Planning your Time Abroad

A successful study abroad experience begins with careful preparation. All students receive a comprehensive Pre-departure Guide along with other helpful details before program start.

Click below for useful information to prepare students for their time abroad at LdM.

Pre-departure Planning Checklist

– Valid passport/identification card: students should make sure that their passport is valid for at least three months after the end of their stay in Europe.

– Health insurance coverage for living abroad: it is possible to purchase Italian health insurance upon arrival in Italy.

– Flight/travel itinerary: When making outbound travel arrangements be mindful of the time change. It’s important to be sure that the flight arrives in Italy on the correct day, as international flights often arrive the day after departure. Those who’ve requested LdM housing must arrive no later than 4:30 p.m. on the indicated check-in day. Students already in their LdM campus location city may check-in as early as 9:00 a.m.

*Before booking any travel arrangements, LdM recommends that students consult the specific travel guidelines provided by their enrollment office.

– ATM card(s)

– Credit card(s)

– Cell phone

– Prescription medication (if applicable): Students must remember to bring enough medication with them to last their entire stay in Italy. If this is not possible, they should bring with them the original prescription from their doctor. 

See the Health/Medication section below for more information. 

Required Documents

The most important document students need before planning their trip abroad is a passport and identification card. It is their responsibility to make sure theirs is valid and up to date. 

Non-EU students may need to obtain a Study Visa before arrival to Italy, depending on the duration of enrollment and home country. 

For more details consult the section below.

Study Visa, Permit of Stay & Declaration of Presence

The documentation required to study in Italy depends on each students’ country of residence and duration of the stay. Non-EU citizens need a Study Visa, which they must apply for and obtain in their home countries at least three months in advance of their arrival in Italy. It is recommended that each applicant contact the Italian Consulate or Embassy in their jurisdiction for the latest rules and regulations as they are subject to change. 

Many of those who choose to study in Italy need either a Permit of Stay or a Declaration of Presence, which they must obtain or present after their arrival in Italy. Students receive detailed information about this immigration documentation in their pre-departure materials as well as upon arrival at orientation. 

Study Visas – Study Visas for Periods of More than 90 Days

Non-European Union citizens who plan to study in Italy for more than 90 days need a Study Visa. Semester programs last longer than 90 days, so all Non-EU residents enrolled at LdM for the academic semester, or longer need a Study Visa to enter the country—this is mandatory. The fee for a Study Visa is updated quarterly and may vary by consulate but is generally around 60 USD. The requirements for study visas are subject to change and vary from one consulate to another, so it is suggested that students contact the Italian consulate or embassy of their jurisdiction for the latest rules and regulations. The consulate affixes the Study Visa to the applicant’s passport once processed.

For further information on current laws and the documentation required to apply for a Study Visa, please see the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or contact the Italian consulate or embassy in your jurisdiction. It can take from four to six weeks from the time of the Student Visa application to approval barring any missing documents or during holidays. 

To improve the chances of getting the Study Visa on time, we recommend that students begin this process approximately three months before their departure date. 

Students should check their Study Visa when they get it back from the Italian consulate to make sure that the expiration date matches the date written on the LdM acceptance letter.

After receiving the Study Visa, make sure that the Italian consulate has returned the acceptance letter from LdM bearing the official seal of the Italian consulate. This document is essential and a requirement for applying for a Permit of Stay that is obtained once in Italy. Detailed information about the Permit of Stay is given to everyone upon arrival at orientation. Students may contact their student advisor in Italy for assistance.

If a consulate does not approve an application for a Study Visa, then the proof of denial must be forwarded to LdM, along with the official letters of acceptance previously provided to the student.

Study Visas for Periods of Less than 90 Days

Non-European Union citizens studying in Italy for less than 90 days (for example those enrolled in the January Intersession, a summer session/workshop/field school or a monthly Italian language course), may not need a Study Visa.

All non-EU citizens should consult for further and updated information on current laws and who would need a Study Visa.

For those who are required to obtain a Study Visa for fewer than 90 days, see above for more information on how to apply.

All non-EU citizens studying in Italy for less than 90 days (even those who do not require a Study Visa) may be required to submit a Declaration of Presence upon arrival in Italy. Students receive detailed information about this immigration documentation in their pre-departure materials as well as upon arrival at orientation.

