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University of Bologna

- Fall
- Spring
- 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.

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.
Your UCEAP Network

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).


Contact Information

Program Advisor
Wendy Mejia
Phone: (805) 893-4430; E-mail:
Operations Specialist
Kitty Christen
Phone: (805) 893-4430; E-mail:
Academic Specialist
Hannah Vander Sal
Phone: (805) 893-4683; E-mail:
Student Finance Accountant
Irving Alvisurez
Phone: (805) 893-2648; E-mail:
UCEAP Systemwide Office
6950 Hollister Avenue, Suite 200
Goleta, CA 93117-5823
Phone: (805) 893-4762; Fax: (805) 893-2583

UCEAP Online

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.
Florence (Pre-ILP)
Mr. Michelangelo D’Elia, Resident Director
Dr. Mariarosa Mettifogo, Academic Coordinator
ACCENT/UC Florence Study Center
Piazza Santo Spirito, 10
50125 Florence, Italy
Phone: (calling from the U.S.): (011-39) 055 23 81 657
Phone: (calling from Italy): 055 23 81 657
Fax: (011-39) 055 264 76 82
Professor Steven Botterill, Study Center Director
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
Florence city code ..................055

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Academic Information
Program Overview
UCEAP students with two years of Italian language study at the University of Bologna (UNIBO) and Accademia di Belle Arti will have access to courses in a variety of subjects spanning the arts, humanities, social sciences, sciences, and engineering. Instruction is predominantly in Italian, but there are also opportunities to take more advanced level courses in English. The UC Study Center can assist you with your course selection.
UCEAP students without two years of university-level Italian can take courses taught in English at the University of Bologna. The choice of courses taught in English is more limited than the choice of courses taught in Italian. Courses in English are available in literature, international relations and political science, history, Italian studies, legal studies, digital humanities, economics, business, statistics, and selected areas in engineering and science. Most courses taught in English are at the advanced level so you should have a strong academic background in the fields you wish to study in Bologna.

Your Bologna adventure begins with a four-week Intensive Language Program (ILP) taught by experience professors at the UC Study Center.

Graduate Opportunities

Graduate students can be accommodated in most fields at the University of Bologna.
Academic Culture

Italian Universities

Italian bachelor's degree programs are split into a three-year laurea triennale program followed by an optional and more specialized two-year laurea magistrale program. Students entering Italian universities must first complete the required, basic introductory courses for their particular area of study, and must also complete all courses for the laurea triennale if they wish to proceed to the laurea magistrale. You should bear this mind when choosing your courses, because expectations, prerequisites, and course arrangements can vary widely according to the level at which a particular course is offered. Guidance is available from the UC Study Center, from the MyEAP Course Catalog (for courses taken by past UC students), and from course descriptions posted on the UNIBO website.
Italian high-school education is rigorous by American standards, and many high schools in Italy provide students with a more thorough academic preparation for university-level studies than do their counterparts in the U.S. Moreover, degree programs in Italian universities are often relatively inflexible, with many required courses and few electives. 
UCEAP students, on the other hand, have a wider range of choice among courses that reflect their interests and competencies than Italians do. You are, for example, able to take courses at either laurea triennale or laurea magistrale level, and may also take courses in more than one Scuola or department at UNIBO, something that your Italian counterparts are not allowed to do.
One major difference between Italian and American universities is that very few Italian students work while enrolled, because the current economic situation in Italy affords limited opportunities for part-time employment.  It is also quite common in Italy for students to attend a university close to their family home and commute to classes; others, as in the U.S., live in university housing or rent apartments in the private market.

