks.
Passports must be valid at least three months beyond the end date of the program. If your passport will expire before that time, you will need to obtain a new one before you can apply for a student visa.
It is recommended that you scan your passport and e-mail a copy to yourself. This will speed up the replacement process if it is lost or stolen.
The way your name is spelled, abbreviated, punctuated, etc., on your passport must be exactly the same in MyEAP and on all other documents submitted with your visa application. Even minor discrepancies can cause big problems.
You must obtain a student visa prior to departure to Italy.
A visa is a stamp placed in your passport by the authorities of Italy. The visa grants you permission to reside and study in Italy. You may not study in Italy without a student visa unless you have Italian or EU citizenship.
To apply for the visa:
- Determine the Italian consulate for your campus (listed in the UCEAP Predeparture Checklist)
- Collect the documents listed in the visa instructions of the UCEAP Predeparture Checklist.
- Submit the required documents, along with your passport, to the Italian consulate by the deadline indicated. This deadline is approximately 60 days before the program start date. (You can apply no earlier than 90 days prior to the program start date.)
- You must apply in person.
Use the visa instructions and sample application in the UCEAP Predeparture Checklist. Note that there are specific instructions for different campuses. Read the visa instructions carefully. They are detailed and it is important that you follow them precisely; if you fail to do so you may not receive a visa. The requirements are different for the Los Angeles and San Francisco consulates. To avoid delays (and last minute panic) apply as early as possible for your visa.
Keep copies of all the forms you submit to the Italian consulate for your records!
Special Note for Non-U.S./Non-EU Citizens
If you are planning to travel outside of Italy during or after the program, investigate the requirements to do so as there may be visa restrictions for certain countries.
If you are a non-U.S. citizen, you are required to have a valid passport and a residence permit, plus proof of permission to reenter the U.S. You will also need to provide proof of your return flight to the U.S.
European Union citizens do not need a visa or a residence permit, but will be required to register with the local authorities. Study Center staff will help you with this procedure.
Travel Before or After Your Program
You must submit your actual passport to the consulate 60-90 days prior to the start date of your program. It may not be returned for several weeks; therefore, be careful when planning international travel before your program. It may be possible to obtain a second, temporary passport to use while your regular passport is surrendered to the Italian consulate. Contact the U.S. Passport Agency
for more information.
UCEAP recommends that you do not plan to depart for your program more than a week or two prior to the program start date due to the lengthy visa process. It is best to travel after the completion of your program. If you are a U.S. citizen, you may travel in Europe for up to 90 days total before or after the validity date of your visa.
Non-U.S. citizens must check for their own requirements.
Residence Permit (Permesso di Soggiorno)
After your arrival in Rome, Study Center staff will help you obtain a residence permit for foreigners (permesso di soggiorno). You must provide the local authorities with specific documents, including certificates of financial guarantee. Refer to the Predeparture Checklist for specific requirements. You must have all of these documents ready to submit upon your arrival in Rome. The residence permit is approximately €156. You will need to pay for this in cash (euros) when you apply.
The permesso di soggiorno is required for legal residence in Italy. You will be deported if you fail to secure the permesso di soggiorno. Neither ACCENT nor UCEAP will refund any fees paid for the program in this case, and no academic credit will be awarded.
Identify each item of luggage on the inside and outside with your name, home address, and destination. To avoid theft, never leave your luggage unattended.
When traveling, always carry your passport, visa, ticket, prescription medications, and money. Never put valuables in your checked luggage. Luggage restrictions vary by airline. Most carriers have baggage restrictions.
- Comfortable walking shoes for the cobblestone streets
- Warm clothes for the winter
- Clothing that can be layered
- Residence permit documents (see specifics in your Predeparture Checklist)
- Prescription medication (for information see the Health chapter of this guide)
- School supplies, such as a clip board for taking notes during site visits, notebooks, pencils, and pens, which are much more expensive in Italy
- A shawl or scarf for ladies, to cover bare shoulders when visiting churches
- One dressy outfit for formal occasions
- Any sports attire you may need
- Vitamins (they are expensive in Italy)
- Mosquito repellent for the warmer months
Clothing in Italy is generally stylish and more expensive than in California. Take clothing that is easy to care for, a dressy outfit for more formal occasions, and comfortable, sturdy walking shoes with thick soles for the wet weather. Flip-flops will mark you as an American tourist and short shorts may attract unwanted attention; avoid wearing them. Modest clothing is required when visiting churches or other holy sites. Females will not be allowed to enter many churches with bare shoulders; either wear a shirt with sleeves or wear a shawl. No one is allowed into the major basilicas wearing shorts of any length.
