Ready to Go to Italy
Planning a Personal Budget
Now that you have been admitted to the program, one of your first questions is how much it's really going to cost. This section will help you anticipate a variety of common expenses so you can start planning now. If your family is helping to pay for your program abroad, you should discuss your budget with them also.
The Fees and Financial Info page explains what your program fee does and does not cover, and will provide you with an overall estimate of expected expenses. It is important to note that the “Expected Cost of Attendance” information is provided for planning purposes only, and may vary according to your own personal spending habits.
Let's go through each of the items for which you will have to budget:
Your program fee does not include the cost of transatlantic travel to Italy, but we arrange a group transatlantic flight from New York or Newark to Italy for your convenience.
You may take advantage of this service or make your own arrangements. You must be in Italy for the opening day of our orientation program.
You will be cooking for yourself in your apartments in Italy. If you shop at the local markets and supermarkets, a budget of about $10 a day should keep you well-nourished. You will need to budget more if you plan on eating out a lot as a basic meal in a pizzeria or trattoria will run you at least $12-15. Students registered at Italian universities (Rome, Perugia, Leece) may also have the option of purchasing inexpensive meals at the university cafeteria or "mensa".
Books & Supplies
You should budget at least $40-50 per class for required books and supplies. Classes that require standard US textbooks like many business and engineering classes may cost two to two and a half times as much. Consult Arcadia on-line syllabi for details of required texts in Arcadia-organised classes. Some students order textbooks on line in advance from UK suppliers only for delivery to the Rome office. Language texts are purchased on site. A limited number of used books may be available from the program at discount. If you will be taking studio art classes, you should budget about $150 for art supplies and materials per course.
Florence, Perugia, Leece and Siracusa are easily navigated on foot. Bicycles are also a popular option in Florence and you might consider buying a used one or renting one after arrival. A transport pass is called a "tessera" or "abbonamento." Students buy monthly passes for Rome, and optionally elsewhere. A monthly bus pass will cost you about $40 or individual tickets can be purchased for about $1.35.
Weekly costs for postage, laundry, local phone calls and other miscellaneous expenses can run $30-40 a week. Entertainment can add another $30-40 a week. Phoning the States is enough to break anyone's budget. Please see the section on International Calling in Know Before You Go.
Vacationing can cost a lot of euros depending on how far you go and how much time you take. Many students travel during vacation breaks. If you plan to travel, you'll have to budget for housing, meals and transportation and other personal expenses while you're on the road.
Your program may offer optional day and weekend excursions which are not included in your program fee. Taking advantage of these trips can be very convenient: you won't need to organize the details; you will save some money; and you will see some wonderful places you might not have known about! Day trips of this sort tend to cost about $10-20 each, while weekend trips would run about $150-275 each.
Some Helpful Hints
You'll stretch your budget if you do the following:
- Make daily and weekly budgets and stick to them.
- Prepare your own food. It's cheaper than eating out. If you do eat out, eat your main meal at noon, rather than in the evening.
- Plan your activities around free, inexpensive and discounted events.
- Take care of your belongings and safeguard your travelers checks, cash and passport.
- Loss from carelessness or theft is hard enough to bear at any time, but it is even more distressing abroad. Pickpocketing is common, particularly in spots frequented by tourists. Write down the numbers of your travelers checks and make a photocopy of the document page of your passport, and keep these in a separate place in case the originals are lost or stolen.
With a little realistic planning, you won't be caught by surprise later on.