UNIBO and the Accademia di Belle Arti

The Università di Bologna is organized in eleven scuole consisting of some thirty dipartimenti, some of which operate within more than one Scuola:
  • Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine
  • Economics, Management and Statistics
  • Pharmacy, Biotechnology, and Kinesiology
  • Jurisprudence
  • Engineering and Architecture
  • Humanities and Cultural Heritage (including anthropology, archaeology, film and media, music, visual arts, classics, philosophy, geography, literature and philology, linguistics, communication, history, and art history)
  • Foreign Languages and Literatures, Translation and Interpretation
  • Medicine and Surgery (not available to UCEAP participants)
  • Psychology and Educational Sciences
  • Science (including chemistry, physics, geology, computer science, mathematics, biology, environmental science, natural science)
  • Political Science
Art studio courses are offered at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna (ABAB) and are intended primarily for advanced-level studio art students with two or more years of Italian language instruction. Admission to courses is normally by consent of the instructor. Occasionally an instructor will accept non-art majors into a particular course. The UC Study Center is available to give advice on which courses are usually open to non-art majors.
Generally, only students on the Year or Spring programs with two or more years of Italian language study can take courses at ABAB. Due to the late start of the academic calendar at the Accademia di Belle Arti, it is not possible for students on the fall-only program to take courses there and complete them successfully before returning to the U.S. There may be a possibility for fall only students to take a Mosaics course at the Accademia di Belle Arti, consult with the UC Study Center upon arrival if you are interested in this course. This course will also be available to those with limited knowledge of Italian.

To be successful in academics at UNIBO you must be dedicated, independent, and resourceful. Do not expect professors to go easy on you just because you are a foreigner. International students are graded in the same way as Italian students, and are expected to demonstrate that they understand the course material as thoroughly as their Italian colleagues do.
Since most classes at UNIBO do not have written assignments throughout the semester, your performance is normally graded only on the final oral exam. It is very important that you maintain self-discipline and work regularly, pacing yourself throughout the term. Your predecessors' experience over many years shows that in almost all courses it is impossible to read all the material in the last few weeks of class and cram successfully for the final. 

Although very few UNIBO courses have structured study groups or discussion sections, classmates will often get together to review course material – especially before exams! You are encouraged to make friends with fellow students, share notes, and study together just as you would at home. You will find that, however different the university systems, students in Italy and the U.S. have a great deal in common.

Oral exams involve in-person meetings and discussions with your UNIBO professors. Dealing directly with professors in Italy generally involves a significantly higher level of social and linguistic formality than is usually the case at UC, so observe your Italian peers for cues on how to manage such interactions. It is the norm to address professors, in speech and in writing, by using the formal third person singular (and to avoid saying "Ciao!" to them).
You will benefit from introducing yourself to your professors at the beginning of the semester and establishing a relationship with them through their office hours. On the whole, professors are very willing to meet to discuss your progress, to help with paper topic selection, or to provide clarification on course content. Student evaluations and other advice available at the UC Study Center can provide useful guidance on which professors are especially approachable — or otherwise!​
Course Information

Intensive Language Program (ILP)

Your Bologna adventure will begin before the start of classes at the Università di Bologna (UNIBO), with UC Study Center welcome activities (including a meal alla Bolognese and a mandatory orientation session) and the Intensive Language Program (ILP).
The ILP is a lively and fast-moving course, taught by experienced and highly-qualified instructors at the UC Study Center, lasting four weeks that will advance your Italian language skills and prepare you for the academic culture of Italian universities. It aims to introduce you to life at a major Italian university and to the history and culture of the city of Bologna, and is therefore structured around numerous activities outside the classroom, including a daylong field trip to Ravenna. Classes meet for three hours, five days a week (depending on the calendar, some Saturday class-time may also be required).

Program Requirements

The ILP is worth 6.0 quarter/4.0 semester UC units of upper-division credit. You may elect to reduce the units to no lower than 3.0 quarter/2.0 semester UC units with no reduction in workload. Reducing units is not recommended if you need the course to count towards any degree requirements.
The ILP must be taken for a letter grade. P/NP is not available.
For students with two or more years of Italian language instruction, a grade below B will give grounds for concern about your ability to succeed in courses taught in Italian at UNIBO. If you receive such a grade, you will be asked to sign an agreement to adhere to a plan to strengthen your linguistic abilities during the semester, drawn up in consultation with the Faculty Director, the ILP coordinator, and the ILP instructor, before being allowed to continue with courses in Italian in the program.

University of Bologna

Program Requirements

  • Fall-only students are required to take a minimum load of 18 quarter/12 semester UC units. 
  • Year students are required to take a minimum load of 44 quarter/29.3 semester UC units. 
  • Spring-only students are required to take a minimum load of 22 quarter/14.7 semester UC units.
ILP units do not count towards your minimum requirements for the semester.
One course during the fall semester is taught at the UC Study Center by the Director on a topic in Italian culture of his or her choosing, but all other program courses must be taken at UNIBO or the Accademia di Belle Arti. Studio Art majors can take all of their courses at the Accademia di Belle Arti, this option is not available to non-Studio Art majors.

