FAQ by students interested in studying in Rome

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Where is the campus located?

SSM is located on the University of Washington’s campus in Rome’s historic city center. It is about a 15 minute bus ride from the central station, Termini.

How many times do we have classes?

Usually classes take place between 2 to 3 times a week with 3 to 4 hours per session.

How many students are in one class usually? What type of teaching methods do you use?

At SSM, we believe in quality education and a personal approach to each of our candidates. Therefore, classes will not have more than 10-15 students. Exceptions are additional seminars and special events.

Does SSM offer student housing?

At this moment, we do not have student housing. Rome is a very big city with many universities and colleges, finding housing can be less difficult than other cities. Our administration staff can advise you on housing upon your arrival.

How proficient do you have to be in English?

All classes are conducted in English. We require a sound command of English: written and spoken.

Does SSM offer career counseling? What are job prospects like in Rome?

Our teaching staff will coach you on your career throughout your time at SSM from creating a competitive CV to succeeding at your interviews. Rome is a home for many international companies and international organizations (such as FAO, WFP, IFAD, etc). We strongly encourage our students to apply at these organizations during their time at SSM.

I have family members I would like to take with me while I study at SSM. Can they come?

Student VISAs are only valid for those coming to study. At this moment, unfortunately, Italian government will not allow dependents to come into Italy with those coming on a student VISA. However, regulations change very often, therefore we suggest you to ask your local Italian office or embassy.

I want to join SSM, but it is in the middle of school year. Can I still join?
At SSM, we have different enrollment times per year. For those of you who may feel that it is too late to join; it is not! For more information, please look under either Undergraduate or Postgraduate to find out more about our intake period. Most of our programs are built on a modular way. This will allow us to enroll students throughout the year.
Do you offer Italian language course at SSM?

Yes we do, additionally to your study program, you can join the Italian classes offered at the University. We can also refer you to one of our wonderful partners, Dante Alighieri for those of you interested in taking more Italian lessons. We strongly recommend our students to take Italian lessons as it will only help you to have a better time in Rome and to integrate with the community here.

Can I work while I am studying at SSM?

Your student VISA and stay permit will allow you to work for 20 hours per week (part time). You must have your STAY PERMIT (not just your VISA) and your CODICE FISCALE (fiscal code; a taxation code that can be obtained after you apply for your stay permit) in order to LEGALLY work. Rome is filled with jobs in hospitality and other opportunities!

What do I have to do once I arrive in Italy?

Once you arrive in Rome, all foreign citizens (except for EU citizens) are required to do a stay permit (permesso di soggiorno) within the first 8 days of your arrival. The application form can be found at any post office and if you require assistance with this procedure, our administration staff can help you. This stay permit process costs about 72 €. For more information, please look under our Study in Rome section.

What is the cost of living?

For decades, Rome was one of the most appreciated destinations for tourists and students. This was not only due to its beauty and mystique ambience but also its low cost of living. Since the introduction of the European Community Unique Currency (the euro), prices have been rising up yearly. However, Rome is and remains a prime destination where life is more affordable than in other European countries.

Sample Price Guide

The following prices can vary between 20 – 40% due to the location where the service or good has been bought. The closer to the centre of the city, the higher the prices.

  •  Bottle of beer from city centre pub €5.00
  •  Bottle of beer from supermarket €1.00
  •  Metro ticket € 1.50
  •  Adult football ticket €30.00
  •  Double room in a three-star hotel €150.00
  •  Breakfast cappuccino and croissant €1.50
  •  Takeaway pizza slice €1.50
  •  Small bottle of water €1.00
  •  City centre taxi ride €5.00-15.00
  •  Parking on street for one hour €1.00
  •  Ticket to the Colosseum €10.00
Transportation

One of the best examples is the public-transportation fare for a ride of max. 75 minutes in one direction, changing between metros, buses and trains for €1,5. For the same ride in London, you need to pay three to four times as much. Check out your routes on the official Transportation Company of Rome; ATAC

Food

The food in Rome is very convenient; as long as you decide to cook by yourself and not opt to go out to restaurants every day. With a budget of 5 – 7 € per day, you eat and drink three times a day, you can also afford to have an espresso or cappuccino at the local bar. A sandwich may range between 3 – 7 €, depending on the location where you buy it or the size.

Rent

Renting rooms or apartments in Rome is not difficult, especially if you opt to share an apartment with other students. Apartments (situated not in the historic center) cost between € 700 – 1000. Single rooms may cost € 200 – 400. Some students share rooms to cut their costs. Utility costs are mostly not included in the rent. Also here, depending on the usage of a utility (water, gas, electricity, etc.) the cost may vary between 10% – 30% of the rent. SSM recommends you to rent a small apartment together with other classmates or Italian students from the local university, in order to foster a cultural exchange and get all advantages to learn the real Italian life style.