The UCEAP student budget does not include funds for the purchase of clothing abroad.
The voltage in Europe is 220–240 rather than the standard U.S. 110 volts, and the electrical outlets are different than those in the U.S. A plug adapter is used to fit plugs on appliances from the U.S. into European outlets. A voltage converter changes your appliance’s voltage from the U.S. standards to European standards. All electrical appliances provide information about their voltage, usually on a label attached to the appliance. If your appliance indicates 110–240 volts, you will only need an adapter to use it in Italy. If it indicates only 110, you will need a voltage converter with round European plug prongs.
Converters do not work with blow-dryers, alarm clocks, electric razors, and some other appliances, especially over a period of time. It is best to purchase such items when you arrive in Italy since they are inexpensive. Because the cost of electricity abroad is high and improper use of appliances may damage electrical outlets and the appliances, it is a good policy to ask before using the outlets.
Insurance for Personal Possessions
Understanding Your Finances
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Always remember to take your passport when making financial transactions abroad.
AmEx maintains a wire service, and transfers from the U.S. generally take two business days to arrive. You may receive funds directly in AmEx Travelers Cheques. In Rome there is an AmEx office located at Piazza di Spagna 38.
There is also a Western Union near the Study Center (as well as several other areas throughout the city) where you can have money wired to you.
Plan your finances carefully to avoid the need to have additional funds sent from home. Plan for independent travel expenses as well as all incidentals not covered by the program.
The Study Center has a computer lab with 12 workstations and two laser printers, plus a wireless area for students with laptops equipped with wireless network cards (WiFi cards). The Study Center computer lab is available from 8:45 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays.
Be aware that Skype, YouTube, and Facebook are blocked at the Study Center due to limited bandwidth.
There is low bandwidth wireless Internet available at Residence Trastevere. Computers are not provided, so you must have access to a laptop with a wireless card if you want to use the Internet. Be aware that this wireless service is provided and managed entirely by Residence Trastevere and neither UC nor ACCENT is able to resolve any service problems that may arise.
There is no Internet access in the homestays; however, a limited number of USB Internet access keys are available for rent at 15 euro (for the semester) plus usage costs.
Privately owned apartments have wireless Internet service.
You must check with your campus regarding access to the California Digital Library from off-campus locations. This is important, as research materials in English are limited in Italy.
You are encouraged to take a laptop to Rome. It will be very useful for your classwork.
Be certain you have the right type of plug adapter, and closely follow the instructions you will be sent via e-mail prior to departure. Review the personal property insurance benefits in the UCEAP Insurance Plan
to verify your laptop will be fully covered in case of loss or theft. You may also consider buying Lojack for Laptops
and/or a laptop lock.
Do not ship your laptop to Italy. Your laptop may be held for inspection by customs officials and customs fees are costly, even for older laptops.
Have a wireless card installed in your computer in order to access the WiFi network at the Study Center.
In most cyber cafés, it is not possible to connect laptop computers to the Internet, but Rome does have several open-air WiFi spots.
You can call the U.S. from Italy by dialing 001 + area code + phone number.
There are phones in some of the privately owned apartments. All apartments in the Residence Trastevere have telephones, but they do not dial out; they can only be used to receive calls. If you live in a homestay, you will need to make arrangements for telephone use with your host.
You are advised to have a cell phone while in Rome. They are particularly useful for emergencies. You can purchase one from a returning Italy student at your campus or after arriving in Italy. The phones may be sold after the term to future Italy students at home. If you own a smartphone, check with your provider about using it abroad. There may be inexpensive options available.
One of the most popular means of communication is using the Internet to make phone calls at an inexpensive rate. Skype
is a free option for computer to computer calls made through the Internet. SkypeOut is a Skype service through which you or your parents can charge the account to make calls to regular landlines and cell phones. You are advised to buy a headset in the U.S. where electronics generally cost less.
is another option for Internet calls offering competitive rates.
