martedì 22 marzo 2011

Studying Abroad Tips And Suggestions

STUDENTS STUDYING ABROAD IN ITALY: Helpful suggestions for before you come and tips for when you are here. 


Dress Code:

1. Italians dress up and look nice all the time, but "to dress up" in Italy does not mean the same in America. 
-American Female "dress up" Outfit = dress pants or skirt, blouse, suite jacket, high heels.
-American Male "dress up" Outfit = a suite and tie with nice shoes.
-Italian Female "dress up" Outfit = Jeans, a blouse or shirt, with a blazer/jacket/sweater. Italian woman seem to wear heels all the time, but it is not practical for students to wear heels. Walking on the cobble stone in Florence with heels is a challenge and not recommended.
-Italian Male "dress up" Outfit = Jeans, a nice shirt, or even a suite jacket. Ties are not popular unless your profession is extremely prestigious.

*Italian Fashion is constantly changing, but jeans have almost always been accepted as an article of clothing that can be dressed up.

Suggestions: key word CASUAL
-A few pairs of jeans (i.e dark wash, black, light, skinny cut, boot cut)
-Nice, simple, dress tops.
-Sweaters, Blazer, Jackets
-Scarfs, Belts, one or two necklaces, earrings, and hair accessories. 
-Sneakers, Boots, flats, trendy low heels, but not more than two pairs of heels because you probably will not wear them.
-Slippers (for apartment)
-One or two, really nice outfits just in case (i.e. dress pants, skirt, suit, or cocktail dress, etc)
-One hooded sweat shirt and 1 pair of sweat pants, BUT NEVER WEAR THEM OUTSIDE THE HOUSE.

*The idea is to layer clothes in a comfortable fashion and be warm*

Suitcases and Mail:
-Try not to pack to the full weight capacity because you will need space for the souvenirs you bring back.
-Mail can take anywhere from two weeks to two months. It is hit or miss. There is a possibility customs will go through large packages; therefore mailing expensive belongings or large packages are not recommended, but are not forbidden. 

Apartments that include utilities:

1. You will get charged if you go over the "average" amount of utilities. 
-Keep heat low
-Do not wash your clothes unless they are actually dirty
i.e. Jeans, Jackets, and layered Sweaters do not need to be washed after wearing them once. 
-TURN LIGHTS OFF WHEN YOU LEAVE THE ROOM or you will pay for it later.

Permit of Stay---Permesso di Soggiorno: If your stay is longer than 90 days...

1. Estimated cost 100£
2. Bring extra passport pictures from home or find a photo booth and get them here.
3. Make 2-3 photocopies of all your paperwork and insurance card front and back. 
4. When you go to the police station for your appointment:
-Get there half hour before it opens to wait in line for a number.
-Bring a snack, a drink, and something to occupy your time you will be there for a few hours.

Cell Phone/Contacting home:

1. Suggestions to keep in contact with people at home:
-Skype. $2.99 a month to call US and Canada from anywhere in the world. 
-Get an international phone, activate the internet, and use BBM or AIM to keep in touch.
*AIM: Can be accessed on any computer as well, allows you to create a screen name and then type in peoples mobile phone numbers on your buddy list and text straight to their phone for free.
-Get a cell phone in Italy and buy the prepaid plan. You can also buy a phone card for those emergency calls home if your computer isn't around.


1. Prepare to be frustrated. It is not high speed, the connection comes and goes, and not all apartments offer it. It depends on where you are placed. Just be patient and remember you are in a different country.
2. Find a Library: If you sign up for a library card they will usually have free wi-fi for a few hours a day.
3. There are "internet trains" and some wi-fi cafes if you aren't frequent internet user, just look for ones near your apartment.
4. FOR INTERNET ACCESS ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY>Go to TIM (are said to have the best service) and buy the internet key for the monthly plan. You can buy a certain amount of hours for the month and it is a portable usb port to use anywhere, but be patient because connection is not consistent.

by Justine Trusso

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