Health-Insurance

In Italy you might find yourself in need for medical care and/or hospitalization. This is why, when applying for the study visa before leaving your country, you have to provide evidence of your capability to cover all possible expenses related to medical assistance. You may choose one of the following possibilities:

Obtain a consular statement confirming that you are entitled to medical care in consequence of an agreement between Italy and your home country;

Subscribe to a private health insurance policy in your home country, and obtain from the competent Italian Consulate a statement of its validity for Italy; such a consular statement must also describe the length and types of services covered; besides it must confirm that the contract does not imply any limitations of or exceptions to the tariffs fixed for urgent hospitalization during the whole time period it may be necessary;

Subscribe to a health insurance policy with an Italian company such as the Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni (INA), which, thanks to an agreement with the Italian Ministry of Health, offers a special insurance policy to cover medical assistance; in case of an insurance policy stipulated with Italian bodies other than INA, it shall be supported by a statement issued by the insurance company concerned in confirmation that the contract does not imply any limitations of or exceptions to the tariffs fixed for urgent hospitalization during the whole time period it may be necessary.

FAQ Leadership Study Abroad

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If your question is not addressed, please feel free to contact us at info@ssmrome.com
How do I make phone calls while in Rome?

Phone cards may be purchased for international calls. Students can bring their own cell phones (be sure they are compatible with the European system and to have your provider ‘unlock’ them), buy a SIM card in Rome, and use them within Italy (buy minutes according to your personal needs).

Is there easy internet access?

Internet connections are available free of charge for all students on campus. While high speed wireless is limited in Rome, there are networks available in some housing facilities as well as Rome cafes.

Am I free to travel on the weekends?

Most weekends during the semester have been designated as free travel weekends. This provides an opportunity to arrange trips around Italy or Europe on your own initiative. The Leadership Study Abroad Program also provides a 9-day vacation period which allows organizing extended trips. LSAP is not responsible for the students during any such trips. College students in Rome will help LSAP students with advice on travel including hotels, transportation, and restaurants. Typical student organized weekend trips to Florence, Siena, and Sorrento cost between 150-200 Euros.

Is there a dress code for class?

Students are expected to wear respectable clothing to all classes. Semi-formal attire is expected at weekly leadership conferences, the closing and opening ceremonies, as well as other special events during the semester.

What activities are obligatory?

Students are expected to attend all classes as well as participate in school organized leadership activities.

Who is responsible for my transportation to-and-from Rome?

Each student must pay for his or her transportation to-and-from Rome. Travel within Rome is fairly easy and inexpensive using public transportation (train, metro or bus). LSAP can inform students as to the travel plans of other students so as to coordinate flights together.

Are meals included in the program cost?

All meal costs are the responsibility of the students.

Does Leadership Study Abroad Program provide housing?

While the housing location may vary each semester due to availability, the housing will be within walking distance or a short bus or tram ride to the university.

How do I do laundry?
If the housing option does not have onsite laundry facilities, LSAP staff will help students locate a laundromat.
The cost is high. Is financial aid available?

The LSAP program cost is average for studying abroad in Rome (some cost up to $18,500 for a semester). This program is well worth the investment since a student is not only getting college credits as well as housing, but also receives the many unique benefits offered by LSAP: leadership coaching and roundtable discussions, unique ‘insider’ tours, as well as special leadership off-site weekend. Depending on financial need, small scholarships are available. For reasons of paying for program costs as well as trying to help students grow in leadership (ie. a leader needs to overcome obstacles to achieve his or her goals), LSAP tends not to offer large scholarships.

Do I need a visa to participate in Leadership Study Abroad Program?

LSAP operates on an 89-day schedule, which falls within the 90 days allowed to remain in Italy with a valid passport. Depending on your country of citizenship, intention to possibly spend more than 90 days in Italy, as well as interest to travel outside of Italy, you should investigate getting a student visa from their local Italian consulate.

How much money does the typical student need while in Rome?

This depends on how much you want to spend.
– Weekday lunches can cost anywhere from 2-8 euro.
– Weekend meals can be anywhere from 10-50 euro/day depending on what you want to do. Students often enjoy cooking their own Italian meals.
– Weekend trips to places like Assisi and Florence run between $150-$250, assuming you do not stay or eat at high end places (we have a travel coordinator who helps you arrange these trips depending on what you want to do).
– Travel within Rome is about two dollars each direction on the bus, tram or train and students can get a monthly pass for about $45 USD.
– Although we have internet access at the university, we suggest that you get an internet key at a local cell phone provider for about $40/month. This will save you a lot of time and trouble because Rome is not as technology savvy as in the US.

Do you have an approximate suggestion for how much to bring for bus and metro fair, ect?

$135 USD should be fine for your normal travel (not counting going outside of Rome for longer trips).

Will someone be able to pick us up from the airport or do we need taxi fair to get from the airport into the city?

Taxi’s are plentiful at the airport but it is best to coordinate your arrival and departure flights with the others coming for the semester if at all possible to help save on costs. LSAP does not offer airport pickup service.

I know that our room and board is covered when the payments are made, but are there other times when I will need extra money on a large scale?
In general, the answer is no. You should, however, have easy access to money or payment with an international credit card. LSAP does not help with funds once you are in Rome, so please have this detail arranged before arriving. We will help with suggestions on ATMs.
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Helpful Websites

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slowtrav
Provides a wealth of information about living in and travelling through Italy, including detailed instructions for daily living, supported by photographs. Covers a broad spectrum, from food shopping to operating washing machines, from making espresso, to catching a taxi, from using any kind of phone to going to the beach. Photographs help prepare you for the unexpected. Definitely worth visiting and revisiting.

metrebus
Provides door to door public transportation instructions within the city of Rome, with maps. Click on the British flag for English version.

tuttocittà
Provides maps of the city of Rome, as well as door to door instructions for driving or walking. In Italian.