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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Cornell in Turin: Summer Program in Turin, Italy

June 2-July 12, 2019


Safety First

Study abroad programs place student safety first, followed by close attention to the academic program and cultural offerings. Programs have many sources of information and support for students so that they can provide wise "on the ground" advice on safer areas and what to do or to avoid. They can also provide support and referral services as needed.

Should we need to cancel this program or make changes for security reasons, we will work with students to facilitate the earning of academic credit.

Important dates

Students enrolled into the GOVT course should plan to arrive in Turin and check into their dormitory no later than Saturday, June 1, 2019. Check-in for the Olimpia residence will be open any time after 2:00 p.m. on June 1. Our first meeting (orientation and dinner) is planned for the late afternoon on Sunday, June 2. Class begins on Monday, June 3. Students participating only in the GOVT course should plan to leave Turin no earlier than Saturday, June 22.

Students participating only in the PAM course should plan to arrive in Turin and check into their dormitory no later than Saturday, June 22, 2019. Check-in for the Olimpia residence will be open any time after 2:00 p.m. For students participating in the PAM course, our first meeting (orientation and dinner) is planned for the late afternoon of Sunday, June 23. Students participating in PAM or in both courses should plan to leave Turin no earlier than Saturday, July 13, and at the latest on Sunday, July 14 by 10:00 a.m.

Students are responsible for purchasing their own round-trip plane ticket to and from Turin (for recommended air connections to Turin and Milan, attend one of the information sessions or write to the program director, K. E. Bättig von Wittelsbach.

Passports and visas

Since the duration of the program is less than three months, students traveling with a U.S. or Canadian passport will not need to acquire a visa prior to departing for Italy.

Important: Students traveling with a passport other than U.S. or Canadian should contact the Italian Consulate and try to obtain a visa as early in the spring semester as possible. The quota for visas that can be issued by the Italian Consulate in New York is exhausted fairly early in the year. Unless you secure your visa early, you will not be able to travel and attend the program. (For more information, visit Italy's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. For an official letter of support that you will need to include with your visa application, please contact the program director, K. E. Bättig von Wittelsbach.

If you must apply for a visa, you are responsible for preparing and submitting your visa materials to the consulate accurately. The office of Summer Sessions is unable to work with the consulates on behalf of independent visa applicants.

If you do not have a passport, we encourage you to apply for one immediately. If you do have a passport, please ensure that it does not expire until at least six months after your scheduled return to the U.S. For information and passport forms, visit the Office of the Tompkins County Clerk in downtown Ithaca at 320 N. Tioga Street, the local post office, or the U.S. State Department.

It is helpful to make several photocopies of these and other important documents before you leave home. Bring one copy with you (stored separately from the originals), place one visibly in the transparent inside pocket of your suitcase and carry-on, and leave one copy at home with your family or friends in case of an emergency. We suggest that you carry your passport/visa in an inside pocket.

Should we need to cancel this program or make changes for security reasons, we will work with students to facilitate the earning of academic credit.

We strongly advise you to purchase travel cancellation insurance in case the program is cancelled, or you find you are unable to attend.

Packing tips

Below are a few general tips to help you prepare for travel. In addition, you should consult Cornell Global Learning. Although much of the information on the site does not apply to Summer/Winter Session students, the more general sections on money, health and safety, and international travel may be helpful.

