Study Abroad in Italy

Study Abroad in Italy
Visa Information

In order to study in Italy for more than 90 days, you are required to have a valid student Schengen Visa. Please read this entire page very carefully. Students studying in Italy for less than 90 days are NOT required to obtain a visa and can travel with their valid U.S. Passport.

What is a Schengen Visa?

Agreed upon in 1985, the Schengen Agreement created a zone of free travel throughout Western Europe, which today has expanding to include 30 European countries. The Schengen Visa Process requires students to apply for a visa from their primary country of destination. Please read this entire page very carefully. While Arcadia University is prepared to assist you with the visa application process, you are responsible for staying informed about the specific requirements of your study visa and lodging the appropriate application materials with the Italian Consulate.

Please refer to the instructions listed and example materials in this section when completing the study visa application.

Most consulates will not allow you to apply more than 90 days in advance of your departure. We highly recommend that you start to work on your materials as soon as you receive your acceptance. You will then be ready to submit you application at the 90 day mark.


Italian Consulates

The Italian Visa process is administered in the U.S. by a series of consulate offices located throughout the country. Each consulate office administers student visas in a slightly different way. Therefore, it is important that you review the specific requirements carefully, as the visa process is not uniform across the country. Most consulates require that you appear in person to submit your application. However, there are some exceptions. Be prepared for the fact that some students must travel a great distance to apply. Please refer to the instructions listed on the consulate webpage to determine whether you must submit your application in person.



View a video presentation detailing requirements for your Italian visa.
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Some content in this video refers to insurance coverage applicable only to students currently abroad. For those students attending programs from summer 2009 and thereafter, health and accident insurance information is available here.


The Application Process

For visual examples of required forms, please view the video above.

STEP 1 – Acquiring a Passport

You must possess a valid passport. If you do not have a passport, please begin the process of securing one immediately. If you already have a passport, please check to see that it has not expired. Your passport should be valid for the duration or your program and for an additional six months.


STEP 2 – Determine the Italian Consulate

You will need to apply for your student visa from an Italian Consulate representing the jurisdiction where 1) You live at a permanent address; or 2) where you attend college. A list of Italian Consulates and their addresses can be found using the "Consular Network" list. From this site you will be able to link to any consulate office in the U.S.


STEP 3 – Submitting Your Application to the Consulate

To apply for a student visa, the following items are required by most consulates:

  • Passport – When you apply for your Italian Study Visa, you will need to submit your passport along with the rest of your application. The consulate will keep your passport during the application period and then place the visa on a blank page in your passport after it is approved.

  • Visa Application Form – The application form is typically available on your consulates website. Guidelines for filling out this application form can be found at the bottom of this page.

  • 1-2 recent, passport-sized photos to attach to your application.

  • Acceptance Letter from Arcadia University – You will receive an original Arcadia Acceptance letter in your Acceptance Pack.    Most Consulates require one original and one copy. Refer to your consulates website for final requirements.

  • Original Accept Letter from your overseas Italian program – You will receive two original acceptance letters from your Italian Institution in your Acceptance Pack. Most Consulates require one original and one copy. Refer to your consulate website for final requirements.

  • Arcadia Certificate of Enrollment – This document serves as verification that the student's tuition and housing have been paid for. It also confirms the date of the program. This form will be sent in the Acceptance Pack.

  • Affidavit of Support – This document should be filled out by the person supporting you financially while abroad (typically you, a parent or a guardian). This form proves to the Consulate Officer that you have means of support while abroad. It will be accompanied by an original bank statement on bank letterhead OR an original bank letter on letterhead (check your consulate website to see which document they require). Always use the Affidavit of Support document provided on the Italian Consulate website. This Affidavit must be notarized.

  • Bank Account Statement or Letter – The Consulate will require an original bank statement or an original bank letter to accompany the Affidavit of Support. You will need to refer to your consulates website to verify if they require a statement or a letter because requirements vary depending on which consulate you use. Most consulates will want to see that you have between $1,000 and $1,500 for each month that you are on the program. Please refer to your consulates website for the amount they require. The account belonging to the person submitting the bank statement or letter MUST be the same person who signs the Affidavit of Support. All documents and letters must be notarized to be considered official, prior to submission.