With the popularity of cell phones, pay phones are gradually being phased out in Rome. Most of the remaining ones work on a phone card system. Prepaid Italian phone cards (scheda telefonica) are available at the post office, tobacco shops (tabacchi), and cafés. Inexpensive phone cards for use with apartment landlines can be economical. International calling cards purchased in the U.S. are the most expensive way to call home, and students often find that they do not work when used abroad. The calling cards purchased in Italy are less expensive and more effective. The “Europa” and “Happiness Plus” cards tend to have the best rates for calling the U.S. and are available at most newsstands and tobacco shops. A card from a long-distance provider such as AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint will allow calls to be billed to your home phone account.
During orientation, you will receive detailed information about the various ways to call home, recommended phone cards, and buying a cell phone in Italy.
Luggage and packages may not be sent prior to your arrival.
You will receive your permanent address when you arrive in Rome. Any mail sent before you receive your address should be sent to the Study Center.
c/o ACCENT/UC Rome Study Center
piazza dell’Orologio, 7
00186 Rome, ITALY
Mailing packages to Italy can take as long as one month. If you do decide to have packages sent, advise your family and friends to declare a very low value for the package and note that it is “personal or used property” to avoid extra charges. All packages must clear customs, and you will be charged 20 percent VAT (Value Added Tax).
Never try to send medication, food, or electronic goods (including computers, hard drives, etc.) as they will be held in customs. It is best to send packages to Italy via FedEx, UPS, or a similar service.
You can purchase postage stamps at the post office or at tobacconists where the “T” for tabacchi sign is displayed.
Privately owned apartments vary in size and layout. The apartments range from one to four bedrooms and are equipped with full kitchen facilities. There are two to three people per bedroom for a maximum of eight students per apartment. All apartments are single sex. A limited number of single bedrooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis for a supplemental fee. There is a common space in every apartment. Common spaces may include a living room, balcony, terrace, garden, or a large kitchen where you can cook and dine.
All apartments are fully furnished with ample closet space, couches, and desks or tables. Other amenities include a color TV, washing machine, fans, bed linens, and towels. Students are responsible for their own cleaning. Reasonable usage of utilities is included in the program fees. All apartments have low bandwidth wireless Internet.
The commute from the privately owned apartments to the UC/ACCENT Study Center takes about 30–45 minutes by foot or public transportation. Privately owned apartments are not necessarily located in the same area as the Residence Trastevere or other apartments.
The Residence Trastevere is a residence complex in the Trastevere neighborhood of central Rome. These spacious, single-sex apartments house four to eight students in a combination of double or triple rooms with single beds; a desk and wardrobe are provided for each student. A limited number of single bedrooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis for a supplemental fee. Each apartment layout is unique, but all provide similar amenities (e.g., full kitchen facilities with a refrigerator, oven, and washing machine, a television, a common area, and a full bathroom). No more than five people will share a bathroom. All apartments have phones, but only for incoming calls; outgoing service is not provided. Reasonable usage of utilities is included in the program fees. Low bandwidth wireless Internet in included.
All bedding and towels are provided in Residence Trastevere. The apartments are lightly cleaned twice weekly.
The complex houses approximately 250 people. The residence is not open to the public; however non-UCEAP American students and others will be living in the same buildings. If you live in the residence, you will receive one key for the main entrance and one for your apartment. A staffed reception desk is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily and a security guard is on duty after hours (8 p.m.–8 a.m.). Guests may visit only between the hours of 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. Overnight guests are not allowed and all visiting guests must leave ID (passport, driver’s license, etc.) at the reception or with the security guard.
Italian law regulates noise levels. You will sign a residence contract agreeing to housing rules and disciplinary procedures.
The neighborhood surrounding the residence offers a wide array of commercial services: Laundromats, restaurants, supermarkets, corner stores, retail stores, newsstands, public transportation by bus and tram, and a large, weekly open air market. An on-site gym is available at extra cost for students in Residence Trastevere.
The residence location is approximately a 30- to 45-minute commute by foot or public transportation to the UC/ACCENT Study Center.
