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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.
While UCEAP endeavors to keep the information updated and accurate, all program information should be considered in conjunction with program-specific operational correspondence which may contain the most up to date information. There may be times where UCEAP will need to change this information and it will often be updated online. Student is responsible for reviewing all information shared through the program guides and by UCEAP staff in California and abroad, and partners abroad. UCEAP reserves the right to make changes to its programs, whenever, in our sole judgment local conditions so warrant, in response to local circumstances that could substantially change some parts of the program, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of our program participants.
Click a heading below to see section content.
Local UCEAP Support
Campus EAP Office
The Campus EAP Office coordinates recruitment, student selection, orientations, and academic advising; and serves as your primary contact during the application process.
UCEAP Systemwide Office
The UCEAP Systemwide Office establishes and operates programs and coordinates UCEAP administration for all UC campuses from its headquarters in Goleta, California. You will work closely with the following Systemwide Office staff:
Program Advisors provide academic and operational program information to you and your campus as well as administrative support for all aspects of your participation.
Program Specialists manage the logistics of the program. They coordinate document requirements, visa application instructions, health and safety precautions, acceptance and placement by host institutions, arrival and onsite orientation, and housing arrangements.
Academic Staff advise on academic policies, review courses taken abroad for UC credit, and document your registration, grades, petitions and academic records.
Student Finance Accountants assist primarily with UCEAP statements, program fee collection, and financial aid disbursements (in conjunction with your campus Financial Aid Office).
Phone: (805) 893-4430; E-mail:
Student Finance Accountant
UCEAP Systemwide Office
6950 Hollister Avenue, Suite 200
Goleta, CA 93117-5823
Phone: (805) 893-4762; Fax: (805) 893-2583
Bookmark your Participants program page. This resource lists requirements and policies you need to know before you go abroad, including your Pre-Departure Checklist, UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Program Calendar, UCEAP Student Budgets, and payment instructions.
Study Centers Abroad
The UCEAP Study Center for immersion programs in Italy is located in Bologna. Local staff operate the office and advise students on academic matters, assist with housing, and provide information on cultural and social activities. The staff works closely with the International Offices at all partner universities to provide local support to students.
Bocconi and Bologna
Dr. Peggy Kidney, Academic Affairs Coordinator
Maiju Hourula, Program Administrator
University of California
Centro Studi di Bologna
Via Grimaldi, 3
40122 Bologna, Italy
Phone (calling from the U.S.): (011 39) 051 231 405
Phone (calling from Italy): 051 231 405
Phone Number Codes
U.S. international code ...........011 (dial this to call from the U.S.)
Italy country code....................39
Bologna city code ..................051
Milan city code ....................... 02
Padova city code....................049
Florence city code ..................055
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The University of Commerce Luigi Bocconi offers an intensive focus on the issues of the developing global economy. It recently has been adding degree programs in innovative areas such as Management of Arts, Culture, and Communication, and International Institutions Management. Courses are taught in English and Italian. If you wish to take courses in Italian at Bocconi, you must have completed two years of university-level Italian.
Bocconi has also recently developed a degree program with a focus on political science and international relations.
The University of Commerce Luigi Bocconi is a rigorous institution and you can expect the workload to be the same or higher than what you are used to at UC. You will need to dedicate a significant amount of time outside the classroom to your studies.
At the start of the term, professors generally give more detailed syllabi and reading lists. Many professors also provide readers with important articles and excerpts. Since specific topics may vary each year and in order to ensure appropriate UC credit for coursework taken abroad, it is critical that you retain all such information, as well as lecture notes and any papers or projects you produce for these courses.
Attendance is not always required of the Italian students; however, students who choose not to attend a class have a separate study program that they must agree upon with the professor and prepare on their own for the final examination. As a UCEAP student you are required to attend classes. In some courses, professors require that students sign in for each class meeting.
Intensive Language Program
You are required to begin your studies at Bocconi with a two-and-a-half week intensive language program (ILP) offered by Bocconi. Classes offered at the elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels meet 20 hours a week, Monday through Friday. The final exam for the ILP will be on a Saturday. This course—known as the “Italian Crash Course”— is worth 4 quarter/2.7 semester UC units and is graded on a Pass/No Pass basis only; the letter grade is not available.
Fall and Spring Semester
The following disciplines are available:
- Undergraduate Students: Accounting, Decision Sciences, Business Administration and Management, Economics, Finance, Law, Marketing, Policy Analysis and Public Management. You should have completed core courses in economics or other disciplines relevant for your proposed program prior to the start of the term.
- Master’s-Level Students: Business Administration, International Affairs, Economics, Public Policy, and Management Studies. You should have completed the first year of your master’s program and be in the first semester or quarter of your second year at the time you go abroad. Graduate students may do a research project on a particular topic under the supervision of a Bocconi tutor and a UC faculty member. The research project can substitute for two courses.
- Doctoral Students: Business Administration, Economics, Political Science, Management Studies, and related disciplines. You should have completed at least the first year of your doctoral program before going abroad. You need to have completed training appropriate for your expected course of study at Bocconi.
Visit the Bocconi website
for a list of courses that are available to exchange 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.
As an undergraduate student, you are placed in the laurea triennale courses. Participation in laurea magistrale or master’s-level courses is generally not possible.
Course offerings for the upcoming academic year are usually not posted online until July. To see course descriptions and syllabi for previous years you can visit the Bocconi Course Portfolio Archive
All business and economics courses are upper-division. There are a few lower-division introductory courses in political science, however most of these courses are upper-division as well.
You may be able to continue your Italian language studies throughout the semester by enrolling in a continuation of the Italian Crash Course through the International Student Desk. The semester follow up Italian course is not considered an academic course by Bocconi and so you will not receive UC credit for the course. It is offered in the evenings and you will receive a certificate of participation if you attend at least 75% of the classes. If you choose to continue the Italian Crash Course during the semester you will need to pay a lab fee directly to Bocconi. This lab fee is not included in your regular program fees.
You are required to register for 3-4 courses per semester. Each course is worth 6 quarter/4 semester UC units. You will receive 18-24 quarter/12-16 semester UC units per semester.
You will be contacted by the International Student Desk prior to departure with instructions and deadlines for registering for courses. It is imperative that you respond to follow the instructions in these emails in a timely manner or you will not be able to register for courses at Bocconi. It is your responsibility to meet all registration deadlines set by the International Student Desk.
You will complete course registration before your arrival in Milan, but there is an add/drop period at the beginning of the semester. To assist you in choosing your courses, the Study Center will send you course evaluations compiled by previous students.
You will sign up for exam dates when you are onsite at least one week prior to the exam date.
You can take 1 course per semester for P/NP. If you are taking courses in your major, you should reach out to your department advisor on your home campus before making any changes to your grading options because major courses typically cannot be taken for P/NP
You have the opportunity to carry out a research project or independent study under the supervision of a Bocconi professor. If you are interested in participating in a research project you should contact the Academic Advisors at Bocconi after your arrival to help you identify a suitable professor for your proposed project. The project content, length, and structure will be agreed upon with the professor. The research will be graded and given credit, based on the recommendation of the professor, as one Bocconi course.