For more information, students should contact the Italian embassy or consulate of their jurisdiction.

Packing for Study Abroad

Packing for an extended stay can be a daunting exercise in self-restraint. Before students start packing, it is suggested that they check their plane tickets or call their airline to confirm luggage restrictions related to:


– size, weight and the number of luggage items

– content appropriate for checked-in luggage or carry-on

– use of locks on luggage (TSA rules) 

Be reminded that many airlines now charge an extra fee for traveling with more than a carry-on bag and for baggage over the weight limit. 

After packing, students should take another look at the contents and try to avoid bringing any nonessential items. This prevents costly additional baggage fees as well as easing the stress of travel.

Packing List 

Florence, Rome, and Tuscania generally enjoy good weather with a relatively mild range of temperatures. However, in the winter months it can get cold, so students should plan to bring warm coats and sweaters and to layer clothing to adjust to the different seasons. They should have at least one light rain garment or umbrella and comfortable, thick-soled, closed-toe walking shoes to protect the feet while strolling on cobblestone streets.

The list below is a guideline:

– Proper clothing for weather conditions, such as shorts, jeans, sweaters, boots or sandals, depending on the study abroad period.

– Comfortable footwear  

– Warm winter coat, gloves, scarves, hats for the winter season

– Toiletries

– Contact lens solution and eyeglasses 

– Chargers with adaptors for all electronic devices – Italy uses the standard European 220 volts. (It is not recommended to bring hair appliances that don’t convert as they may short out and possibly catch fire even with an adaptor).

– Sunglasses

– Small bilingual Italian-English dictionary

– Flip-flops or sandals for use at pools, on the beach, or in showers

– Warm pajamas and slippers (when seasonally appropriate) – Apartments in Italy may not be as warm as in the student’s home country, as the buildings are often old and difficult to heat adequately.

– Backpack/bag for carrying books, picnic lunches, or supplies during tours and travel.

– Vitamins, pain relievers, an antihistamine (especially those students who suffer from allergies) – Students can find the Italian equivalents for over-the-counter medicines at local pharmacies. See “Health and Medication” regarding prescription medication.


Students should have a medical and a dental check-up before they leave their home country. It is recommended to bring copies of important health records and a doctor’s statement about any special health conditions they may have.

Anyone who regularly takes medication should:

  1. Bring enough prescription drugs for the entire stay, including an extra supply, and remember to pack these in their original containers in carry-on luggage.
  2. Bring a copy of written prescription(s) signed by a prescribing physician.
  3. Remember that all prescribed medications must be labeled clearly with the person’s name to avoid any problems with local authorities. Sometimes prescriptions are not valid in Italy. 

If necessary, students can visit an Italian doctor who can provide them with valid Italian prescription.

For those with comprehensive study abroad health insurance, consult your insurance provider regarding access to prescription medication abroad. Note: The drug Adderall, commonly used in the US for people with ADD or ADHD, is not available in Italy. Students with a prescription for this drug should carefully follow the guidelines above and contact the US Consulate/Embassy for further questions.

Financial Resources

More information on scholarships and grants on the Financial Resources page.

Living Costs in Italy

The estimates listed here are roughly calculated based on averages as financial needs, budget, lifestyle and extracurricular activities vary from person to person. Students on a conservative budget may spend around €3,000 per semester, while those on a more flexible budget may spend €7,000 per semester.

In the visa application requirements, consulates dictate a financial support minimum for students’ monthly living costs which may be helpful when estimating an overall budget. 

In determining an individual budget per semester, students should consider the following:

– Day-to-day expenses (meals and local transportation)

– Books, supplies and lab fees (on site)

– Dining out

– Grocery shopping 

– Cell phone and internet services and calls

– Entertainment 

– Travel expenses for day, weekend and week-long trips

– Other excursions and supplies

– Health and personal care (i.e., medication, salon services, gym fees)

– An emergency fund

Emergency Funds

If an emergency arises, it is possible for family or friends to wire money directly to students. With new applications becoming available yearly, there are many ways possible to get funds quickly transferred. The more traditional bank transfers may take more than 24 hours to arrive, whereas the PayPal option can reach the persons’ account within a day. These are just a couple of the options available. Please remember that the rate of exchange is the official exchange rate on the day the transaction takes place. It is always a good idea for students to have a contingency plan in place before arriving to be prepared for any situation.