Homestays are available in private host homes in Rome. These host families are not necessarily traditional, but may include single parents, retirees, or widows. All Italian homestay providers have experience in hosting foreign students and are encouraged to speak Italian in the home to help you integrate into Italian life and culture. Homestay providers are screened by the ACCENT Housing Coordinator.
You will have a single bedroom and a shared or private bathroom. There may also be other students living in the home. The details of your particular homestay will be provided in a housing orientation when you arrive.
In the homestay, you will be provided with breakfast Monday through Friday and dinners Monday through Thursday. (A homestay may not be suitable if you have particular dietary restrictions such as a vegan or low carb diet.)
You will be entitled to do one load of laundry per week. A normal load is considered to be approximately 5 kilos (11 pounds). Wireless Internet is not provided or available in the homestay, but you may rent a USB Internet access key to be used at your own expense.
The commute from the homestay to the Study Center may take 30–45 minutes by public transportation.
Many Italians, and Europeans in general, vacation in August. For this reason, you may not be able to move in with your homestay family immediately upon arrival in Rome. In this case, you would stay at Residence Trastevere for the first few days of your program. You will receive a food allowance for these days.
Applying for Housing
You are required to live in UCEAP-sponsored housing. Detailed housing information is provided in your online Predeparture Checklist. Read the housing information and complete the housing preference form. You will choose which type of housing you prefer (shared apartment, Residence Trastevere, or a homestay). The housing preference form must be returned to ACCENT by the deadline. Your first preference is not guaranteed.
All housing placements are final for the entire duration of the program. Read the housing descriptions and list your choices in order of preference. Ask questions if there is something that you do not understand. If you do not return your housing preference form by the deadline, you will be assigned a place in whichever housing option remains available.
You will receive an e-mail 2–4 weeks prior to your departure that will state your housing assignment. Specific housing details (e.g., room assignments, address, and roommates) will be communicated when you arrive in Rome. Most students will stay in privately owned, shared apartments.
Upon arrival in Rome, you will check in at a designated location and will receive detailed information regarding your housing. You will be responsible for your own transportation to your accommodations. If you arrive before the official arrival date, you will be responsible for arranging your own accommodations until the program starts.
Paying for Housing
Your housing costs are included in your UCEAP fees. The UCEAP Student Budget, located on the UCEAP website, provides an estimate of the costs. The actual cost of each option is listed in the UCEAP Rome Housing Information sheet included in your online Predeparture Checklist. The housing cost in the UCEAP Student Budget is based on rooms in privately owned, shared apartments. If you choose other housing, your UCEAP student account will be adjusted accordingly. Your UCEAP account will be charged the entire cost of your rent, regardless of your housing option. Amounts are always listed in euros on the housing information sheet, but you will be billed in U.S. dollars at the applicable exchange rate at the time of billing.
There is a non-refundable housing deposit billed through your UCEAP fees. You will sign an ACCENT housing contract, which is included in the Predeparture Checklist. The ACCENT cancellation fees are outlined in the Predeparture Checklist as well as the UCEAP Student Budget.
Overnight guests are strictly prohibited by Italian law. The ACCENT staff can provide information about hostels and hotels in the area for visitors. You may have visitors to your apartment but they are not allowed to stay after midnight. Disciplinary action, which may include dismissal from UCEAP, will be taken if you are found to have guests in your apartment after midnight. Please note that all occupants in an apartment are held responsible if one roommate hosts a guest after midnight.
Living in Rome
Living in a centuries-old city is a memorable experience for visitors to Italy, but with the beauty and history there is a small price to pay; you will not have all the conveniences of a UC campus. Apartment utilities may be less reliable, travel time between your home and the Study Center may be much longer than you are used to, and public transportation may not always be reliable. Apartments may not have elevators, so be prepared to get some exercise on the stairs.
The city of Rome will become your campus. This creates an opportunity to enrich your experience by living and learning the lifestyle of the local culture.
A group welcome dinner is held during the first week and a farewell dinner during the last week. No other meals are provided except in the homestay option. All apartments include kitchen facilities with stoves, dishes, and refrigerators, and students often cook meals together. There are plenty of markets with all kinds of food available, including fresh produce and legumes for vegetarian options. Eating out is generally a little more expensive in Italy than it is in California; however, you can find inexpensive restaurants away from the popular tourist areas.