There is a special exam period at the end of the fall semester created specifically for international students that runs from mid-to-late December and will allow you to return to your home campus in time for the winter quarter or spring semester.
There are two exam periods at the end of the spring semester. You can choose to take your exams in the first period which runs from mid-to-late May, or you can choose to take your exams in the second period which runs from early to late June.
Final examinations cover the entire semester’s work and are mostly written. You must listen closely at the Bocconi orientation for information on signing up for exams. The Study Center cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not follow the Bocconi procedure.
In the Italian university system, grades are assigned on a scale from 10 to 30. An 18 is a pass.
Grades for the fall semester are typically available by late February and grades for the spring semester are typically available by late July.
For general information about grades, see the Academic Information
chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
You may arrange internships with corporations, financial institutions, or public enterprises for a period of one to three months immediately following completion of the term. Internships cannot be guaranteed. Contact the Career Services Office at Bocconi in advance if you are interested.
Although there is no language requirement to participate on this program, a good command of Italian will generally be required to carry out an internship.
Extending UCEAP Participation
UCEAP encourages fall students to extend participation to the academic year. The best way to plan for extension is to complete the UCEAP Departmental and College Preliminary Approval to Extend (DPA) form before departure for your program. The DPA does not obligate you to extend, but will expedite the process. If you wish to extend once you are abroad, make an appointment with the Study Center and complete either the Request for Final Approval (RFA) or the Petition to Extend before the November 1 deadline. If you already have a DPA on file, you will only need to submit the RFA for final approval to extend. The Petition to Extend can take several weeks for approval.
You must meet the program requirements and have the approval of the Study Center, your UC campus, and the UCEAP Systemwide Office. Approval is based on a number of factors, including academic performance, the support of your home campus department, and available space at the host university.
Once your extension has been approved, UCEAP will notify your home campus registrar, Financial Aid Office, and Campus EAP Office. For information about the steps you need to take with regard to finances, see the Extension of Participation
chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
Bocconi students will most likely have to return to the U.S. to get a new visa for the extended study period. Be sure to contact the International Student Desk immediately upon approval of extension to see exactly what is required.
Become acquainted with Italy prior to departure. Newspapers, magazines, journals, and the Internet are important resources available to research political, economic, cultural, and social changes in the country.
It is an exciting time to study in and travel to Italy, and the better you prepare the more rewarding this time will be.
- The Italian national newspapers, La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera, provide online editions daily.
- The Local provides an English-language version of national and local news, sports, and local events.
- Travel guides and travel-related websites such as Lonely Planet are also excellent resources.
If you do not speak any Italian, try to learn some basic words and phrases prior to going abroad. You will find it to be very useful.
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
There will be two orientations during your first days in Milan. One will be held by Bocconi, and the later one will be held by UCEAP. A welcome lunch will be included with the UCEAP orientation. Attendance at these orientations is mandatory.
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.
Travel to Your Host Country
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
UCEAP strongly recommends purchasing changeable round trip tickets, which will allow you to make changes to your return flight for a fee. UCEAP discourages purchasing one way tickets, as your Program Budget is based on a changeable round trip student fare, which is generally less expensive. Carefully research airfare rules prior to purchasing a flight. Standby and courier fares are not appropriate. Plan for this expense. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid office will reserve or pay for your ticket. If you are on financial aid, you will need to purchase a plane ticket before you receive a financial aid disbursement.
Most airline tickets are good for one year only. When buying round-trip tickets, purchase tickets that allow changes to the return date. If you do not make round-trip arrangements, be sure to book a return flight with plenty of lead time once abroad. Flights to the U.S. fill up fast and economy-fare seats are booked early.
Be sure to note the program start date and time before purchasing an airline ticket.
You should purchase a changeable airline ticket.
Arrival information, including Study Center contact information and detailed directions to your arrival city, are included in your Pre-Departure Checklist. It is important that you take this information with you to Italy. You may also want to give a copy to your family.
You are responsible for arriving in Italy independently at the specified location on the required date and time for the official start of the program. Official UCEAP arrival and start dates are provided in the program calendar located in the Participants web page for your program. Confirm the program start date and time before reserving a flight.
If you feel more comfortable traveling with a companion, you are encouraged to contact fellow UCEAP students while still on your home campus to discuss the possibility of making joint travel plans. You can also find traveling companions on the UCEAP Italy Facebook page.
All students, even those on financial aid, must reserve and purchase their own tickets. Your Financial Aid Office will not do it for you.
Flights are often changed or canceled; confirm your flight schedule with the airline about two weeks before departure and again a day or two before your flight.
The start date 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 you may incur for independent travel arrangements.
In order to be kept informed of program changes, you must update MyEAP
with any changes in your address, telephone number, or e-mail address and inform UCEAP in writing.
You must provide details of your itinerary to the UCEAP Systemwide Office no fewer than 30 days prior to the program start date and update the office with any subsequent changes.
If you fail to appear at the designated location on the Official Start Date, you are subject to dismissal from the program (see Student Agreement in MyEAP).
Financial Aid Students
Your financial aid package is calculated using your specific UCEAP Program Budget. The estimated round-trip airfare amount is based on the cost of a changeable student ticket to your host country. If your independent travel costs are greater than the airfare estimate in the UCEAP Program Budget, notify your financial aid counselors. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid Office can guarantee that the additional cost will be funded by financial aid.
Additional information about passports, visas, and other required documents is provided in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and in the online UCEAP Pre-Departure Checklist.
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.
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 ten 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. To obtain a visa, your passport must be signed and all personal information must be accurate (e.g., name, date of birth, etc.).
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 in the U.S. prior to departure.
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.
You will receive detailed instructions in your Pre-Departure Checklist (PDC) to apply for your visa. Use the instructions and sample application provided to complete your visa application. It is important that you follow the instructions precisely; if you fail to do so you may not receive a visa. Note that there are specific instructions for different campuses. 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.
European Union citizens do not need a visa or a residence permit, but must register at the Ufficio Anagrafe of the city in which you are studying. You will receive information and assistance with this upon arrival in Italy.
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.
Travel Before or After Your Program
To obtain a visa, 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. U.S. citizens may travel in Europe for up to 90 days total before or after the validity date of your visa. This means that if you arrive in Europe 10 days before your visa start date, you will have 80 days of travel remaining after your visa expiration date.
Non-U.S. citizens must check for their own requirements.
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.
Residence Permit (Permesso di Soggiorno)
Officially, you must submit an application for the permesso di soggiorno (permit of stay) within eight days of your arrival in Italy. (If you come as a tourist before the start of your program, you do not need to apply until your program begins.) You must provide the local authorities with specific documents; refer to the Pre-Departure Checklist for specific requirements. Take all of these documents with you to Italy. The residence permit will cost approximately €118; be prepared to pay this fee out of pocket—in cash (euros).
