NECA Study Abroad Italy Programs
Planning your stay

On this web page:

:: Passport and VISA

 

:: U.S. Consulate in Florence

:: Banking

:: Credit Cards

:: ATMs

:: Computers







PASSPORT and VISA

"Non-European Union citizens" are required to have a valid passport upon entry and departure from Italy. It is illegal to return home with an expired passport.

"U.S. and Canadian citizens" can enter Italy without a visa as tourists for stays up to 90 days.

A visa is necessary for all stays for all non-European Union students. NECA will e-mail students all the necessary information to request the visa and the permit of stay at their arrival in Italy. Start your process for the visa as soon as possible since it may take a bit of time. NECA will assist students for visa application. NECA is not responsible for those students who enter Italy without a visa and for those students with a visa who do not request the Permit of Stay (Permesso di Soggiorno) at their arrival in Florence.

IMPORTANT: Before coming to Florence students should make at least 5 (five) photocopies of their passport and at least 1 (one) of any other important document, keep them separately. Students should give two copies of passport to NECA staff upon their arrival in Florence.
Students must always have the passport with them anywhere they go, plus the permit of stay or receipt of it. This is the law.



U.S. CONSULATE IN FLORENCE
Lungarno Amerigo Vespucci 38
Ph. +39 055266951
Open Mon-Fri 9:00am-12:30pm and 2:00pm-3:30pm.
The U.S. Consulate can assist you if you lose your passport.

Click here for addresses of Italian Consulates or Embassies in the U.S. and Worldwide. For Consulates/Embassies in the U.S. scroll down until you find "United States of America" OR "Stati Uniti d'America".



BANKING
It is possible to change money or travelers checks at any bank in Florence (with proof of ID). There are also many "change" places in the historical center, be aware of additional fees (ask first). Rates will vary from place to place.

Students can cash American Express traveler's checks without a transaction fee at the American Express Office
via Dante Alighieri 14
Tel. +39 05550981
Personal checks cannot be cashed.

If students need to have money sent from home they should ask NECA, which will answer as soon as possible and help them. Students should remember that money transfers take time, and should always have extra money in case of an emergency.

It is possible to ask one's home bank if they have a "correspondent" bank in Florence, they may be able to provide some assistance in Florence.

Students should arrive in Florence with €300.00 cash for the first days.



CREDIT CARDS
In Italy we do not use credit cards all the time.
♦ Credit cards connected to banks will probably allow you to make purchases in Italy AND ALSO to get money from ATMs.
Credit cards NOT connected to banks will probably allow you to make purchases but MIGHT NOT ALLOW you to get money (=cash) from ATMs.

Please check with your credit card company before leaving your home country. NECA is not responsible if your credit card does not work in Italy. It is the student that should make sure in advance that his or her card will work in Italy.



ATMs
The best way to get money in Italy is with an ATM or credit card. Students can use their ATM card in Italy and access their personal bank account depending on the system their bank uses (Cirrus or PLUS, for example). There may be a limit (usually of €250.00) on the amount to be withdrawn and a service fee of about €7.00.
If your credit card does not allow you to get money from ATMs, NECA cannot do anything to help you. It is the student that should make sure in advance that his or her card will work in Italy.

Students can also get a cash advance with a credit card at any bank machine; Visa, Master Card, and American Express are widely accepted. However this is not the most economical way. There might be a service charge and high interest rate.

Debit cards, which link students bank account to a Visa or MasterCard, are another alternative. Students should check with their home bank before leaving their country.



CELL PHONES, PHONE CARDS, INTERNET, LAPTOPS,

and WIRELESS ROUTERS

CELL PHONES

At student accommodations there is no phone. Even if it is not mandatory students rent cell phones, which NECA highly recommends to assist you 24/7 better (incoming calls are free in Italy). You will pay a rental fee and cost of phone calls made. Prices may vary program after program. You can also reserve the cell phone for when you arrive in Italy. NECA will assist you even before enrolling, and at the orientation program at your arrival you will be given information on where to go rent a cell phone (near the school facilities).

U.S. cell phones do not usually work in Europe, unless they are tri-band. With cell phones rented in the U.S. you may be charged a lot of money since they may have the area code of England (+44), not of Italy (+39).

If you have or rent a cell phone please remember that all cell phones must be turned off in class or course-related field trip or studio.

 

PHONE CARDS

U.S. and Italian phone cards may be more expensive than renting a cell phone in Florence. Phone cards to call from Italy to U.S. should be purchased in Italy.

 

INTERNET
NECA assignments do not require Internet research or the use of computers. If the use of computer should be requested by NECA professors, students would be provided a computer by NECA. There is no Internet hookup in apartments and no Internet hookup in classrooms, unless specifically requested by NECA professors.

 

LAPTOPS

A laptop is useful for storing digital photos but not necessary for coursework. You may find wireless Internet connection in several places in the historical center or you can rent a portable modem, as many students usually do.

 

WIRELESS ROUTERS

There are offers of routers that you may rent and use with your laptop, maybe one for the whole apartment, thus saving money in case you want to use internet to email friends or family. NECA will assist you also in this case. 

 






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