  • Affidavit of Health Insurance – This document is required to inform Consulate Officers that you will have health insurance for your time abroad. You should include the HTH Health Insurance letter with this document. All Arcadia students are enrolled in HTH Health Insurance, which satisfies any health insurance requirements asked for by the Italian Consulates. Because of this, you will not need to include any other health insurance information. The Affidavit of Health Insurance Coverage can be found on your consulate's website.

  • HTH Health Insurance Letter – HTH Insurance is included in your program fee. This document should accompany your Affidavit of Health Insurance. You will receive this in your Acceptance Pack.

  • Copy of your round trip flight itinerary – The Consulate will require a copy of your flight itinerary verifying an arrival and departure flight. If you do not have an itinerary showing that you are returning to the U.S. at the end of your stay, your visa application could be rejected. If you have any specific questions about this, please contact your Program Manager. Most consulates will accept a copy/print out from your travel agent/service or airline. You should have this itinerary notarized if you mail the application. 

  • United States Postal Service Express Mailer – Most consulates will require that you apply in person at the consulate office. Once your visa is ready you will pick it up at the consulate office. Many consulates will allow you to provide a pre-paid, self-addressed United States Postal Service Express Mailer and they will mail the passport and visa to you when it's ready. Please refer to your consulates website to find their exact mailing instructions as some consulates have different requirements. 
  • An original home school Letter of Enrollment. Please request this letter from your home institution's registrar's office. The Italian Consulate website will explain what the letter should include. Please provide an original letter signed by the registrar or a university representative, including the university seal and/or stamp.


Permesso di Soggiorno (Permit to Stay)

Once you arrive in Italy, you are required by law to report to the local police department to apply for a Permit to Stay (Permesso di Soggiorno). This is a document that all non-European citizens must have if they are staying in Italy for over 90 days. Your host institution in Italy will review this process during orientation.

Cost for Permesso di Soggiorno: The total fee for the Permesso di Soggiorno is your responsibility and is approximately 154 Euro (we state approximately as the Italian government controls these fees, and they are subject to change). Please see the following link regarding Italy Visa Regulations.

You will need to bring the following items with you to Italy in order to apply your Permesso di Soggiorno: 

  • The acceptance letter to your host institution stamped by the Italian consulate: 
    This document should have been sent (given) back with your study visa. If the consulate returned any original documents to you when you applied for your visa, bring these with you as well. Also, if you made a copy of your entire visa application, it never hurts to bring that as well, just as backup.   

  • Italian Government-Approved Health Insurance Letter: 
    This will be the HTH letter we sent you for your visa documents. This CAN be a photocopy of the original document. We will email a copy of your HTH letters to your host institution, just in case.

  • Photocopies of your passport with visa:  
    Students are required to provide the copies of only the first and the visa pages of their passport.

  • Photocopy of your credit or debit (ATM) card

  • Photos:
    Please bring 6 additional passport style photos with you to Italy. You do not have to have professional photos taken, but they should follow the guidelines of a passport photo. Please see the following site for details: If the photos do not follow these guidelines, you will be required to obtain additional photos overseas and the cost is typically more expensive than in the U.S. 


Helpful Tips

  • You should be aware that each Italian consulate office retains the right to amend its visa process at any time. We encourage you to refer back to your consulate's website frequently throughout the process. As Arcadia University becomes aware of changes in the visa process, we will alert you by email.

  • Be sure to make copies of your entire application for your records. If you are submitting by mail, all documents will need to be notarized.

  • The study visa will be affixed to your passport by the consulate.  Please be sure this document is located in your passport prior to your departure to Italy.

  • If you are not a U.S. citizen, you are responsible for any Italian visa regulations that pertain to your particular citizenship. For more information, contact your local Italian Consulate.

  • Honorary Consulates are offices that have been authorized by the Italian Government to assist U.S. residents with their visa applications. If there is an Honorary Consulate in your area, they may be able to facilitate the visa application process by validating your documents.