Pass/No Pass

You can take one course per semester for P/NP. If you are doing an internship you can take one course for P/NP in addition to your internship, which is graded on a P/NP basis only.

Registering for Courses

Before UNIBO classes begin, you will meet with the Academic Coordinator and the Faculty Director to discuss your academic program and how to plan for your UNIBO study list ("piano di studio UNIBO") and your MyEAP study list. 
In the early stages it may be a good idea to shop around for courses in order to find the ones that work best for you. Courses in which you enroll but which you decide not to complete may be dropped up to approximately the middle of the term, provided that you still meet the minimum program requirements; the exact deadline each term will be announced by the UC Study Center.
Visit the University of Bologna website ( for a list of courses that are offered to students during the current academic year (the site is also available in English at You should also utilize the UCEAP Course Catalog, which contains information on all courses previously taken by UCEAP students, and the Courses in English document. Course and instructor evaluations by past UCEAP students are also kept on file at the UC Study Center.
Once you have made your final choice of courses, your program must be recorded on your MyEAP Study List. You will receive instructions from the UC Study Center. You are responsible for entering all of your courses in your MyEAP Study List, failure to do so will result in loss of student status both in UCEAP and at your home campus. Changes to the Study List after announced deadlines can only be made via petition to UCEAP. You must also abide by host institution deadlines regarding changes, when applicable.

Course Details

Course credit at the University of Bologna and the Accademia di Belle Arti is based on crediti formativi universitari (CFU), which are the Italian equivalent of units of credit at UC. The UC unit value assigned to courses is thus calculated based on the CFU value.
Introductory (first- and second-year) courses, especially in popular subjects, tend to have larger enrollments than those in the third and later years. Many Laurea Magistrale (which refers to an advanced degree program) courses are structured on a small scale or as seminars.
Individual UNIBO instructors may or may not require attendance at their classes. However, you are required to attend class by UCEAP policy.
UNIBO professors normally make detailed syllabi and/or reading lists available when courses begin, either in class, online, or both. Many professors also arrange for the printing of course readers. Since specific topics may vary from year to year, and in order to ensure that you receive appropriate UC credit for coursework taken abroad, it is crucial that you retain all such information, as well as lecture notes and any papers or projects you produce for these courses, for review by your UC department advisors after your return to California.

Fall-only students

The fall semester at UNIBO extends into the New Year and many fall courses will only have their appello d'esame (exam) in January. If you are a fall-only student, you need to coordinate with the UC Study Center to determine the availability of courses in your field of study that will allow early exams. Departing by the end of December means taking an exam outside of the official exam period, and not all faculty members may be willing to arrange this. It is important to address this issue with your professors at the very beginning of the semester with your professors. The UC Study Center is available for advice. Please note that in general it is not possible to arrange early exams for courses with instruction that continues into January.   
In the Italian university system, grades are assigned on a scale from 10 to 30. An 18 is a pass. Italian numerical grades are converted into the American letter-based equivalents for transmission to UC.
For most courses, the entire grade is based on one final oral examination, arranged for students on an individual basis at times that the instructor will announce (the appello d'esame). For students taking courses in Italian, the thought of taking an oral exam in Italian often seems intimidating to UCEAP students when they first arrive. After taking the ILP and interacting with Italian-speaking students, professors, and friends a daily basis for several months, most have no problem adjusting to this traditional Italian practice when the time comes. 
To excel in oral exams if you are taking courses in Italian, you must learn to organize your ideas and express yourself clearly and concisely in Italian. You should work on this throughout your time in Bologna! 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. It is also sometimes possible to arrange for oral examinations to be taken in a separate room rather than in a public lecture room in front of others.
A small but growing minority of professors require a final paper (tesina), usually of some 10 to 15 pages, in their courses. Help with reviewing such papers before you submit them is available at the UC Study Center.

