Italy is one of the world’s most beautiful travel destinations and a popular choice for movie sets. No wonder then there’s a certain familiarity that almost all of us harbor when it come s to Italy and its pavements and its Pizza or Gelato. Lately, it has also become one of the top countries where international students choose for higher education abroad in Italy, confirming the widely believed perceptions about it.
However, the fact remains that you cannot really know a place until you have lived there and interacted with its people and places. Hence it stays foreign till that is achieved. For people planning to study there, there will be many things that might come as a shock and many that you will simply understand on some instinctual level.
Below we have mentioned some of the things you need to get acquainted with before touching down in Italy.
Navigating Around Italy
You can make the most of studying abroad in Italy by regularly exploring the beautiful country as much as you can. This is made especially easy by the easy navigation system in the Italian sprawls. The public transport system spans over 15,000 miles and is extremely well structured as well as cost-effective- making every day travel pretty easy for international students in Italy.
It’s pretty easy for one to take a day or few long trips through various parts of Italy via this. You can either book tickets online or get them right at the station. However, most cities have very walkable cobblestone streets and Italians do love and prefer to walk more than any other nation perhaps. Make sure you pack comfortable shoes but do not forgo of style either.
Almost Everyone Speaks English
Didn’t really find the time or motivation to learn Italian before setting off for Italy? Does not make a difference and won’t be problem for your authentic Italian experience as English is widely spoken and understood thanks to globalization, especially in major cities such as Rome Milan or Florence that are global hubs for fashion, business and architecture.
Not only do the menus at almost all restaurants but travel or museum guides also come with English translations. Hence you don’t have to compromise on either your fun or academic or cultural pursuits even if you don’t speak a bit of Italian.
However, it doesn’t have to be purely a sanitary experience where no contact with the local language is ever made. There is an unspoken traveler’s etiquette that one must at least attempt to engage to some extent wherever they go while respecting the place and peoples’ individuality and culture.
Hence it is generally advised to learn at least some basics as well as greeting remarks in Italian to help not only make your entire higher education abroad in Italy experience much smoother but also the effort invested will make you endearing to the locals and who knows what that could lead to.
Sightseeing & Exploring
Make the most of your study abroad in Italy by immersing in the local culture, travelling to Vatican, trying out those Sicilian cannoli and pastries or even just exploring the everyday charms of not very well-known towns.
Italy has all sorts of terrain and sights to offer for each and every kind of taste that one can harbor. They also have a very well-defined coffee culture where it is considered bad to order a cappuccino either at noon or right after dinner. Know and explore such tones of the Italian culture and you might just come back as an Italian in your own right.
Blend In With The Locals
Italians are quite conservative when it comes to dressing, hence if you would like to blend in with the locals follow this trend as well. This is not only a great trick for anyone who chooses to study abroad in Italy but also for anyone opting for higher education in any of the European countries.
Beware Of Surroundings
Make sure you stay vigilant of your luggage and pockets in general since as a tourist you will stand out despite all your efforts and this could lead to you attracting pickpockets and scammers quite a lot. Although Italy does boast of very low crime rates yet it’s never bad to stay safe.
Some Laws To Be Aware Of
Before setting off to perusing your higher education abroad in Italy, beware of the following few laws and regulations in order to make your time there safe and your experience smooth:
1. Residency Permit
Along with your student visa, it is necessary that anyone who stays over 90 days in Italy secures a residency permit (even international students in Italy). This must be secured within the 8 days of you landing in Italy. You can easily access the list of necessary documents via their website and start the process of procuring this permit that usually lasts a year and has to be renewed every year of your stay.
2. Drugs Are Illegal
As any country, possession of drugs is illegal and you must steer clear of all such hindrances if you want to study abroad in Italy.
3. Train Tickets
Almost all stations have ticket validation machines installed and one must get their tickets validated at the end of each train journey otherwise a hefty fine must be paid.
4. Renting A Car
Some people prefer driving to places themselves than taking the train which would lead to them renting cars of course. In compliance with the law though, there are certain extra things required while you rent a car, there are: snow chains, reflective and winter jackets as well as warning triangle. Seatbelts are a must as in every other country.
These are some of the major law out of many that must be complied to in order to have a peaceful study abroad session in Italy. Take time out before landing in Italy to further explore these laws or hire the aid of one of the many security services in order to get briefed on such nuances so that you could avoid any hiccups during your stay or having to pay hefty amounts of fines wasting your study budget on it.
In any case, despite all your effort, even if you do get in trouble, these security services can also help you navigate out of such tough corners.
Watch this space for more helpful blogs on studying as an international student in Italy and other countries in Europe, travelling abroad and finding the perfect program for you. Let us know your queries in the comment sections below!