Approx. Time Difference
Add 9 hrs
- Pre-ILP + Fall
- Pre-ILP + Year
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.
Pre-Intensive Language Program
If you have not completed two years of Italian prior to departure, you are required to attend UCEAP’s ten-week summer pre-intensive language program (pre-ILP) held in Florence prior to the regularly scheduled ILP. You may also be required to take the pre-ILP if it is determined that your language preparation is inadequate. To better prepare for study in Italy, you are encouraged to take the pre-ILP regardless of your language level.
You are placed in the pre-ILP based on your language proficiency. The level of language instruction ranges from intermediate to advanced. Language classes meet four hours per day, Monday through Friday mornings. Cultural activities and special lectures are scheduled in the afternoons and evenings, and some excursions take place on Saturdays. The pre-ILP course focuses on grammar, conversation, and oral and written comprehension. The entire program carries a maximum of 13 UC quarter units (8.7 semester units), though you may elect to reduce the units to no lower than 3 UC quarter units (2 semester units) with no reduction in workload. The pre-ILP must be taken for a letter grade.
If you receive a B- or below as the final pre-ILP grade, you will be required to meet with the Study Center representative to discuss progress and conditions of continuation. For example, you may be required to take a tutorial support class during the ILP (two hours per week for four weeks). Eligibility for UCEAP immersion programs in Italy is based upon successful completion of two years of Italian coursework prior to participation; therefore, you may be dismissed from the program if you do not achieve a passing grade in the pre-ILP.
Pre-ILP Attendance Policy
Classes are held regularly Monday through Friday. There are some Saturday excursions. You are expected to attend all field exercises and guided tours, which are integral components of the courses. You are allowed one absence per class on the Pre-ILP program. Any absence beyond the limit will result in a deduction of a third of a grade (approximately 3%) from your final raw total. If you are absent due to a medical reason, you need to submit a doctor’s note. In addition, two tardies are equal to one unexcused absence (being 10 minutes late to class gives you a tardy). There are no exceptions. No make-ups are allowed for missed work. If you miss class when an assignment (quiz, written or oral test, paper due) is taking place, you must submit a valid doctor’s note in order to avoid getting an F grade for the assignment.
Intensive Language Program
Prior to the start of the academic year, you will participate in an orientation and four-week intensive language program (ILP). The ILP includes intensive training in grammar, composition, listening comprehension, reading and conversation, and an overview of Italian academic culture and institutions. Classes meet three hours daily, five days a week. There are also guest lectures, visits to museums, and a major field trip. The ILP is worth a maximum of 6 UC quarter units (4 semester units) of upper-division credit and must be taken for a letter grade. If you earn any grade below a B, you will be required to take additional language coursework during the regular academic term.
Fall and Spring Semesters
At the beginning of the academic term, the Academic Coordinator will meet with you to discuss your academic program for the term abroad. You will enroll in regular host university courses.
Since you are in a new academic system unlike that of UC, it may be prudent, initially, to enroll in more than the necessary number of courses in order to provide flexibility. Extra courses may be dropped from the UC Study List up to approximately the middle of the term. In some cases, host institutions may require making changes earlier in the term.
Once you and the Academic Coordinator determine your program of study, the courses are recorded on a Registration Study List, which you can access through MyEAP. You are responsible for entering all of your courses on the Study List. Any changes must be made by petition. Failure to submit a Study List will result in the loss of student status in both UCEAP and UC, and possible dismissal from UC, which carries serious financial consequences. You must also abide by host institution deadlines regarding changes, when applicable.
Graduate students can be accommodated in most fields at the University of Bologna.
The university is organized around its Facoltà, which include: Agriculture, Economics, Engineering, Industrial Chemistry, Law, Letters and Philosophy (including history, art history, anthropology, archaeology, classics, literature and Italian studies, communication, linguistics and philosophy), Education, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Mathematics, Medicine, Natural Sciences, Physics, Political Science, and Statistics.
You can study dramatic arts and music (through the Dipartimento di Musica e Spettacolo—MUSPE), communication, art history, history, film studies (not production), literature, political science, mathematics, natural sciences, and economics.
Art studio courses are offered at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna and are intended primarily for advanced level studio art students. Admission to courses is by consent of the instructor. Due to the late start of the academic calendar at the Accademia di Belle Arti, only students on the Year or Spring programs can take courses at this institution.
You can visit the University of Bologna
website for a list of courses that are available to students during the current academic year. You should also utilize the UCEAP Course Catalog
which contains information on all of the courses previously taken by UCEAP students.
Requirements & Course Registration
You are required to take at least 18 quarter units (12 semester units) per semester or 36 quarter units (24 semester units) during the academic year (not including units taken during the summer pre-ILP and/or the ILP).