When to expect grades

The fall semester exam period at UNIBO technically ends in late January and the spring semester exam period technically ends in mid-July. Your grades must first be processed by UCEAP before being sent on to your campus. Therefore, grades for this program are reported to the UC campus registrars later than is typical for a UC quarter/semester. If you intend to put yourself on your campus degree list for graduation while on UCEAP, you should consult your academic advisors at your UC campus before departure about possible delays in the degree verification process.

Fall grades are typically available in late February or early March. Spring grades are typically available in late August. 
For general information about grades, see the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
The UC 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 Italian language skills in practical settings.
Although there is no language requirement to participate on this program, most internships require a basic working knowledge of Italian that will be imparted through the required ILP (Intensive Language Program) course. Some internships will require a more advanced level of Italian. The Study Center will be available for advice on internship opportunities. 
Through internships in Bologna you are able to receive academic credit as well as practical work experience to help with your future career prospects. Internships are upper division and are generally 6.0 quarter/4.0 semester UC units and can be used to replace one regular UNIBO course. Internships are graded on a Pass/No Pass basis only.
You also have the option of participating in a lower division 3.0 quarter/2.0 semester UC unit Service Learning Project. This course can only be added to a full study load, and cannot replace a course at UNIBO. The Service Learning Project is graded on a Pass/No Pass basis only.
Past UCEAP students have interned with the city's world-renowned film archive, the Cineteca di Bologna; the Human Rights Nights Film Festival; the Bologna LGBT archive and resource center (Il Cassero); Casa Morandi (former home of the Bolognese painter Giorgio Morandi, now a museum); the Design Management Center; small businesses, including publishers and tourism companies); philanthropic organizations; public junior and high schools (ESL teaching); radio stations; women's rights groups; and the City of Bologna's tourist bureau. Artist apprenticeships are available for Studio Art students. For more information visit the Internships tab on the UCEAP Bologna website.  
If you have a special interest, approach the UC Study Center staff after arrival with a proposed project plan to see if placement is possible. In all cases, you must consult with the UC Study Center to shape your internship and determine assessment requirements and number of units.
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.

Extensions for the Permesso di Soggiorno

If you meet all program requirements and the extension is approved, you will need to extend your residence permit (permesso di soggiorno).
If you are a fall student extending to a spring or year program, you must bring your visa and all supporting documents to the local police department in Italy 60 days before your visa expires and request to have your residence permit extended. (Note: As long as you apply for an extension of the residence permit in time, you will not need to return to the U.S. to apply for a new visa.) Supporting documents should include a new UCEAP Participation Letter that reflects the new dates of study, a new acceptance letter from the host institution that shows that you are accepted for a specific time period, a valid passport, one passport-size photograph, and any other document or information that the police department requests. The Study Center staff will assist with this process.
Cultural Awareness
Educate Yourself


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.

Useful Websites

  • 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.


Language Preparation
The more Italian you know before leaving for Italy, the easier your time abroad will be. Prior to departure, spend 45 minutes a day, or at least five sessions a week, working to improve your Italian.
The following are good methods outside of the classroom to help you prepare linguistically:
  • Read as much as you can in Italian (newspapers, periodicals, novels, short stories), and if possible read aloud so that you get accustomed to hearing your voice in Italian.
  • Keep a diary in Italian.
  • Keep a journal of Italian phrases, expressions, whole sentences, and structures you would like to use in your vocabulary.
  • Listen to Italian CDs in the language lab on your campus.
  • Watch Italian movies. If you have difficulty understanding, turn on subtitles in Italian.
  • Listen to as much Italian music as possible.
  • Meet with Italian reciprocal exchange students at your UC campus. Meetings can be facilitated through your Campus EAP Office.
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation


There will be an orientation upon arrival. Attendance at the orientation is mandatory.
The orientation is 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 Planning
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.
Travel Documents
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.

EU Citizens

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.

Non-U.S. Citizens

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).


Do not apply for the residence permit alone; you will be given all of the necessary information after you arrive. 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 for you to carry at all times, as required by Italian law. The Study Center must also retain copies of both your passport and your residence permit (immediately after you receive it). 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 Berkeley, contact the Undocumented Student Program

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
Packing Tips
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.
Consider purchasing a TSA-approved lock for your checked luggage. You can find information about these on the Transportation Security Administration website.  