The Bocconi International Student Desk (ISD) will hold a special meeting regarding the residence permit.
Do not apply for the residence permit alone. Staff will help you fill out forms, organize documents, and apply for the permesso di soggiorno.
The permesso di soggiorno is an essential document that allows you to remain in Italy for the duration of your program. It is required for your stay in Italy and also for travel in and out of Italy. If you leave Italy without your residence permit (or a receipt showing that you have applied for it) you may not be allowed to reenter Italy.
The permesso di soggiorno is also required for official registration at some of the host universities in Italy. At these host universities, a blocked registration means that you will not be issued an official libretto d’iscrizione (registration and transcript) document. Without the libretto, you cannot sign up for exams and your professors cannot record a grade.
Keep your passport and residence permit at your home in Italy in a safe place. Make a photocopy of each to carry at all times, as required by Italian law. Take your original documents with you only when you are traveling around or outside of Italy. It is recommended that you scan a copy of your passport and e-mail it to yourself. This could be very useful in case of loss or theft.
The Italian visa laws may make it impossible to bring children to Italy. It is also difficult to find child care services there. Italian citizens often must wait years to get their children into day care, and a foreign child living in Italy for a short term would not be given priority.
Undocumented Students and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Students
Consult with an immigration attorney free of charge on your campus to determine if study abroad is right for you.
If you are currently enrolled as a student at UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Merced, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Barbara, or UC Santa Cruz, contact the UC Undocumented Legal Services Center at https://law.ucdavis.edu/uc-undocumented/
The UCEAP Program Budget does not include funds to purchase clothing abroad.
When traveling always carry your passport, visa, ticket, prescription medications, and money. Never put valuables in your checked luggage. Leave extra credit cards at home.
Luggage limitations have become strict and vary by airline. Most carriers have weight restrictions and charge a lot of money for excess baggage. Contact your airline for detailed information.
Shipping items is not recommended. It can be expensive to send boxes to Italy, and you may have to pay a hefty customs fee upon receipt of the package. Packages are not always delivered to the door, in which case you have to pick them up.
Carry only what is necessary and make sure to bring bags that you can carry by yourself. Many buildings in Italy do not have elevators, so you may need to carry your bags up a number of flights of stairs. Suitcases with wheels and an extendable handle or hiking backpacks are recommended.
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.
- English/Italian dictionary
- Italian grammar book
- Vitamins and over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or Tylenol (they are expensive in Italy and should not be sent in the mail)
- Backpack with an inner frame
- Scarf, gloves, and hat
- One dressy outfit for formal occasions
- Any sports attire you may need
In general, Italians tend to dress up more than most Americans. A typical California wardrobe (with a few modifications) will be satisfactory. Take clothing that is easy to care for, preferably clothes that can be hand-washed and line-dried. Often there are limited washing machines in university housing facilities, dryers are rare in apartments, and Laundromats and dry cleaners are expensive. Bring comfortable, waterproof walking shoes or boots with thick soles.
Take a good English/Italian dictionary such as the new Zanichelli and a familiar Italian grammar book to help with the language classes.
If possible, take your own laptop. Be sure that you have the appropriate adapter/converter. Italian universities require typed work.
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 U.S. plugs into European outlets. A voltage converter changes your appliance’s voltage from U.S. standards to European standards. All electrical appliances provide information about their voltage, usually on a label attached near the cord. If your appliance indicates 110–240, you will only need a plug adapter to use it in Italy. If it indicates only 110, you will need a voltage converter with round European prongs.
Converters do not work with hair dryers, alarm clocks, and electric razors. You might consider purchasing these items when you arrive in Italy since they are inexpensive. Due to the high cost of electricity abroad and the fact that improper use of appliances may damage electrical outlets and the appliances themselves, ask before using the outlets.
Insurance for Personal Possessions
Consider having additional protection for your property. In spite of your best efforts, it is still possible to experience loss, theft, or accidents that will damage your belongings while traveling. Talk to your parents and analyze their family homeowners’ insurance to determine whether the items brought or bought while abroad are covered by their policy.
The UCEAP Travel Insurance
policy offers limited personal property coverage. Review the policy carefully before departure to determine if it is adequate coverage for your possessions before you experience a loss.
If you decide to purchase supplemental personal property coverage, do so before departure and make sure that the coverage extends while traveling. The host university does not protect student belongings—even in university accommodations.
You are responsible for your own personal property. Use logical precautions to safeguard valuables from damage or theft by locking your room and securing currency, jewelry, passport, and other possessions.
Understanding Your Finances
It is important that you carefully read all of the information available in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and discuss it with the person who will assist you with your finances while you are abroad.
Understanding your finances before, during, and after your program is crucial to having a successful time abroad. The following list outlines just a few of the many things you will need to know before departure.
Detailed information on the following topics can be found in the Money Matters
chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
- Contact information for finance questions
- How to estimate the cost of your program
- Budget instructions and information
- Who Can and How to make payments to UCEAP
- UCEAP student account information(what fees do I pay to UCEAP and what fees do I pay out of pocket?)
- Banking before and after arrival
- Fees and penalties
- Loan information
- How financial aid works while abroad (how do I get my financial aid from my home campus and how are my fees paid?)
- Various forms (e.g., direct deposit, etc.)
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Your MyEAP Student Account is similar to your UC campus financial account. It will be available as soon as you are selected for your program in MyEAP. You can make payments through this account using e-checks or credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover). The fees that you owe UCEAP will be applied to your account after your program pre-departure withdrawal date, which is listed in MyEAP. For the amount due to UCEAP prior to fees being posted on your account, refer to the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule located on the second page of your UCEAP Program Budget
. Program fees are subject to change.
Your UCEAP Program Budget lists the fees you will pay to UCEAP and an estimate of the personal expenses you will need to plan for. It does not include the cost of recreational travel or personal entertainment. Review your UCEAP Program Budget frequently. The Payment Schedule is on the second page of the UCEAP Program Budget.
- Download and print your UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule.
- Note the deadlines on the Payment Schedule.
- Give the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule to the person responsible for paying your UCEAP bills. Sign this person up for Third Party Authorization on MyEAP so they can make payments online.
Refund of Credit balances and Financial Aid Disbursements:
If you are signed up for Direct Deposit on your UC campus, it is not linked to your MyEAP account. You must sign up for eRefund with UCEAP to receive direct deposits from your MyEAP account. For more information, see the UCEAP eRefund Instructions
The euro (abbreviated EUR or €) is the official currency unit of Italy and most nations of the European Union. The European Central Bank
website provides more information.
Obtain enough euros from your bank (about €300-400) prior to departure to cover the first few days in Italy. This will cover your residence permit* (€120), food, and other incidentals. You should also carry a small amount of money in U.S. dollars (about $50) for use while traveling.