You will register for courses after you arrive in Italy. The study center staff will provide you with information on how to register for courses during orientation.
Early Exit Exams
Since the fall semester extends into January, fall-only students need to coordinate with the study center to determine the availability of courses in their field of study that will allow early exams. It is not possible to arrange early exams for every course as departing by the end of December means not only needing an early exam but missing out on several weeks of a course. It is important to address this issue at the very beginning of the semester. The Study Center is available for advice.
In the Italian university system, grades are assigned on a scale from 10 to 30. An 18 is a pass. For most courses, the entire grade is based on one final oral examination. It is sometimes possible to arrange for oral examinations to be taken in a separate room rather than in a public lecture room with other students and faculty.
Some students have occasionally encountered language difficulties during their final oral exams; you are encouraged to continue strengthening your language abilities throughout the program. You are also encouraged to sit in on an oral exam session prior to your own to get an idea of what professors are asking and to see how the Italian students respond. This is not considered an unusual practice and is in fact generally done by Italian students as well.
Professors are increasingly requiring final papers of 10 to 15 pages. Study Center staff can arrange for aid in reviewing papers before you submit them.
Due to the fact that the fall semester ends in late January and the spring semester ends in late July, grades for the Bologna program are reported to the registrars much later than is typical for a UC quarter/semester. Do not expect your grades before mid-May for fall semester and mid-October for spring semester. Do not apply to graduate during your last semester on UCEAP, your grades will not be reported to your campus in time for degree verification deadlines.
For detailed information about grades, see the Academic Information
chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
The Study Center in Bologna is particularly active in helping qualified students arrange internship opportunities. Internships and other special studies enable you to become better integrated in Italian society while developing Itlian language skills in practical settings. Through internships in Bologna you are able to receive academic credit as well as practical work experience to help with your future career prospects.
Past UCEAP students have interned with the Bologna Film Festival, human rights organizations, LGBT archive and resource center, design managment firms, clothing companies, philanthropic programs, hospitals and medical wards, junior and high schools teaching English, radio stations, women's rights groups, tourist companies, and artist apprenticeships.
If you have a special interest, approach the Study Center staff after arrival with a proposed project plan to see if placement is possible. In all cases, you must consult with the Study Center to shape your internship and determine assessment requirements and number of units.
Extending UCEAP Participation
Get acquainted with your new host city, country, and culture before you leave the U.S. Travel guides and travel-related websites such as Lonely Planet
and Urban Lowdown
are excellent resources.
Keep up with current events by reading articles in newspapers, magazines, and journals. It is an exciting time to travel to Italy, and the more prepared you are, the more rewarding your experience will be.
- La Repubblica provides Italian national news daily.
- Ciao*Italy offers links to the most important daily national and local Italian newspapers.
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
There will be an orientation for each host university upon arrival. Attendance at the orientation is mandatory.
Pre-ILP students: You will have an orientation upon arrival in Florence and another one at your host university.
Orientations are designed to familiarize you with Italy and Italian culture, and to provide information on university registration practices, course selection, banking, transportation, housing, medical care, social and cultural activities, etc.
During orientation, you will participate in activities and guided excursions in the local vicinity.
Travel to Your Host Country
Insurance for Personal Possessions
Understanding Your Finances
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Some banks offer accounts for year-long students at competitive rates. The Study Center will provide more information during orientation. Students for the most part rely on their ATM cards to access their U.S. bank accounts. Personal checks are seldom used in Italy and never sent through the mail. Bills are paid in cash at the post office.
In Bologna, students have access to three hours of free wireless Internet access per day in certain areas of the city center and university area (currently this includes Piazza Maggiore, Via dell’ Archiginnasio, Via Rizzoli and Via Zamboni). You will need your University of Bologna ID and e-mail address in order to open an account at the Iperbole office. The Iperbole office is located in the main square (Piazza Maggiore). You can request this account at the same time as the three-hour wireless service. The Study Center also has wireless Internet access and three printers.
University of Bologna allows access to computer labs in various departments for e-mail and Internet, at the computer building on Via Zamboni 25 (with University of Bologna ID) and at the public library, Sala Borsa. Most students use their UC accounts and open a web-based account such as Gmail or Hotmail. You are strongly encouraged to take a laptop if you have one.
Bologna students: All mail, letters, and small packages can be sent to the Study Center.
Living independently or with American roommates can delay integration into the Italian community. UCEAP recommends that you seek out Italian roommates in order to achieve a truly educational and culturally rewarding experience.
TIP: Ask your Campus EAP Office for contact information for University of Bologna reciprocity students currently studying on your campus. They may have contacts for housing in Bologna, or be interested in sharing an apartment with you.