  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Clothing that can be layered
  • Warm coat and clothes for the winter
  • Residence permit documents (see specifics in your Pre-Departure Checklist)
  • Prescription medication (for information on taking prescription medication abroad, see the Staying Healthy chapter of this guide)
  • Voltage converter and plug adapter (see Electrical Appliances below for details)


  • 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
  • Raincoat
  • 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.

Academic Supplies

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.

Electrical Appliances

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.


Return Transportation
Financial Information
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.
Carefully review your UCEAP Program Budget.
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.
For further information see the Money Matters chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and the Money Matters tab of your Participants Portal. If you will be receiving financial aid, see also the UCEAP Financial Assistance web page.

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.
Handling Money Abroad


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.

ATM Card

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.

Credit Cards

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.


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.

Communications Abroad
Internet Access
Internet connections are available in most housing options. There are also Internet cafés where you can access the Internet and your e-mail accounts.

Computer Facilities

Most computer facilities are good, but crowded. A number of terminals are available in various departments. The computer labs in the university libraries and departments do not have consistent hours. Students who find computer accessibility critical should bring their own laptop. Remember to bring the appropriate adapters and converters. Professors expect papers to be typed.


There is free 24-hour wireless internet access in most of the Bologna city center. No registration is necessary. Most cafes also have free Wi-Fi. The Study Center also has wireless Internet access, as well as a PC for student use and limited printing.
The University of Bologna provides students 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. 


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 and Viber. (Read all information and contracts before signing up for any apps.)
Skype 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.


Mail & Shipments
Bologna students: All mail, letters, and small packages can be sent to the Study Center.
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.
Housing & Meals

Bologna Housing

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.
You will find housing on your own for the entire period of study in Bologna, including the ILP. Apartments are generally shared with Italian and other international students Most students secure housing before arriving in Bologna (through ex-students and the Internet), or within the first 1-2 weeks 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 late spring and summer with housing offers from current UCEAP and Italian students. (These emails will be sent in November/December for spring students.) These provide an excellent means for securing housing before arrival. Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunitey, as housing has become quite comptetitive in Bologna.
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. Students also send money using services such as Transferwise.
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. A useful tip is to tell your housemates/landlord that a new group of UCEAP students will be arriving the following semester, and that you may well be able to find someone in the new group to take your place in the apartment.


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.  
Meals are available at student mense (cafeterias) at all Italian universities. Because the government subsidizes educational expenses for board, you will be able to get a midday or evening meal consisting of three courses for about €6. 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.


For locations of university cafeterias in Bologna, view the Unibo website.
The mense are closed during the summer months. During the ILP, students will find that there are many markets and grocery stores in the city center, so it will be easy to prepare simple meals. There is also a large array of shops, cafés, and affordable restaurants in the city center.
You will be personally responsible for the cost of your food/ meals during the ILP and the regular academic term.
Daily Life Abroad
Local Transportation
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.


Most students walk, bike, or take the bus.


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 university 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 frequently check passengers for tickets, and they will fine you if you do not have a properly validated ticket. Fines are anywhere from 65 to 90 euros. Tickets can be purchased on some buses, and they can always be purchased at any tabaccheria and most newsstands.
In Bologna a regular bus ticket currently costs €1,30; if you buy it on the bus it is €1,50. A city bus pass is available ro international students for a 1-time fee of €10. (This covers your entire study period in Bologna.) You can apply for the bus pass on the unibo site, in your personal area under the Tper section. Pay online with your credit card and then pick up the pass within a few days at the Tper office on via Marconi 4.
Note that blue "suburbano" buses leave the urban area and have a higher ticket cost. The unibo international student pass cannot be used for them. Additional, detailed information regarding bus schedules, validating tickets, purchasing tickets, etc., will be given at the on-site orientation when you arrive.

