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F.A.Q.

Do I need to bring my laptop?
Do I need to bring linens and/or towels?
What kind of clothes will I need?
Will I be able to use/recharge my electrical devices (cell phone, laptop, tablet, etc.) in Italy?
Will my cellphone work in Italy?
Is there Internet access in the student apartments?
Do I need to bring readings for class with me from the US?
Do I need to complete my readings before the classes begin?
Do I need a VISA?
Do I need a passport?
When do I need to arrive, and when must I depart from Rome?
May I arrive after the beginning of the program, or leave before the end of it?
May I move into my apartment before the beginning of the program, or leave the apartment after the end of it?
How will I get to my apartment once I arrive in Rome?
Will I find my prescription drugs at pharmacies in Rome?
Do I need special health insurance coverage?
Do I need to speak Italian to take part in the program?
Do I need to bring cash with me?


Do I need to bring my laptop?

You don’t need to bring your laptop for the program if you are not taking the course for credit. However, in order to get credit for the program, you will need to write one essay while you are in Rome. You might find it easier to write it if you have your laptop with you, but you also will have the option to use a computer at one of the many internet cafés in Rome for a small fee. (Those taking the course for credit will also need to write a second essay after the end of the program, back in the US.)
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Do I need to bring linens and/or towels?

No, you don’t. The apartments are completely furnished, including linens, towels, and kitchen utensils.
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What kind of clothes will I need?

Summer in Rome is generally pretty warm, and at times can get hot. Bring light, comfortable clothes. During tours, you may spend a lot of time walking in the sun, so make sure you bring with you comfortable shoes and a hat. Some churches require modest dress, and may require women to cover their shoulders. Such churches, usually, but not always, offer shawls at the entrance for tourists. One solution is to keep a light scarf or shawl in a handbag for visiting churches.
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Will I be able to use/recharge my electrical devices (cell phone, laptop, tablet, etc.) in Italy?

Yes, you will.  You will need a simple adapter to plug in your electronic device, as long as it has its own transformer. Laptops, cell phones, and many tablets have their own transformer, so you won’t need one. You may need a transformer and an adaptor for other electric items you bring with you (i.e.; hair dryer, electric razor, etc.). You can easily buy one at Radio Shack or any other similar store. You will not need a printer in Rome; electronic submission of essays will be acceptable.
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Will my cellphone work in Italy?

For your American cell phone to work in Italy, it must meet these three requirements:

  1. Your phone must use GSM technology. Some American phone companies, like T-Mobile and AT&T use it, while others, like Verizon and Sprint use a different technology, called CDMA. If your telephone works with CDMA, it won’t work in Italy, no matter what SIM card you put in it;
  2. Your telephone must be a quad-band. Many American cell phones are quad-band, bust some are three-band. If your telephone is a three band, it won’t work in Italy;
  3. Your telephone must be unlocked. Most American cell phones are locked, which means they only work with a SIM card from the telephone company that sold you the telephone. If your cell phone meets the first two criteria above, you can bring your telephone to any of your phone company’s stores, and ask to have it unlocked.

Please check the “Cell phone” paragraph on our Student Life page for more info about cell phone use in Italy.
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Is there Internet access in the student apartments?

Yes, there is. Apartments have a WI-FI service included in the rent. While on the go, you can also easily access the Internet for a fee from one of the many “Internet cafés” around Rome.
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Do I need to bring readings for class with me from the US?

Yes, you do. Although we encourage you to complete as much of your readings as possible before you leave, you will still need to read during the program. Electronic versions of the readings are permitted for use in class.
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Do I need to complete my readings before the classes begin?

You will be required to complete some or all of the readings for the first week of class, before coming to Rome. We also encourage you to complete as much of your readings as possible before you leave the U.S. That will allow you to do quick re-readings in Rome, and have more free time to explore the city.
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Do I need a VISA?

American citizens do not need a VISA to enter Italy if they stay for up to 90 days. You will need a VISA only in case you plan to stay for more than two months after the end of our program.
If you are not an American citizen, please check what your requirements are on the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affair’s official website here: http://www.esteri.it/visti/index_eng.asp, then contact our office for consultation.
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Do I need a passport?

Yes, you do. If you don’t have a passport yet, please make sure you apply for it as soon as possible. Passport applications may take up to six weeks to process. If you are starting your application less than two months before your trip, we encourage you to pay an additional fee for expedited processing. If you already have a passport, please be sure to check that it is still valid, and remember that upon your arrival in Italy you may be required to have a passport valid for at least three months after the program end date. If you need to renew your passport, you may have the option to do so by mail. Even in the case of renewal, we strongly encourage expedited processing.
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When do I need to arrive, and when must I depart from Rome?

You are required to be in Rome the Saturday before the beginning of class, arriving at your apartment any time between 9am and 8pm. You are required to leave your apartment by 10am on the Saturday after the end of classes.
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May I arrive after the beginning of the program, or leave before the end of it?

Students are required to participate in the program for its full length, and to attend all classes as well as all mandatory excursions. If you feel that you have extraordinary reasons that require you to delay your arrival or to anticipate your departure, please contact our office before the beginning of the program.
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May I move into my apartment before the beginning of the program, or leave the apartment after the end of it?

Apartments are usually booked by other groups before and after our stay, so it is unlikely that your apartment will be available beyond the dates when we book it for you. Also consider that you would be required to pay full rent for the apartment for any extra night you spent there, which would make it expensive for you. Rome offers a variety of hotels and B&B’s for every budget; we recommend that you find an alternative accommodation for your stay beyond your time in RILA. Please understand that RILA will not be able to help you finding an alternative accommodation for days beyond the program’s official dates, and that you will be solely responsible for yourself and your housing before or after the RILA program.
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How will I get to my apartment once I arrive in Rome?

For your convenience, RILA offers a car service from the airport to your apartment. You will be asked whether you want to book it during registration to the program. If you prefer to get to your apartment in Rome on your own using public transportation, you can find detailed directions on how to get there from the airport on the “Student Life” page on this website.
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Will I find my prescription drugs at pharmacies in Rome?

We strongly recommend that you bring with you any prescription drugs that you are currently taking or which you might need in the time you are in Rome. Please make sure to bring a supply large enough to cover (or better still, to exceed) your maximum need for the period you will be in Italy. Some American drugs are not available in Italy in the same forms as in the U.S. Thus it could be very difficult, and certainly pretty expensive, for you to purchase such medicines while there.
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Do I need special health insurance coverage?

For your safety, RILA requires that you have health insurance during your stay in Rome. And for your convenience, we established group coverage with an insurance company for a very small individual fee as part of our registration process.
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Do I need to speak Italian to take part in the program?

No, you don’t. All classes will be in English, taught by professors from major American universities. RILA offers an Italian language class, which, although recommended, is completely optional.
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Do I need to bring cash with me?

You don’t need to bring a big amount of cash with you. If you choose to book the car service through RILA, you won’t need any cash at your arrival in Rome. If you choose to get to your apartment using public transportation, you might want to have a small amount of cash with you to purchase the train and bus tickets. Generally speaking, the easiest way to obtain cash in Rome is to use your debit or credit card at any of the many ATMs throughout the city. Please check with your bank or credit card company for fees.
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