If you do not have a current and valid passport (valid for at least three months after the last day of the program and with at least two empty ‘visa’ pages), then apply for one as soon as possible.
U.S. and E.U. citizens will not need to obtain a visa for their stay in Italy. Some international students (depending on nationality) may need to obtain a visa though. If that is the case, you are responsible for gathering all documentation and going to the Italian Consulate to obtain the visa. Please apply for a tourist visa (“short term”), not for a student visa. Click here for more information about visas.
You must have a health insurance plan that provides full coverage during your stay in Italy. If when you filled out the application you didn’t enter your own health insurance information, then you will be automatic enrolled, for a fee, in the Harvard Summer School plan.
Please remember to bring with you a sufficient supply of any necessary prescribed medication: in Italy you might not be able to find that medication, or it could require a prescription by an Italian doctor.
All participants are encouraged to travel with a basic first-aid kit. It might include: aspirin or ibuprofen, antacids for stomach upset, anti-diarrhea medication, motion sickness pills, antibiotic ointment, decongestant, band-aids, sunscreen, and mosquito repellent. Mosquito repellent is particularly important, especially in Milan.
Students with disabilities or who have accommodation needs due to a disability should have already contacted the Accessibility Services Office. It you have not, do it immediately. Click here for more information.
Please remember that you are required to sign and return to the Summer School the Conditions of Participation and General Release form, and a completed Health Clearance Packet. Click here for more information.
Book your flight to Italy well in advance; prices may increase and fewer options may become available. You may want to contact other students in order to travel together and share the cost of taxis to and from the airport. Please understand that if OCS is paying for your airfare you will not receive that money until April.
Note that if the intermediate stop of your return flight is in Europe your luggage will be sent directly to your final destination. If it is in the United States you’ll have to clear customs at that airport.
As the program officially begins on Sunday, June 16 (in the afternoon we’ll have a guided tour of HangarBicocca), you must arrive in Milan and check in at the Residence Pian della Nave on Saturday, June 15. If you prefer to arrive one day earlier, on Friday the 14th, we should be able to arrange for an extra night at the Residence Pian della Nave. Remember that with most flights to Europe you will be departing the day before the day you wish to arrive.
When purchasing your ticket be sure that the fare includes one checked bag (usually 44 or 50 lbs).
It is actually imperative that you travel with no more than one suitcase and one carry-on. If students come with too much luggage, it will be impossible to fit it all on our transport bus from Milan to Siena. You may choose to fill your suitcase only partially in case you want to bring back purchases after the summer, or you may choose to bring a collapsible duffel bag to bring empty on the way to Italy, then to fill and pay to have checked on the way home.
For your return flight you may consider leaving from the airports in Rome Fumicino, Florence, or Pisa rather than from Milan. Your accommodation in Siena, the Collegio Santa Chiara, has been booked until Sunday, August 18.
Depending on the place and time of your departure, you may find it difficult to get to the airport from Siena the same day by public transportation. In that case, consider sharing a taxi (ideally an 8-passenger minibus) with other students to get directly to the airport from Siena.
Click here for more information about your return flight.
Click here for information on how to get to your residence in Milan from the airport. The Residence Pian della Nave is a 30-minute walk (approximately 1.5 miles) or a 10-minute taxi ride from Milano Centrale, the main train station and the destination of all shuttles from the airports. If you plan to take a taxi from Malpensa airport, consider booking it a few days in advance at the Consorzio taxi Malpensa site. A reservation would ensure that you’ll pay the fixed rate (€95.00) and that you won’t risk not finding a taxi: the driver would meet you in the arrivals hall.
Please remember that you must purchase the following five books in advance and in the United States. You’ll then have to bring the books to Italy. The books are:
– Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities (Harcourt).
– Giovanni Della Casa, Galateo or, The Rules of Polite Behavior (Chicago).
– Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince (Oxford).
– Crispin Sartwell, Six Names of Beauty (Routledge).
– Elaine Scarry, On Beauty and Being Just (Princeton).
Click here for more information.
It is strongly suggested that you read all the readings for the first week before the beginning of the program, including Kant’s selection (almost 200 pages) and d’Annunzio’s novel. Click here for more information.
For the duration of the program, students are asked to have a working cellular phone so that teachers can reach them in case of emergency and vice versa. Ask your American carrier for international plans and be sure that the phone would work in Europe. It may be cheaper to buy an Italian SIM card with a pre-paid account upon arrival in Italy. The SIM can be used with an American cell phone only if it is tri-band or quad-band phone, if it has been unlocked, and if it has GSM capabilities. Otherwise, you should purchase a cell phone in Milan. Click here for more information about cell phones and cell phone plans in Italy.
Bring with you a couple of passport-size photos. You will need one for your bus and subway weekly pass in Milan. Otherwise you’ll find photo booths in the main subway stations in Milan, including Stazione Centrale and Romolo (the station close to IULM University).