Travel Throughout Italy

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.
Italo 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 and InterRail websites for more information.  
Extracurricular Activities
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.
Study Center staff has information on cultural and social events, and will regularly post information on the Facebook group page. The staff will sometimes arrange activities and excursions for the group during the year.
There are clubs, sponsored activities, and facilities available at the various institutions or in the community, but you need to take initiative to find them. Clubs at the University of Bologna sponsor film series throughout the academic year. There are also lecture series on art, contemporary literature, music, and politics; organized trips; and special events.
CUSB (Centro Universitario Sportivo Bologna) coordinates sports activities. ESEG (International Exchange Student Association) and ESN (Erasmus Student Network) are cultural activity groups 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. The ESEG and ESN cards cost approximately €10. 
For more information see these websites:
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.

Florence (Pre-ILP)

Professors are more than willing to give extra time for exams and even revise course programs to meet students’ particular needs.
Most parts of the Florence city center have small cobblestones or large paving stones which can be challenging for wheelchair users. Cars may be parked on the sidewalks, which are usually narrow and may not have ramps. Most historical buildings in Florence are exempt from compliance with the Italian Disabilities Act.


Professors are generally willing to give extra time for exams and even revise course programs to meet a student’s particular needs. Many university departments are housed in Medieval and Renaissance buildings and are not wheelchair accessible.
For more information:
Travel Sign-out Form

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.
Working Abroad
LGBTIQ Students

​Bologna is home to the historic Cassero LGBT center, and offers support, events, and a library. 

​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, and residents may be more likely to articulate their disapproval.
Students may face social discrimination in a variety of situations. Students living with host-families should exercise discretion, as acceptance of LGBT persons may vary from family to family.
With its minimal protections or laws supporting its LGBT community, Italy’s legal situation is very similar to many states in the US. There are openly LGBT persons active in Italy’s political system.
​For more information,
Working 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.
UCEAP Insurance

Know Before You Go

As a UCEAP participant, you are automatically covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy anywhere in the world. 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.
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

Insurance for Personal Possessions
Consider having additional protection for your property, as you may 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.
Staying Healthy
University of California does not make any representation of warranty with respect to the names of medical providers referenced on this Staying Healthy chapter. The names listed are only a point of reference as the University of California does not recommend or endorse any medical provider on this list.
Local Medical Facilities
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.
​A list of English-speaking doctors is available at the US Embassy’s website. You can also contact the UCEAP Study Center or partner institution staff for r ecommendations on physicians or specialists that students have used in the past.
Local doctors expect direct payment. If you are sick or injured, seek care, pay for treatment and submit a claim through the UCEAP travel insurance. Many doctors do not accept credit card payment. Make sure you budget for this expense. For information about benefits and the claims process email ACI,
Physical Health

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.
Prescription Medications


Research and Resources:

  • Find out if your prescription is legal and licensed in your UCEAP country.  There are many resources you can check: The US embassy website for the country where you will be studying; the foreign embassy for the country where you will be studying; regulations from official foreign government sites; the International Narcotics Control Board (link below).
  • As a UCEAP participant you are covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance. Review the UCEAP Travel Insurance terms of coverage. It is not the same as your campus health insurance coverage.
  • Refer to UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, specifically the Health and Insurance sections.

Schedule an appointment with your doctor as least 3-6 months before departure to discuss your medication and treatment plan:

  • Ask if you can get a prescription to last the entire duration of your program. Consider that you may need to fill your prescription abroad.
  • Obtain a letter from the prescribing physician on letterhead indicating your diagnosis, treatment, medication regimen, and generic name(s) of medication(s) as brand names vary around the world. This will be for passing through Customs and for refilling abroad.
  • Your doctor may need to change your medication at least 3-6 months before departure to monitor side effects and dosage.
  • Discuss how to adjust dosage to account for different time zones.


Airport Security

  • Keep medication in its original packaging clearly labelled with your name, doctor's name, generic/brand name, and exact dosage. 
  • Carry copies of original US prescriptions and carry the letter from your doctor (see above).
  • Travel with medications in your carry-on luggage, provided it is in pill form. Consult the US Transportation Security Administration if your medication is liquid.