  • You do not need to bring sheets, pillows, towels, blankets, etc. The rooms at the Olimpia come fully equipped with these necessities.
  • Most importantly, pack your passport (with visa if required), credit cards, and ATM cards. Call your credit card and bank companies before you leave for Europe or they will likely put holds on your cards the first time you use them abroad. When you land in Italy or another Eurozone country, withdraw some euros right away. As you will learn, many places in Turin accept only cash (contanti). We recommend that you budget about 25 euros per day to cover food and incidental costs during the program.
  • Having your travel documents in order is always important when you travel. Make photocopies to bring with you and to leave with your family in case of emergency. We also recommend that you scan or take photos of your documents and make sure that they are accessible on your smart phones, tablets, etc., if you plan to bring these devices to Italy. Dropbox is highly recommended for this purpose. Consider downloading and using a password app, such as Dashlane or Keeper. With these programs, you can store all of your private information and passwords in one location. It's secure, and you can get to your information on all your smart devices and on the web. This is one more layer of protection in case you lose your passport or wallet, and it sure beats carrying around lots of pieces of loose paper, which can also be lost or stolen. Also, make a photocopy of the first page of your passport and prominently display it on the inside of your suitcase or bag.
  • Bring any medications that you require, along with the prescription, if necessary. Important: many medications that can be purchased over-the-counter in the U.S. are not available in Italy. This includes decongestants like pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) and antihistamines like Benadryl. (Aspirin and ibuprofen are available.) Therefore, we strongly recommend that you bring a three-week supply of any OTC drugs you take on a regular basis. If you suffer from allergies of any kind, you should purchase and pack the OTC or prescription medicines you find effective because you will not be able to acquire these drugs in Turin without visiting a doctor. Also, keep in mind that liquids cannot be carried on board planes.
  • Electricity: There are two kinds of devices you should consider purchasing. A plug adapter is a small device that fits into Italian wall receptacles and accepts two-bladed American plugs. For many low-wattage devices that accept 100-240V AC, like cell phones and laptops, this is all you need! Only buy the one for continental Europe; universal plug adapters work for every country in the world, but you only need the small adapter for Italy. For heating devices, such as hair dryers and curling irons, you will need a voltage converter. We recommend leaving your hair styling tools at home, but if you cannot live without them, either buy them once you get to Turin or purchase the converter. If you try to use an American hair dryer or curling iron with only a plug adapter, it will not work and can be dangerous!
  • If you don't use it already, set up an app such as Skype, WhatsApp, or WeChat before you go and add some credit to enable you to make cheap phone calls home or videoconference. Note: you will have access to the internet and wi-fi at the Olimpia residence, but internet access will be limited at the Foundation, and you will have no access at the convent residence in Dogliani.
  • Tablets and laptops make carrying course materials and travel books easy, so download a few guidebooks and maps and leave the heavy edition of Let's Go Italy at home. If you plan to bring your smart phone or tablet with you, be sure to register your devices in a cloud-based "find my iPhone/device" app before you leave. For all such devices, it's important to keep them password protected and backed up to a cloud server, Dropbox, etc.
  • Want to learn some Italian before you arrive? There are a wide variety of apps and podcasts available for on-the-go language learning. Many of these resources are free, easy to use, and fun. From iTunes, for example, you can download Italian language music to listen to on the plane or while you exercise. Even if you've never studied Italian before, you can learn a lot in a short amount of time, especially when it involves a catchy tune.
  • Clothing: We suggest you pack about one week's worth of clothing appropriate for the Turin climate. Turin will be warm in June, possibly even quite hot, and almost certainly there will be some rain. If you don't want to pack an umbrella, then bring a light rain jacket. The month of June is characterized by high temperatures of about 74°F to 80°F over the course of the month, usually with mild humidity (although it can get very muggy), and low temperatures ranging from 56°F to 62°F. You should plan to wear a few things many times rather than many things a few times. Pack items that match, can be layered, have multiple uses, and do not wrinkle easily. In addition, clothes should be hand-washable and drip-dry (although there are coin-operated washing machines at the Olimpia).
  • Finally, we recommend that you bring one nice outfit and a comfortable, non-white, pair of walking shoes, as well as a light sweater, skirt (ladies) or tie (gents), and/or a nice pair of pants (i.e., not jeans but something like khakis that can also be worn for class and around town) for the two formal dinners you will attend. Fashion expectations are quite variable in Turin, but the people you'll be meeting will appreciate the effort to look nice.