*Residence permits are NOT required for students participating in quarter-only programs.
Be advised that you cannot use American checks in Italy. The best method to receive funds from the U.S. it to have them deposited into a U.S. bank account and then withdraw funds in Italy with an ATM card. International money orders and Western Union are also options, but these are more costly and complicated.
Opening an account in an Italian bank is difficult. Students rely mostly on their ATM cards to access their U.S. bank accounts. However, some banks offer online accounts for students at competitive rates. Options used by students recently include N26 and BuddyBank.
Personal checks are seldom used in Italy and are never sent through the mail. Bills are paid online or in cash at the post office.
Exchanging Money After Arrival
You cannot exchange foreign currency at an Italian bank without an account there. You can use foreign currency exchange offices at airports and some railroad stations. Avoid exchanging money at hotels, exchange booths located on the street (cambios), and tourist shops; although they are convenient, their rates are often less favorable. A passport is required to exchange money. Cashing travelers checks at a bank generally entails a fee of about €8.
For travel to countries that do not use euros, you will get the best exchange rate if you use your ATM card to get cash once you arrive at your destination.
Be sure to notify your bank that you will be living in Italy and confirm that you will be able to withdraw cash with your ATM card in Europe.
Using an ATM in Italy is as easy as it is at home. You can use ATMs at most Italian national bank branches. ATM cards provide a convenient way to get cash, make deposits and transfers, and verify account balances.
Ask your home bank:
- Do they have a partner bank in Italy?
- Will I be able to access my account while abroad?
- Will my PIN (personal identification number) work and will I able to withdraw cash with my ATM card in Europe? (Keep in mind when choosing a PIN that ATMs abroad do not have letters on the keypads as they do in the U.S.)
- What is the daily limit that I can withdraw from my account?
- What fees will I be charged to withdraw money abroad?
It is best if your card is affiliated with Visa or MasterCard so that you can receive cash advances in case the ATM does not work.
Recently students have been reporting that they have had good experience using a debit/ATM card from Charles Schwab. They have an account that has no minimum balance and does not charge ATM fees. We have also heard good reports about Capital One. Do your own research and shop around.
Notify your bank that you will be studying abroad. Due to fraud, some banks have put blocks on cards because they were unaware that the student was studying abroad and suspected that the ATM or credit card had been stolen.
You are strongly encouraged to take a major credit card to Italy. You may also want to take an additional credit card reserved only for emergency use. Visa and MasterCard tend to be more widely accepted in Italy than American Express (AmEx). Check with your credit card company about the cost of using your card abroad, as “foreign transaction fees” can be expensive. However, some companies are now offering competitive “no fee” cards.
Many businesses in Europe now accept only credit cards that have a chip embedded in them. Ask your credit card company if they will issue a card with a chip.
You can arrange to use your Visa or MasterCard to obtain a cash advance; however, the interest rates are usually quite high. Check with your credit card company to see what services are offered and what the rates are.
Notify your credit card company that you will be studying abroad so that your card does not get blocked for suspicious use.
Most Bocconi university buildings and the dorms have wireless Internet connections. Bocconi allows access to computer labs for e-mail and Internet as well as word processing and printing.
You are strongly advised to have a cell phone with an Italian number while in Italy. Aside from being the most convenient way to communicate, a cell phone enables the Study Center staff to reach you at all times and is particularly important in emergencies.
In Italy, you can purchase a cell phone without a contract. You can then buy rechargeable phone cards available in amounts ranging from €5 to €150. Different phone company stores are located in all cities. Cell phone prices currently start at approximately €50. Students with unlocked U.S. cell phones can simply purchase an Italian number and SIM card upon arrival in Italy. If you own a smartphone, check with your provider about using it abroad. There are apps available for smartphones that enable very cheap or even free communication such as WhatsApp
, Google Hangouts
. (Read all information and contracts before signing up for any apps.)
and Google Voice
are good options for Internet calls offering competitive rates.
Prior to departure, you can obtain an MCI, Sprint, or AT&T international calling card to facilitate communication with the U.S. These cards enable you to connect with an English-speaking operator. Telephone calls made through the Italian phone company generally are more expensive than those made with a calling card. Check the rates for both cell phones and land lines before you purchase.
It is generally expensive to call the U.S. from an Italian cell phone and to call an Italian cell phone from the U.S. When purchasing calling cards in the U.S. and in Italy, it is important to ask for the rates to and from cell phones.
You can call the U.S. from Italy by dialing 001 + area code + phone number.
Have mail sent to your residence address after your arrival in Milan.
Do not send luggage or large shipments in advance (they must be picked up at the airport). You are responsible for any shipping fees not covered by the sender.
IMPORTANT: Whether you use regular mail or courier services, label packages clearly as follows: “Used Items for Personal Use Only—No Commercial Value.” Make sure the value placed on the contents is assessed low (under $20) to avoid high customs fees (20 percent of the declared value plus shipping and handling fees).
If possible, it is best not to insure packages, as they are then assessed import of about 30% of the insured value. It is important to advise senders to forgo added insurance on packages being sent with a courier service such as FedEx, DHL, UPS, or the U.S. Post Office unless you, the recipient, are prepared to pay the import duties.
Do not have medications mailed to you, including vitamins. These will be stopped in customs. Try to take enough medication to last throughout your program.
Note that over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin, Tylenol and ibuprofen (as well as Nyquil, allergy medication, etc.) are very expensive in Italy. If you are accustomed to using such medication regularly, bring a supply with you.
Receiving food items by mail, including candy, cookies, teas, and spices is also not recommended as food products are subject to Agricultural Inspection which is costly and lengthy (packages containing a very small amount of these items generally arrive without problems provided the sender uses only a generic statement to describe the contents of the package, such as “Birthday present—used clothes—value $15”).
The Study Center will not pay shipping and customs fees for students.
Postage stamps may be purchased at the post office or more commonly at tobacconists where the “T” for tabacchi sign is displayed.
You can find housing on your own or apply for Bocconi dorm housing.
Read this information carefully and thoroughly and be sure to look at the various websites listed below. Carefully consider your housing options before making your choice.
If you are interested in Bocconi dorm housing, you must apply quickly, as spaces are limited and the dorms fill up quickly. See University Housing below for details.
If you sign the Accommodation Agreement with Bocconi, you are not allowed to move out of the residence. There are no refunds. Rent must be paid in advance in its entirety each month.
Be sure to review all of the housing information for exchange students on the Bocconi website.
TIP: Ask your Campus EAP Office for contact information for Bocconi reciprocity students currently studying on your campus. They may have contacts for housing in Milan, or be interested in sharing an apartment with you.
You may check the apartment listings at Bocconi’s Student Union office, main building, first floor, and online at the Exchange Student Network
(ESN). The Bocconi website
offers private house-hunting tips and links as well as information about the dorm options. Peruse these sites thoroughly. There are many options available!