In Bologna, you will find housing on your own in apartments with Italian and other international students for the entire period of study, including the ILP. Most students secure housing before arriving in Bologna (through ex-students and the Internet), or within the first week of arrival. The Study Center will provide information to students who would like to stay in a hotel for the first few days of the ILP while they look for accommodations.
The Bologna Study Center will send group e-mails during the summer with housing offers from current UCEAP and Italian students. Some students in the pre-ILP make weekend trips to Bologna to secure housing.
Rented rooms and apartments vary in quality and convenience. Most apartments are furnished, but in some cases you will have to obtain your own linens, blankets, towels, dishes, and cooking utensils.
Cost, Payments and Contracts
You are responsible for the cost of room and board for the entire Bologna program. Prices vary in the general housing market, but the cost of a shared double room is about €250 per person. A single room in the center of the city will start at about €350. You will also pay about €50 a month for various utilities. You must pay the first and last months’ rent in advance along with a deposit equal to one to two months’ rent.
Payment will depend on the individual circumstances (for example, if you live in an apartment with three or four others, you might pay your part of the rent directly to the roommate who holds the contract; you might pay the landlord directly; or if you hold the contract, you might pay an agency). It is becoming increasingly common to pay the landlord by bank wire transfer from an Italian bank account. Most Italian banks offer this service (called “bonifico in contanti”) for a €6 fee even if you do not hold a bank account there.
Because standard contracts in Bologna are often for two to four years, most UCEAP students subcontract with a contract holder. Make sure that you receive some sort of written confirmation of the deposit you paid and the monthly rent. The Bologna Study Center has a template for an informal contract that you can use.
Your apartment is yours for the duration of your time in Bologna. In some cases, you will be asked to stay for a full year, which means you will be expected to pay for the following summer months as well (i.e., through August). Be sure to specify when negotiating your living arrangements that you are looking for accommodations for the academic semester or year only— occasionally special arrangements can be made.
Dependents are not allowed to live in UCEAP-sponsored housing during the pe-ILP. If you have dependents (spouse or children) explore your options thoroughly before departure from the U.S. Also, consult with UCEAP and contact the Study Center early for information about preliminary arrangements for private housing.
For locations of university cafeterias in Bologna, view the Unibo website.
You will be personally responsible for the cost of your food/ meals during the pre-ILP, ILP, and the regular academic term.
The typical modes of transportation in Florence are walking or taking the bus. You can purchase a monthly bus pass for €35. Make sure you ask for the Abbonamento Mensile (only EU citizens can get the student discounted monthly pass; non-EU citizens are not eligible). You can purchase individual tickets for €1,20 at any Tabacchi, or a card for 10 rides for €10. Riding the bus without a properly validated ticket is illegal and can incur hefty fines, and also gives Italians a bad impression of foreigners. Remember, we are all ambassadors of our home country as well as guests in Florence.
Most students walk, bike, or take the bus. Monthly bus passes are available for students for approximately €27/month.
One convenient way to get around in Italian cities is by bike. You can find used bicycles in bicycle repair shops or in announcements posted around the universities and also online. As theft is common, you should purchase a strong lock (U-lock or Kryptonite lock) and chain, and always lock the bike to a permanently fixed structure.
You must have a ticket to ride the bus. Inspectors will occasionally check passengers for tickets, and they will fine you if you do not have a properly validated ticket. Tickets can be purchased on some buses, and they can always be purchased at any tabaccheria and most newsstands.
Depending on the city, a regular bus ticket currently costs €1–1,50. You can purchase a pass for 10 trips at a reduced rate (the cost varies in different cities). In most cities, you can purchase a student bus pass at a discounted rate. Additional, detailed information regarding bus schedules, validating tickets, purchasing tickets, etc., will be given at the on-site orientation when you arrive.
Students with Disabilities
In general, professors are more than willing to give extra time for exams and even revise course programs to meet a student’s particular needs. Many university departments, which are housed in Medieval and Renaissance buildings, are not wheelchair accessible.
The UCEAP Student Budget does not include funds for recreational travel.
Do not try to handle things on your own. It may be hard to admit that you need help. Most of all it may be hard to seek help. But in the long run, it's vital. The UCEAP local staff can help you.
The University of Bologna offers mental health counseling and assistance through a program administered by the Department of Psychology. The Study Center will have details for applying for assistance through this program and can also assist in finding an English-speaking doctor.
Traffic & Transportation Safety
UCEAP Contingency Planning
The University of California, in accordance with applicable
Federal and State law and University policy, does not
discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion,
sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical
condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status,
citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era
veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also
prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy
covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs
and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s
student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to
the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action
* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical
conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.