Tips for students heading for an expat semester in Italy

Published:  24 May at 6 PM
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Things you’ll need to know if you’re contemplating a semester at an Italian university.

One way to experience expat life at the same time as upgrading your university education is to spend a semester either as an intern or student. For those hoping to be able to travel and maybe even settle as expats in a foreign land, it’s also a great way to get your bearings as regards adjusting to a new culture. Italy is a fascinating, incredibly beautiful and historic place to start your journey of a lifetime.

Whether you’re planning to continue your studies at an Italian university or are taking on an internship, your first move is get your official tax code, available at your local Agenzia delle Entrate (Inland Revenue). You’ll need a photocopy of your passport and a free afternoon, as officialdom takes its own, long time in Italy! Ask for the ‘codice fiscal’ form, fill it in and wait for what seems to be hours until you’re handed your numbered tax certificate. Keep it safe as you’ll need it for almost everything you need to do.

Before you leave home, plan your accommodation viewings but don’t pay for anything you’ve seen online. Scams are rampant, and many first-time visitors get caught. One idea favoured by many expat students is short-term renting in a shared apartment, as it’s economical and great for making new friends. One warning given to all new arrivals is to watch out for your belongings, with a zipped bag kept close the best way to foil pickpockets. Taxis in Italy are known for their ability to spot new arrivals, and few expats get by without being ripped off at least once. However, once you’ve settled in, your Italian semester or internship will be an experience you’ll always treasure.
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