  • If you are financially supporting yourself, you will need to provide proof of financial aid, scholarships or other financial awards in the form of original, official copies of the award letters.


The Visa Application Form

Some consulates have adopted a New Application Form while others are continuing to use the Old Application Form. We have provided a guide to both versions of the forms below. Please refer to your consulate website to determine which form they are using. Please confirm that you are using the appropriate guide before you start the form, by reviewing the questions.

If you have any questions, please contact your program manager at the College of Global Studies.

  • National or Long Stay Visa Application
    • 1. Surname: Last Name 

      2. Surname at Birth: Last Name at Birth (former family name)

      3. First name: First Name 

      4. Date of Birth - Day/Month/Year (example 21/06/1989) 

      5. Place of Birth (city and state): answer accordingly 

      6. Country of Birth: answer accordingly 

      7. Current Nationality (nationality on your passport): answer accordingly 

      8. Sex (m/f): answer accordingly 

      9. Marital Status: answer accordingly 

      10. In the case of minors: N/A 

      11. National Identity Number: your Social Security number 

      12. Type of Travel Document: check the box for "ordinary passport" 

      13. Number of Travel Document: your passport number 

      14. Date of Issue: answer accordingly 

      15. Valid until: passport expiration date 

      16. Issued by: answer accordingly 

      17. Applicant's home address and email/telephone: answer accordingly 

      18. Residence in a country other than the country of current nationality: answer accordingly 

      19. Current Occupation: "Full-time Student" 

      20. Name and Address of Educational Establishment: answer accordingly - list your Home School 

      21. Main Purpose of Journey: check the box for "STUDY" 

      22. Member State of Destination: "ITALY" 

      23. Member State of First Entry: Please refer to your flight itinerary:
        • If you fly directly into Italy, list "ITALY"
      If your flight connects through any European country (except for the UK and Ireland), list that country
        • If your flight connects through the UK or Ireland, list - "ITALY"

      24. Number of Entries requested: "MULTIPLE" 

      25. Duration of the Intended Stay (indicate number of days in program, only): answer accordingly 

      26. Schengen Visa issued during the past three years:
        • Answer "yes," only if you have received a Schengen county visa within the last three years. Otherwise, check the "NO" box

      27. Fingerprints collected previously for the purpose of applying for a Schengen Visa: answer accordingly 

      28. Entry Permit for the Final Country of Destination: N/A 

      29. Intended Date of Arrival in the Schengen Area: List the Start Date for your program 

      30. Intended Date of Departure from the Schengen Area: List your Program end date - if you are going to travel after the program your status will revert to tourist 

      31. Inviting Person - Address, email/telephone - answer according to your program and refer to your Italian Institution Letter:
        • The Umbra Institute – Daniel Tartaglia
        • Accademia Italiana – Barbara McHugh
        • Mediterranean Center for Arts and Sciences - Lucia Ortisi
        • Universitá del Salento – Dr. Patrizia Guida
        • Universitá degli Studi Roma Tre - Paolo Desideri

      32. Inviting Company/Organization:
      Tina M. Rocchio
      Resident Director
      Arcadia University
      The College of Global Studies Italy Programs
      c/o Universita' degli Studi Roma Tre, Rettorato
      via Ostiense 161, stanza 208
      00154 Roma Italia
      Tel: 06/57332893
      Fax: 06/57332894

      33. Cost of Traveling and Living during the applicants stay is covered:
        • Check box - "by the applicant" and check "cash" & "credit cards"
        • Check box - "by a sponser" list: Arcadia University (as in #32) and check "accomodation provided"

      34. Personal Data of the Family Member who is an EU Citizen: N/A 

      35. Family Relationship with an EU Citizen: N/A 

      36. Place and Date: N/A 

      37. Signature: N/A 

      (Bottom of Form) Place and Date: place and date of signature 

      (Bottom of Page): Signature: sign
        • If you are appearing in person at the consulate, sign in front of a Visa officer
        • If you have permission to mail your application to the consulate, please have your signature notarized by a notary public



 Please contact your program managers: Chris Callas and Francisco Guiller