Students often look for housemates to share apartments. Housemate notices are posted at the university. Private accommodations are usually shared apartments with kitchen facilities. Expect to obtain your own linens.
Bocconi has several university residences to choose from. Please review the list on the Bocconi Housing website. Read about all the options on the Bocconi website to see which one is best for you.
Many exchange students are housed in Residenza Arcobaleno. In addition to the information on the Bocconi website, please note that this residence is located 30–45 minutes by tram from Università Bocconi. Here you will live with other international students, but not with Italian students. If you prefer a more “Italian experience” you may want to choose a different residence or find a private apartment.
Bocconi has very limited student housing and it is on a first-come, first-served basis. You must apply for dorm housing at Bocconi as soon as you receive your PIN and password allowing access to the Bocconi registration and housing application. The application process will be completed online.
To apply for Bocconi housing, send the completed application and a security deposit by credit card or bank transfer to the Bocconi International Relations office. (Information will be sent via e-mail directly from the Bocconi International Relations office). Bocconi will send a confirmation of receipt for the application. This is not confirmation of a dorm space! If you receive dorm housing, the deposit will be used for the first month. If you do not receive dorm housing, the deposit will be returned.
See housing application details here
Cost, Payments and Contracts
For university housing, you will be asked to pay a deposit of approximately €400 directly to Bocconi. This is paid via the online application with a credit card. Upon arriving you will pay rent monthly, in advance. Bocconi will provide all housing information, including payment deadlines. Housing applications must be completed and submitted to Bocconi within the required deadlines. The approximate monthly rent for a single room is €700 per month, utilities included.
For private accommodations, rental costs in the vicinity of Bocconi run from about €400 to €700 for a room in a shared apartment. Water and sometimes heating costs are included in the monthly 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). Because standard contracts are for four years, most UCEAP students subcontract with a contract holder.
If you have dependents (spouse or children) you must make your own housing arrangements. Explore your options thoroughly before departure from the U.S. University housing for dependents is not available during any portion of the program.
Some of the Bocconi dorm buildings house cafeterias. There is a self-service cafeteria in the basement of the Pensionato Bocconi (connected to all of the main Bocconi campus buildings), open from noon to 2:30 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. every day except Sunday; the cost per meal is normally €8 but there is a special price of €4 only for exchange students. In the same area a “panino bar” (sandwiches and fast food) is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is also a café called The Coffee Bar in the basement of the main university building, open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
Residence Arcobaleno has community kitchens where you are able to prepare your own meals. The kitchens have stovetops but no ovens. The rooms have small, personal refrigerators.
Meals in modest restaurants range from about €12 to €20, while more expensive restaurants run from about €25 to €35 per person. You can eat sandwiches and pizza for about €3 to €3,50 in inexpensive cafés and bars away from the popular tourist areas.
You will be personally responsible for the cost of your food/meals.
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
Milan is a large city and most students take some sort of public transportation. Buses, subways, trams, taxis, etc., are all available. Monthly student passes for buses and local trains are available for approximately €17/month (plus an annual fee of €10).
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.
A regular bus ticket currently costs approximately €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.
Participating in extracurricular cultural and social activities while on UCEAP is an excellent way to meet people, improve your language skills, and integrate more fully into the community.
Join sports, musical, theater, or arts groups; volunteer at local organizations; attend lectures and receptions held in academic and community circles; and get the most out of your time abroad.
There are clubs, sponsored activities, and facilities available at the university and in the community, but you need to take initiative to find them. ESN (Erasmus Student Network) is a cultural activity group for foreign students in Italy run by mainly Italian students who have studied abroad. As UCEAP students you can take advantage of a variety of cultural activities, including weekly events in your host city and affordable weekend trips. An ESN card costs approximately €10. See www.esnbocconi.it
Students with Disabilities
Contact the UCEAP Operations Specialist if you need special accommodations. All disability-related information is treated confidentially. Plan and budget for possible costs of accommodations as you are responsible to pay for them at the time of delivery.
Italy has narrow cobbled streets and storied monuments. Many sidewalks lack ramps, or sidewalks altogether. In the case of Venice, walkways feature staircases and narrow pedestrian bridges. Some major sights are accessible. Others lack ramps, elevators, or accessible bathrooms. Most train stations have accommodations for those traveling in wheelchairs. With advance notice, personal assistance can be provided to a person with a disability traveling through a particular station. More information is available at Trenitalia's website
In general, professors at Bocconi are willing to give extra time for exams and even revise course programs to meet a student’s particular needs. The city is difficult to navigate for students in wheelchairs.
For more information:
Leaving your host city for more than 24 hours?
You are required to complete the online sign out through your MyEAP account.
Click on Travel Signout and complete all required fields. During an emergency (abroad or in the US), it is important for UCEAP officials to know how to reach you so we can help you.
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
With a study visa, you are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week. Past UCEAP participants have worked as English language teachers, babysitters, and waiters.
Urban centers such as Rome, Bologna, and Florence, are generally tolerant of LGBT individuals. Students may face isolated incidents of discrimination throughout the country, particularly in more conservative, rural areas. Smaller communities may be less welcoming. Isolated cases of anti-gay hate crimes are unlikely but possible.
For more information,
Familiarize yourself with the UCEAP Student Travel Policy
, which prohibits travel to places identified by the U.S. Department of State as ones to be avoided for safety reasons.
While travel opportunities may be tempting, do not allow your travels to interfere with coursework or needed study time. Opportunities for travel are plentiful and UCEAP does not wish to discourage you from taking advantage of them. However, it is expected that you will attend all class sessions and adhere to your program’s absentee policy at all times. As stipulated in the UCEAP Student Agreement, you must regularly attend all classes for which you are registered and conform to all applicable rules.
Failure to abide by UCEAP travel guidelines or the Student Agreement is cause for dismissal from the program.
You can use Trenitalia trains to travel throughout Italy. Before boarding, purchase tickets by cash or credit card from automatic machines, ticket agents at the station, or travel agents in the city. You must validate the ticket at a machine in the station before boarding the train. There are fines for traveling without a validated ticket; the amount depends on the length of the trip.
Complete train schedules can be viewed online on the Trenitalia website
. They are also posted at the train station. You can purchase discounted tickets on the Trenitalia website and in train stations and travel agencies. These are generally limited and must be purchased in advance. See the “Promozioni e Offerte”
section of the Trenitalia website for more information.
Sign up free of charge for Trenitalia's loyalty card, CartaFRECCIA, which allows access to additional discounted tickets. CartaFRECCIA holders under 30 years old have access to additional discounts via CartaFRECCIA Young.
is a train company that also offers good rates on high-speed trains between larger cities.
It is recommended that rail passes be purchased in the U.S. before departure, although it is possible to have them delivered overseas to to purchase them at some train stations abroad. Visit the Eurail
websites for more information.