The UC/ACCENT Study Center highly recommends that you purchase a Rome guidebook; in particular, they recommend Georgina Masson’s The Companion Guide to Rome (one of the best English‑language guides to Rome).
Rome has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trams, local trains, and an underground metro. Individual bus, metro, or tram tickets cost €1,50; a monthly pass costs €34. One-day, three-day, and week-long passes are also available. The monthly pass is the most economical option, and UCEAP highly recommends that you purchase one for commuting, site visits, recreation, etc.
Tickets for local buses and trains are purchased before boarding and they are validated once on board. Tickets can be purchased from tobacco shops, newsstands, and some automatic machines. Fines for riding without a ticket (random inspections do take place) are generally about €51–€101 if paid up front and higher if they cannot be paid immediately.
Be aware that transportation workers can strike at any time. Always be prepared to walk to class and make any necessary changes to your schedule. The UC/ACCENT Study Center is located in central Rome. From the center of the city, many destinations are more easily reached by walking.
Travel throughout Italy
The UCEAP Student Budget does not include funds for recreational travel.
Do not make travel plans until after you are in Rome and know your schedule. There are often site visits on Fridays and Saturdays, and occasionally on Sundays. These site visits are considered course time and they cannot be missed. You will have to change any prearranged travel plans if they interfere with your classes. (Students in the past have lost money because they cannot get refunds for fees already paid out to companies, such as airlines.)
The Touring Club Italiano (TCI) publishes good Italian travel guides. These books summarize the geography and history of each area and provide the locations and details about important monuments. They include good maps and bibliographies. Other recommended guides are Blue Guides to Rome, South Italy, North Italy, Florence, and Venice. The UC/ACCENT Study Center also has guidebooks for loan.
Sporting facilities are available for a fee and you are encouraged to take advantage of the wide range of activities that may be available, such as dance classes (classical, modern, hip hop, tango, and ballo liscio), basketball, soccer, yoga, and swimming; or guided walks around different neighborhoods of the city. Gyms and swimming pools are widely available in Rome, but be prepared to pay for access.
The ACCENT staff is available to assist you with finding activities in which you are interested.
Students with Disabilities
Note-takers and tutors may be available, but there may be expenses involved. In general, professors are more than willing to give extra time for exams.
Be flexible; you will find accessibility and accommodations different from the United States. The UC/ACCENT Study Center has restroom facilities and elevators for students with disabilities.
Within the city of Rome, some but not all metro stations are wheelchair-accessible. Equipped stations are: Cipro (near the Residence Trastevere), Baldo degli Ubaldi, Termini (main train station), Cinecitta’, Sub Augusta, Furio Camillo, Pontelungo, Re di Roma, Valle Aurelia, Battistini, Colosseo, Circo Massimo, and all the stops of the B line except Cavour.
Some buses have wheelchair access, but service is inconsistent.
In Italy, many sidewalks lack ramps and some streets lack sidewalks altogether. While some major sights and hotels have put time and planning into ensuring accessibility, there are others that lack ramps, elevators, or accessible bathrooms. Advance planning can go a long way in making a difference in accommodation for students with disabilities.
The UCEAP student budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
Working Abroad and Volunteer Opportunities
With a study visa, you are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week in Italy. Babysitting and teaching English pay quite well. Past UCEAP participants have also worked as waiters and DJs. Two sources for job ads are Craigslist and Wanted in Rome
You are strongly encouraged to get actively involved in the community, get to know locals, and practice your Italian through volunteer activities. The ACCENT/ UC Rome Study Center has established opportunities for you to engage in a service-learning project, where you can learn while contributing to the local community. The Study Center maintains a full list of volunteer opportunities. Let the staff know if you are interested.
