Skip to content

Pre-Departure Information

Your Florence program is about to begin! 

While you begin to prepare for your life in Florence, we have compiled a list of the pre-departure information that you may need to consider for your time with us to help with logistics and questions that you have.

Helpful Information

Pre-departure and Orientation

All students will receive pre-departure information from the Student Life & Development Office (SLD). AAfter arriving in Florence, ect. all students will attend a mandatory detailed Orientation in which specific Health and Safety information will be provided, and Non-EU students will be assisted in completing the Permit of Stay (permesso di soggiorno) application process. The SLD office also provides orientation activities to help students explore Florence and the surrounding neighborhoods.   

Pre-Departure Check List

  • Passport (w/ two photocopies).
  • Bring a written prescription for each medication that you are bringing, and make sure all medication is in its original container. If possible, try to get enough of your medication for the entire duration of each academic season. Some medications can not be prescribed or shipped to Italy and will be stopped at customs.
  • Be able to access or carry proof of your International Health Insurance plan (for non-Italian citizens).
  • Log into the Student Portal and download all important documents (Housing brochure, Official Registration, wifi vouchers).
  • Access your Orientation Schedule.
  • Printed Copy of Enrolment Letter.

Preparing for Arrival

  • Most accommodations in Florence do not have elevators, so pack light! Once you are settled in, you can purchase all your necessities in the city center. 
  • Pack for the change of seasons and discover new and unique shops once you settle in. 
  • Pack comfortable walking shoes, or purchase them when in Florence. Florence is a walking city, and your own two feet will be the best form of transportation in the City Center. 
  • Have something familiar in otherwise unfamiliar surroundings. A few pictures of family, friends, or your pet.
  • Consider purchasing a voltage converter if necessary. If you don’t want to carry it in your luggage, you can purchase one while in Italy.
  • Packing and preparation needs will depend on the length of your studies and departure location.
  • Cell Phones:
    • We highly recommend that you have a working cell phone so that you can contact the Student Life Department in case of travel delays or cancelations and be able to contact friends and family. 
    • To ensure better communication and safety while studying in Florence, we recommend that non-EU students obtain a local Italian number when they arrive. We know that many international plans are available, but international plans are not always fully functional and can be very costly. It is extremely important for health and safety reasons to be able to make a phone call to an Italian number, in particular to the 24/7 AUF Emergency Line, in a time of need.

Student Visa and ‘Permit of Stay’ (Permesso Di Soggiorno)

Prior to arrival: 

A Student Visa is required for non-EU students enrolled in programs that last longer than 90 days and must be requested at the Italian Embassy or Consulate that covers your area of residence. Embassies/Consulates require a series of documents in order to issue a student visa. Among these documents, the Admissions office provides the following: a letter of enrollment and worldwide insurance coverage for studying and living in Italy (if applicable). Please note: Your visa allows you to stay in the Schengen Area only as long as your visa is valid. Depending on citizenship, some students may need a student visa even if they are studying in Italy for a period shorter than 90 days. Please carefully check the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for further information. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain a student visa. 


After arrival:

Once a student has entered the country on a student visa (for programs longer than 90 days), they must apply for a ‘permit of stay’ or Permesso di Soggiorno within 8 days of arrival in Italy. Our staff will assist with the ‘permit of stay’ application during Orientation, as indicated in the Orientation Schedule. The meeting is mandatory, and students are required to provide the following items during the meeting:

  • Original Passport photo 
  • Photocopy of your Passport (photo & visa pages)
  • Photocopy of acceptance letter (stamped by Italian Embassy)
  • Copy of your international health insurance card
  • Black ink pen
  • 16.00 euro in cash*
  • 122.00 euro cash or card (this payment covers the cost of the official stamp, mailing, and processingg fees). *

*Application costs may vary according to Italian immigration laws; the Institution is not responsible for any last-minute change in cost). 

Important: Do not submit any original documents with your Permesso di Soggiorno application. All originals must be brought to Italy and stored in a safe place during your stay. 

After this first application meeting, students will be escorted to the Immigration office’s representatives within the local post office for passport verification. Once the application has been submitted, students are given an appointment at the Questura (Police Department) for fingerprinting and identification before the Permit can be issued. This meeting is mandatory and cannot be changed. Please do not make travel plans until you have received your appointment time and date. While the Student Life Department will be available to facilitate the application filing and advise students on reaching the immigration office, it is the student’s responsibility to follow up with the Immigration Police and complete this procedure. Important: Students are responsible for checking their Permit of Stay status after submitting the application. For students staying longer than one semester, it is the student’s responsibility to extend the permit to stay. If the extension request is NOT submitted to the immigration office BEFORE the permit expires, students will be required to return to their home country and apply for a new student visa. Thank you for your cooperation!