The UCEAP student budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
Know Before You Go
While abroad you are automatically covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy
. Coverage begins 14 days before the official start date of your UCEAP program term. Coverage ends 31 days after the official end of the UCEAP program term.
The UCEAP Travel Insurance policy is not the same as your campus or private insurance. Inform yourself before seeking care. Your UCEAP Travel Insurance does not include coverage for preventative care, checkups, and vaccinations.
Read details in Benefits at a Glance
. Familiarize yourself with the coverage, exclusions, and eligibility criteria. You will be financially responsible for any charges for medical services that are not included benefits in the policy and for any charges over an above the “maximum allowable amount”. Your travel insurance policy number is ADD N04834823. It is underwritten by Chubb Insurance Company.
The travel insurance works on a reimbursement basis. There is no deductible or co-insurance.
You can submit a claim for a refund consideration of covered expenses. For more information about the medical claim process
or about non-medical claims
Do not assume that if you seek medical care abroad for a covered illness or injury that the local hospital will bill your insurance. Generally, hospitals around the world, including the US, do not bill insurance companies (unless there is a special arrangement with a local hospital in your UCEAP country). It is the patient's responsibility to inquire with the hospital, at the time of service, and make arrangements to pay any outstanding bills. Payment for medical services abroad is ultimately your responsibility.
For more information refer to your Pre-Departure Checklist, Insurance tab, or the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Insurance chapter
For Questions about Coverage, Benefits, and Claims Status
Contact ACI at email@example.com.
The standard of medical care in Italy is good, though it may vary in certain cities and in more remote areas.
You will receive detailed medical information at the orientation meeting upon arrival. In all host cities, there are lists of general practitioners and specialists that are recommended to students. If you are sick or injured, you can ask local staff for help in making an appointment. You must pay for health services at the time they are rendered.
The UCEAP travel insurance will refund eligible expenses after a claim process is started. You can start the process online, by mail, or e-mail. You will need a correctly completed claim form
and itemized bills and receipts. Keep copies of all documentation for your records. Reimbursement payable by check in US dollars may take four to six weeks.
Know Before You Go
Inform yourself before you travel. Just as language and currency vary around the world, so does medical care. Know what to do if you get sick.
Read the Health chapter
of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
and your Program Guide for important information to plan for a healthy stay abroad.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Traveler's Health
web page has important information about health risks present in the country where you will be studying.
If you feel sick, are injured, or have a medical emergency, seek medical attention and contact the Study Center immediately. The Study Center can recommend clinics and English-speaking general practitioners and specialists, assist with the UCEAP travel insurance reimbursement claim process, and help you make arrangements with your professors if an extended absence is expected. In an emergency, go to the emergency room at the local hospital.
You cannot get American prescriptions filled in Italy. Italian pharmacies will not dispense drugs without a prescription from a doctor licensed to practice in Italy. Antibiotics will not be dispensed without a prescription from a local doctor.
Most common over-the-counter medications can be obtained at Italian pharmacies. Discuss any medical or health concerns with your doctor before departure.
- While on UCEAP you are covered by the UCEAP travel insurance. Inform yourself, UCEAP travel insurance terms of coverage.
- If you need a refill while abroad, you must see a local doctor. US prescriptions are not valid in other countries. You must travel with a letter from your prescribing physician explaining your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic name.
Note: If the visit to the local doctor is considered preventive care, it will not be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance; your campus or private insurance plan may cover it.
- If you need to find out if an appointment would be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance, contact ACI at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the UCEAP travel insurance, refer to your UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, or your pre-departure checklist, Insurance tab.
- Two classes of medicines – narcotics and psychotropics – are under the control of international law. This covers any medicine that can have an effect on the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the potential to be abused. The narcotic class mostly relates to analgesic opioids and their derivatives (e.g. morphine and codeine) which tend to be highly regulated. Psychotropics are all those medications likely to be used to treat mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and psychotic conditions.
- If you plan to purchase medication using the UCEAP Travel Insurance coverage, you must fill and pay for medication when coverage is effective (14 days before the official start of the program). Do not assume that your local pharmacy knows about the UCEAP travel insurance policy. It is not the same as your campus health insurance coverage. You will need to pay for the medication and submit a claim to the UCEAP insurance.
- Find out whether your medication is legal in your UCEAP country.
- If traveling with a prescription containing controlled substances, check the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) website. The INCB is responsible for international drug control. If traveling with controlled substances, you must have a letter from your doctor. Generally, amphetamines (e.g., Adderall, Vyvanse) are illegal or unlicensed in other countries. Talk with your doctor to switch you to another medication.
- Talk to your doctor to see whether he/she can prescribe an adequate supply of your prescription medication to last through the end of the program. Ask your doctor how to adjust your dosage depending on time zone changes.
- Get a letter from the prescribing physician, on letterhead, indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic name as brand names vary considerably around the world.
TRAVELING WITH PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS
- Keep the medication in its original packaging clearly labelled with your name, doctor’s name, generic and brand name, and exact dosage. Carry it in your carry-on luggage, provided it is in pill or solid form. For more information, particularly if your medication is a liquid, consult the US Transportation Security Administration, Traveling with Medications.
- Carry copies of all original US prescriptions.
- Carry the letter on letterhead from the prescribing physician for all prescribed medications, indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic names. This is extremely important in case you need treatment or a medication refill abroad.
Why is a letter from your treating physician necessary?
If your particular medication cannot be taken into the country, talk to your doctor. If you need to switch prescriptions, your doctor may need to make changes to your medication at least 3-6 months before departure to monitor side effects and dosage. The letter from your doctor indicating condition, treatment and medication regimen, can help a local physician to assess you and to consider reissuing your prescription provided it is licensed in your UCEAP country. Note that the local doctor's appointment for medication refill may not be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance.
Consult with ACI about the UCEAP travel insurance coverage for prescriptions, email@example.com. Read more in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Health section.
If you are currently in treatment in the US, discuss all program details with your doctor so you can work on a plan in case you need to reach out for care. Carry a letter from your doctor (on letterhead) indicating condition, treatment history, and medication regimen, so a local physician can assess your needs.
Consider the country where you will be living and studying. Many countries do not have adequate resources. How will you manage your mental health while studying abroad – whether or not you have a pre-existing condition?
If you are taking a prescription medication, talk with your prescribing physician before departure about getting the supply you need for the length of your stay. Traveling through customs with medications for personal use can be problematic in countries where those medications are prohibited. Stimulants frequently used for attention deficit disorders, such as amphetamine or methylphenidate, may be problematic, along with narcotics. What substances are prohibited in any given country varies. For information about traveling with medications, refer to the Prescription Medications section in this guide.
Cultural adjustment and homesickness are normal. They are usually transitory—lasting a couple of weeks—and do not imply mental illness or an inability to cope. Most students who experience culture adjustment function reasonably well under the stress and are able to keep up with the responsibilities of school and everyday life.
- Do not try to manage alone. Reach out to local staff.