The following are just some of the opportunities available in Rome:
- Teaching English to small children, teens, university students, or professionals
- Helping children with homework (in English or Hebrew) and playing games with them
- Assisting at a refugee center or a soup kitchen
- Teaching computer skills
- Assisting in a cat sanctuary (includes giving tours in English to tourists)
- Editorial internships (not for credit)
Most students expect to quickly adapt to their new culture—and they need to adjust rapidly if they are to effectively meet the academic demands placed upon them. Culture shock is a normal developmental phase of adjustment to a new cultural environment. It is not a psychological disorder. Most students who experience culture shock function reasonably well under the stress and are able to keep up with the responsibilities of school and everyday life. Culture shock is usually transitory—lasting a couple of weeks—and does not imply mental illness or an inability to cope. However, there are occasions when the experience of culture shock can stir up deeper emotional issues such as suicidal thoughts. These reactions should not be ignored; if they persist, a student needs to immediately seek help.
Moving to a different country for an academic term can mean the loss of a support network, a routine, and a familiar environment. A student’s secure sense of identity can also be lost. Similar transitional challenges occur when the student is ending the study abroad experience and getting ready to return home.
If you find that you cannot manage a healthy transition, contact the local staff for help in setting up appointments and paying directly for services through the UCEAP insurance.
The incidence of violent crime in Rome is low in comparison to many major U.S. cities. However, minor crime continues to be a persistent problem. Most crimes tend to be non-violent and directed toward obtaining property such as purse-snatching, pick-pocketing, and residential and vehicle break-ins. Purses are either outright grabbed or straps are slashed by a person on foot (most commonly by a person on a motor scooter). The Centro Storico (city center) has the highest incidence of these types of crimes.
Well-organized pickpocket rings are a continual problem in Italy. Generally, pickpockets work in small groups of two or three individuals. One or two individuals distract the victim while another person steals a wallet or purse/bag.
- Plan ahead when you are going to an unfamiliar part of the city so you do not have to pull out a map on a sidewalk. Always be aware of your surroundings. Exercise extra caution at night and at train stations, airports, nightclubs, bars, and outdoor cafés.
- Never carry large amounts of cash, and carry small amounts in more than one place in case you are robbed.
- Carry your wallet in a front or breast pocket—never in your back pocket— or carry money, credit cards, and important documents under your clothing, if possible. Carry your purse or bag with the strap diagonally across your chest. If you are using a backpack, do not store your camera or other valuables where they can be removed without notice.
- If you are on a public street, use your cell phone quickly and discretely and put it safely away. Cell phones are easily snatched in crowded cities.
- If you wear earphones while out and about in the city or on public transportation, be sure to have the volume low enough so you can hear what is going on around you.
- Never walk alone late at night; plan to take a taxi home or arrange to walk home with a friend.
- Never get into a car with a stranger or someone you just met.
- When in crowds or on public transportation, carry your backpack or bag in front of you where you can see it.
- Avoid putting yourself into risky or threatening situations.
Make a copy of the first page of your passport to use as a form of ID so you can leave your actual passport safe in your room. Immediately notify the nearest American embassy or consulate, local authorities, and the ACCENT staff if your passport is lost or stolen. Your U.S. driver’s license is not a valid ID abroad; leave it at home.
You are responsible for all of your belongings both inside and outside of program housing. Protecting your personal property against potential theft is often as simple as locking your doors and windows. Many thefts occur due to negligence in securing accommodations. Carry your room key and lock your room or apartment door whenever you are not inside, even for a short period of time. Intentionally leaving your door unlocked is just an opportunity for theft of property, your personal information, and more.
Demonstrations & Strikes
Strikes and other work stoppages occur frequently in the transportation sector (national airlines, airports, trains, and bus lines); most are announced in advance and are of short duration. Reconfirmation of domestic and international flight reservations is highly recommended.
Certain anti-globalization factions have been known to organize protests that have turned violent. Do not participate in demonstrations.
Traffic & Transportation Safety
The Polizia di Stato (state police) and local police are well trained and have adequate resources to offer good assistance to travelers. Response time is efficient in Rome.
Phone: (+39) 06-46741
via Vittorio Veneto 121
00187 Roma, ITALY
U.S. Citizen Services
Emergency Services: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (walk-in)
Non-Emergency Services: (e.g., passport renewal, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, and notarial): By appointment only. Go to the Department of State website to schedule an appointment.
For general inquiries, call (+39) 06 4674 2420/2421 between 3 and 5 p.m., e-mail email@example.com
, or fax (+39) 06 4674 2244
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