Congratulations on your acceptance to the Smith in Florence program! There are a number of steps that must be completed to prepare for your year in Florence and to apply for your student visa. The Italian government requires all students staying longer than three months to obtain a student visa before arriving in Italy.
If you have any questions about any of the paperwork, please ask! Better to ask a "silly" question than to make a mistake and have your visa application denied.
All paperwork should be submited in person or via mail to the Office for International Study, Wright Hall 125, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063.
Please complete each step below by the dates given. Read all instructions and follow them to the letter.
When entering dates, use the European format of dd MON yyyy (e.g., 12 Oct 2012).
Step 1: Italian Visa Application Overview
Smith's Office for International Study will facilitate a group visa application for students who are accepted on the Smith in Florence program. A student visa is required for study in Italy on the Smith in Florence program. Students should not make international travel plans in the summer preceeding the year in Italy.
Students must have a passport that is valid six months after the end of the program and submit a copy of their passport with their Smith program application form. Proof of passport application or renewal is acceptable.
Things to Consider
The Italian visa process is complicated and requires submission of passports to the Italian consulate in Boston for a period of two to four weeks. The specific date of Smith's visa appointment and length of time required depends upon the Italian consulate's availability, and can't be set until mid-May at the earliest. Once the consulate issues the visas and returns the passports to Smith, the Office for International Study will send each student her passport with visa via courier service. Thus, students who wish to study in Italy should not make international travel plans in the summer preceeding their year in Italy.
Step 2: Homestay Questionnaire – April 6
Please complete the homestay questionnaire by no later than April 6th.
Step 3: University Registration Materials – April 13
Download each form listed below and the sample form for guidance. Fill out each form in its electronic format, and print the proper number of copies. Then sign each copy in BLUE INK. Each form must have an original signature. If you have technical difficulties or need to borrow a blue pen, you can do all of these at OIS.
Attestato Di Identita' Personale (PDF) Three copies. Please type your information into the fields provided. Use the Sample Attestato Di Identita Personale (PDF) as a guide for completing this document. See below for photos instructions.
Four Passport Photos
Have at least four passport photos taken. (You will need a total of 13 photos: four now, one for your visa application and eight to take with you to Florence, if you want to have them all taken at one time). Photos must be official passport photos taken against a plain background, without hats, smiles, etc. Your face should be between 32mm and 36mm high, from chin to top of head.
Photo Requirements (PDF)
IMPORTANT: You will need to sign the four photos using BLUE INK. Please click on the sample below so see where on the photo you need to sign.
Sample photo signature (PDF)
Once you have signed the photos, attach three of them to the copies of the Attestato Di Identita' Personale. Leave the fourth photo loose.
Step 4: Predeparture Orientation – April 22, 5:30-8:00
All students attending the Smith in Florence program must attend this meeting.
Step 5: Predeparture Information – May 11
1. Emergency Contact Information
This form must be opened in Microsoft Word. Please TYPE all of your answers into the form. Give as much information as possible. On page two, list the people who should be contacted in the event of an emergency. If you want us to contact your parents, list your parents on page two.
Emergency Contact Info (DOC)
Once you have completed the form, save it using this naming convention:
And send it as an attachment to the OIS administrative coordinator.
2. Summer Address and Travel Information
Please complete your summer contact information now, and provide your travel plans to Florence as soon as you know them (note that you need to book your flight in order to complete your visa application). You can return to this link to update your information as needed.
Summer Contact Information and Travel Plans (link will be updated shortly)
Step 6: Visa Application Documents – June 1
Due June 1, but consider completing before you leave campus!
Please type your answers into the application form. Use this document to guide you:
One Passport Photo
Glued to your visa application. If you don't have a glue stick, use a paperclip, but do not staple.
A printed copy of your confirmed flight itinerary
Itinerary must show your name, and flight information including date of entry and border of entry. A printed receipt from an online booking is perfect, as long as your arrival city is spelled out; airport codes are not acceptable. The date of arrival in Italy and entry point written on your visa application must match your flight itinerary. The return date on your itinerary will not affect your visa application.
The real thing. If you do not submit this to the OIS Administrative Coordinator in person before leaving campus, send it via a courier service such as FedEx or UPS. Your passport will be kept in a locked cabinet until it is taken to the Italian Consulate in Boston. Your visa and passport will be returned to you via FedEx.
Step 7: Permesso di Soggiorno – Take to Florence
The documents listed below are required to apply for your Permesso di Soggiorno (Residence Permit). Application must be made within eight days of your arrival in Florence, so pack these documents in your carry-on luggage. The visit to the proper office will be scheduled during orientation.
- Your passport with visa
- Smith acceptance letter with Italian Consulate stamp (this will come with your passport and visa from the OIS). This letter is the most important document for your Permesso di Soggiorno – do not lose it!
- Health insurance letter in Italian – will be sent to you with your passport and visa.
- Notarized original, plus two copies of the following documents
Bank Financial Guarantee (PDF)
- Eight passport photos