- The UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy covers outpatient visits as any other illness up to $500,000; there is no co-pay or deductible, and you can make an appointment with any doctor. Budget for this expense as you must pay up front and submit a claim to the insurance company for a refund consideration. Doctors, hospitals, and clinics will require you to pay bills at the time of treatment. You must then submit a completed claim form and paid receipts to the UCEAP insurance company. For information about the claims process, access Insurance Claims Process. If you have questions about your UCEAP travel insurance benefits contact ACI at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Study Center staff can help you.
Information and recommendations for doctors are provided by the Bocconi International Student Desk and the Bologna Study Center.
Students with severe food allergies should take precautions, as the cuisine may include ingredients that can cause anaphylaxis in those affected. A language barrier increases the risks associated with severe food allergies.
For more information, read the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
, Health chapter
, Allergies section.
Prepare yourself before departure. Read about the country and city where you will study and live. Specific safety issues and tips, such as which areas of the city to avoid, will be covered in your on-site orientation.
Purchase a cell phone with a local plan, especially for emergencies when you need immediate help. Refer to the Communications Abroad chapter in this guide. The Study Center has an emergency plan for locating all students if necessary. Update your local contact information in MyEAP so UCEAP can reach you in case of an emergency.
Personal safety starts with awareness. The choices you make about behavior, attire, travel, personal property, relationships, etc., can directly influence your exposure to risk. Follow your instincts. If a situation is uncomfortable, remove yourself from the situation. Carry official ID and a charged cell phone with you at all times. Follow safety advice carefully.
Information on Italian Criminal Laws and Procedures
While in Italy, you are subject to Italian laws. Neither an Italian citizen nor a foreigner can plead ignorance of the law as an excuse for not complying with the law. It is important that you inform yourself before arriving in Italy.
Arrest notifications in Italy
While some countries will automatically notify the nearest US embassy or consulate if a US citizen is detained or arrested in that country, others may not. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request calmly and politely that the police and prison officials notify the nearest US embassy or consulate if you are arrested or detained.
The US Embassy website
provides information about what to do if detained or arrested in Italy.
Safety is our concern but it is your responsibility. Be proactive in protecting your personal health, safety, and well-being. Have an action plan.
With the right information - and by thinking ahead - everyone can play a part in minimizing or preventing personal risks. Observe and assess the risks, plan ahead to reduce them, and think how you would lessen the consequences if things go wrong. Start by outlining activities you plan to engage in through your program and/or during independent travel; label the risk and rate it based on the likelihood of harm and the severity of consequences. Consider measures you can take to reduce the severity and chance. Plan your itinerary carefully, let your friends and relatives know where you will be, and research the safest way to travel.
Be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate and unpredictable terrorist attacks, which make it impossible to protect yourself from. Remain vigilant in all public areas in your UCEAP city and country and wherever you travel. Many terrorist groups, seeking publicity for political causes within their own country or region, are not looking for student or higher education targets.
Terrorist attacks using vehicles are very hard to prevent and appear to be on the rise. If you are in a crowded public place, know how you can exit quickly, identify barriers or safe places where you can shelter-in-place, and watch out for any vehicles that appear to be going at very high speed.
Report anything suspicious to local authorities. Read all security-related correspondence and advice from local staff. Schedule direct flights, if possible. Avoid stops in high-risk airports or areas. Minimize time spent in the public area of an airport, which is a less protected area. Keep a mental note of safe havens, such as police stations, hotels, and hospitals. Have a plan for what you will do in the case of an emergency. If you are ever caught in a situation where somebody starts shooting, follow the active shooter guidelines: drop to the floor, get down as low as possible, and hide if possible. Cover yourself behind a solid object. Silence your phone. Do not move until the danger has passed.
Steps to manage or minimize risk and enhance your personal safety
- Familiarize yourself with all UCEAP resources and emergency support services while on UCEAP.
- Research potential risks you can encounter before you travel.
- Assess your surroundings. Observe and learn to recognize danger.
- Be attentive to what is unusual or threatening. Assess reasonable and safe options. Trust your feelings; if you feel threatened, act if safe to do so and leave the area immediately. Find somewhere more secure.
- Remain aware at all times. Do not walk around talking on the phone or listening to music on your headphones.
- When entering larger venues, always decide on a meeting place with those you are with in case you get separated. Always identify possible exits.
- Increase your safety and reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime by staying on top of your drinking. Know your limits. In many countries beer, wine and liquor in some countries contains a higher alcohol content than similar products in the US. Know what you are drinking and how much alcohol it contains.
- Practice the buddy system, which promotes safety. This system helps ensure that you, and a partner, will look out for each other. Choose your buddy wisely. If you are having a problem, your buddy can help to alert others and get you to safety.
- Have a communication plan. Who will you call locally if you are in an emergency? Do your friends and relatives know how to reach you when you are traveling?
Registration with the local US Embassy or Consulate
Register online with the US embassy through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
(STEP), a free service for US citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
Registration with the UCEAP Security Provider
You will be automatically registered with iJET International, the University of California security provider. You will receive important security and informational messages about local conditions for your program country.
The University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) has established policies and procedures and has contracted with emergency assistance and security providers, to help you minimize your risk exposure and enhance your safety. Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
, for more information. Access the US Department of State Students Abroad website for updated travel information.
Most street crime in Italy involves purse snatching and pick-pocketing. Purses are either outright grabbed, or straps are slashed by a person on foot or on a scooter. In some cases, the victim is hit with a liquid, and during the confusion that follows, the victim's valuables are taken.
Well-organized pickpocket rings are a continual problem in Italy. Pickpockets often work in small groups of two or three individuals.
- Stay alert at all times. Pay attention to your surroundings.
- Never walk alone at night.
- Never carry valuables in the outside or back pocket of your backpack or clothes.
- Never leave your personal belongings unattended.
- Be especially careful in crowded tourist areas and on buses and trains.
- Carry a copy of the first page of your passport to use as a form of ID. Leave your actual passport safe in your room.
- Lock all windows and doors whenever you leave your housing, regardless of how long you will be away. Many thefts occur due to negligence in securing accommodations.
There is an increase in ATM skimming across Italy. Use only ATMS in wel-lit public areas, or secured inside banks/businesses. If something looks strange about the ATM, do not use it. Gaps, tampered appearance, or other irregularities may indicate that it is not a safe device. Closely monitor your account statements for unauthorized transations.
Excessive Drinking & Safety
Many of the safety incidents students have experienced while abroad involve excessive drinking. You are expected to abide by the UCEAP Substance Abuse Policy
Excessive drinking increases risks to health and safety. The risk increases as the amount of drinking increases. Drinking excessively will impair your ability to judge situations and make good decisions, which can make you a target for crime. You will be particularly vulnerable to situations that can lead to robbery, physical or sexual assault, or death.
Protect yourself from drink spiking - never leave your drink unattended. If you lose sight of your drink for any duration of time, discard it.