In Country

  • If you need to refill while abroad, you must see a local doctor as US prescriptions are not valid in other countries. Take with you the letter from your doctor (see above). Note: If the visit to the local doctor is considered preventative care, it will not be covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance. However, your campus or private insurance plan may cover it.
  • To purchase medication using the UCEAP Travel Insurance coverage, you must pay up front and submit a claim for medication when coverage is effective (14 days before the official start date of your program).
  • Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, and the Insurance tab on your pre-departure checklist for more insurance information.
  • For specific information about the UCEAP travel insurance coverage, contact,


  • Two classes of medicines - narcotics and psychotropics - are under the control of international law. This covers any medicine that affects the central nervous system and the potential for drug abuse.  The narcotic class mostly relates to analgesic opioids and their derivatives (e.g. morphine and codeine). Psychotropic medications are used to treat conditions such as anxiety, depression, and psychotic conditions. These medications are often highly regulated.
  • If you have a prescription containing controlled substances, check the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). 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.
Mental Health


Consider your host country. 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 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.

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. Examples include stimulants frequently used for attention deficit disorders, such as amphetamine, methylphenidate, and narcotics. Prohibited substances vary depending on the country. 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


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 contacting local English-speaking counselors and psychologists who have experience with UC students.
Visit the Cross-Cultural Counselling Service for international students for support with adapting, mental health, and navigating other critical situations. Service is free of charge. Call to make an appointment.
Hours: Tues 15:30 - 17:30 and Wed 15:00 to 17:00
Tel: 051 2091820
Health Risks
Food Allergies
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.
  • Research the local cuisine. Pesto may contain tree nuts and milk.
  • Learn the word for your food allergy in Italian. Write your allergy on an index card in both English and Italian.
  • Discuss the risks with your doctor six to eight weeks before departure.
  • Carry symptom-reducing medications at all times, including epinephrine. Pack it in your carry-on, not your checked luggage. Your medication must be in its original packaging, with your name.
  • Have a letter from your physician to present to airport security that states your need to have the epinephrine auto injector with you at all times.
  • Wear a medical alert bracelet or tag with instructions for assistance in both English and Italian.
Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad Health chapter.
Air Quality
Staying Safe
Minimize Risk
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 about how you can 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 the 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. 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, identify safe places where you can shelter-in-place, and watch out for any vehicles that appear to be going at 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 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.
  • Observe and assess your surroundings. Learn to recognize danger.
  • Trust your feelings. If you feel threatened, act if safe to do so and leave the area immediately. Find somewhere more secure.
  • When entering larger venues, always decide on a meeting place with those you are with in case you get separated. Always identify possible exits.
  • Drink responsibly. Know your limits. In many countries, beer, wine and liquor contain 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. 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 WorldAware, 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.


You may want to look into a safety app for your cellphone. Apps such as bSafe and Circle of 6 allow you to let friends know where your are and to create 1-touch emergency sevices calls.​

Crime & Prevention

Street Crime

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.
Civil Unrest
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

Public Transportation

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.

Road Safety

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.

Pedestrian Safety

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
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
UCEAP staff and/or partners if you suspect one of these behaviors has occurred.
Natural Disasters
Italy is located in an active seismic region and experiences a number of earthquakes each year. Significant earthquakes occur occasionally, which also can cause landslides and avalanches. Monitor local media and weather reports. Follow the advice of local authorities. Visit Italy's Civil Protection Authorities website.
Excessive Drinking & Safety
​Most of the safety problems students have experienced while abroad involve excessive drinking. You are expected to abide by the UCEAP Substance Abuse Policy.
Stay in control of your drinking. If you are drunk, your personal safety is compromised. You will be vulnerable to robbery and assault.
Always stay with your beverage. Instances of drink spiking have been reported. Drugs mixed into unattended drinks can disorient you, dramatically impair your judgment, or cause you to lose consciousness.
Fire Safety
Educate yourself about fire safety standards in your UCEAP country, as they differ drastically around the world.
  • Locate the nearest emergency exists and make sure they are not obstructed.
  • Know the sound of the fire alarm; not all alarms will sound the same.
  • Know how to call the local fire department.
  • Print and take with you the UCEAP brochure, Fire Safety 101 for Students.
  • Purchase and use a smoke detector. The Fire Safety Foundation has  a variety of battery-powered smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. They will ship to your host country address.
  • Have an escape plan.
  • If you have a disability, alert others of the type of assistance you need in order 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.

Security Evacuation

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.
In An Emergency

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
Police .............................................113
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
50123 Florence
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
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 office.

* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.