Avoid demonstrations. Civil and political demonstrations and protests are common throughout Italy and can occur with little notice. Most protests concern governmental actions and foreign policy issues. Demonstrations frequently occur at foreign embassies, but foreigners are rarely targeted. Large demonstrations are usually announced ahead of time and are well coordinated. Police may use security measures such as water cannons, batons, tear gas, or rubber bullets to quell violent activity.
Traffic & Transportation Safety
Transportation in Italy is generally safe if you use common sense and observe basic precautions. If traveling with bags, keep them in sight at all times. When riding the metro, avoid depositing luggage near doors, as this is the most opportune place for theft, especially when the train is stopped.
A conductor or member of Italy’s railway police (Polizia Ferroviaria) is present on most trains. A member of the railway police is almost always present on long-distance and night trains and greater numbers regularly patrol train stations. Emergency brakes are also available, but a heavy penalty can be levied against someone who unnecessarily stops the train.
Bus travel in Italy is generally very safe with the most common threat being petty theft. Pay close attention to your belongings.
Obey local transportation laws and regulations
Purchase train tickets and validate them by inserting them into validating machines, which are usually located near the entrance of train tracks, prior to boarding. Failure to follow this procedure may result in an on-the-spot fine by an inspector on the train. You must purchase bus tickets prior to boarding and validate them immediately after boarding. Tickets may be purchased at tobacco stores, street kiosks and automatic vending machines. Failure to follow this procedure may result in an immediate fine imposed by an inspector on the bus. If the violator does not pay the fine on the spot, the fine will automatically double and will be forwarded to the violator’s home address.
Italy has one of the highest rates of car accident deaths in the European Union. Streets in Italian historic city centers are often narrow, winding, and congested. Motor scooters are very popular, and scooter drivers often see themselves as exempt from rules that apply to automobiles. Pedestrians and drivers should be constantly alert to the possibility of a scooter’s sudden presence. Most vehicle-related deaths and injuries involve collisions between pedestrians/ cyclists and scooters or other vehicles. Be particularly cautious if you rent a scooter. UCEAP strongly discourages operating any kind of motorized vehicle. While in Italy, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. For more information, visit the Association for Safe International Travel
Make yourself visible and avoid dangerous behavior and situations.
Be careful and attentive. Traffic is heavy in major cities, and pedestrians are numerous. Sidewalks are sometimes narrow, congested, uneven, or nonexistent. Motorists may not stop for pedestrians in crossings. Look carefully in both directions before crossing streets. Cross only when using a marked crosswalk with a green avanti (“walk”) light illuminated. Traffic lights are limited and often disobeyed.
Sexual Violence & Sexual Harassment
University of California Policy
Every member of the UCEAP community should be aware that the University prohibits sexual violence and sexual harassment, retaliation, and other prohibited behavior (“Prohibited Conduct”) that violates law and/or University policy. The University will respond promptly and effectively to reports of Prohibited Conduct and will take appropriate action to prevent, to correct, and when necessary, to discipline behavior that violates this Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment. Report to the local partners and/or UCEAP staff if you suspect one of these behaviors has occurred.
Italy is prone to earthquakes and regular seismic events. While Milan and most of northern Italy is outside of the main earthquake zones, the north does experience strong tremors. Local authorities have well-developed plans to handle seismic events.
Most college-related fires in the US are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention. Educate yourself about fire safety standards in your UCEAP country. Fire safety standards differ drastically around the world.
- Know where emergency exists are located and check whether exits are passable.
- Know how to call the local fire department.
Do not stay in housing above the sixth floor so you are within range of most fire department rescue ladders.
- Print and take with you the UCEAP brochure, Fire Safety 101 for Students.
- Purchase and use a smoke detector. Before departure contact the Fire Safety Foundation. Choose from a variety of battery-powered smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, including models with sealed, 10-year batteries. Once purchased, the alarms and a multilingual installation manual – written in English and the host country’s native language - will be shipped to the address where you are residing.
- Have an escape plan and practice it.
- Treat every smoke alarm activation as a likely fire and react quickly and safely to the alarm.
- Check for fire hazards. Make sure exit routes are not blocked.
- If you have a disability, alert others of the type of assistance you need to leave the building.
- Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Fire Safety section for life-saving information.
UCEAP Contingency Planning
If a local situation requires increased caution or a program suspension and evacuation of participants, UCEAP will activate contingency plans. For security reasons, contingency plans are not public and cannot be shared with anyone except UCEAP officials.
Program Suspension Policy
If the US Department of State or CDC issues a Travel Advisory after the start date of the program term, UCEAP may suspend the program. If time and local security conditions permit, UCEAP will consult with the UC Study Center Director, UC security providers, US Embassy, US Department of State regional and security analysts, other organizations that offer programs in the same country, and area experts to determine the appropriate timeframe for suspending the program and/or for the evacuation of the students from the host country.
The UCEAP required security evacuation will override any host institution, or local US Embassy evacuation on US government-arranged flights, that require US citizens to sign a promissory note with the government. The safe evacuation of UCEAP students, managed by UCEAP and its experienced security providers, is covered by UCEAP insurance. UC students are required to follow UC safety directives in the event of an evacuation.
What Is an Emergency?
An emergency is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action. The following are considered emergencies:
- Any life/death situation
- A traumatic event requiring immediate assistance
- An arrest
- Civil unrest or natural disaster in the host country
In an Emergency
Contact local emergency services first and then contact the following:
If you are in the US
- During office hours (8 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Time): Contact your Program Specialist at the UCEAP Systemwide Office at (805) 893-4762.
- After office hours: Call the 24-hour emergency phone numbers at (805) 893-4762 or (805) 882-2086.
If you are abroad
Carry the local emergency contact information at all times. You will be given a 24-hour emergency contact phone number to reach a Study Center staff member in Italy.
The number 112 is the European Union-wide emergency number. You can call this number in any EU country to reach emergency services.
There are four phone numbers in Italy equivalent to the U.S. 911:
Ambulance & Emergency Doctors .....118
Fire Department ...............................115
Carabinieri (Military Police) ...............112
US Embassy and Consulates
via Vittorio Veneto 121
00187 Roma, ITALY
Phone: (+39) 06-46741
U.S. Citizen Emergency Services: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (walk-in)
Non-Emergency General Inquiries:
Phone: (+39) 06-4674-2420/2421 between 3 and 5 p.m.
Fax: (+39) 06-4674-2244
US Consulate in Florence
Lungarno Vespucci, 38
Phone: (+39) 055-266-951 (2–4 p.m.)
Fax: (+39) 055-215-550
US Consulate General in Milan
via Principe Amedeo, 2/10
20121 Milano Phone: (+39) 02-290351
US Citizen Emergency Services:
Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m.–noon (walk-in)
Phone: (+39) 02-903-5333 (2–4 p.m.)
Fax: (+39) 02-2903-5273
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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.