Moving to another country is challenging. Not impossible but challenging. A while ago, my family moved to Italy, so I had to follow. Coming from the United States and never having been to Europe, you could understand my surprise when I got there. Everything was different. The food, the streets, people’s attitudes, the conversation topics. Everything. It took me a while to get used to living in another country and, well, continent, and I think anyone who’s experienced this would agree.
But if you are determined enough to become comfortable, you’ll be able to achieve your goal in no time. Italy is a beautiful country filled with beautiful personalities. Here are my tips and tricks as well as mistakes to avoid when moving to Italy. Enjoy!
The first thing you must consider when moving abroad is why. What is the purpose? Why do you want that? Do you really want that? How sure are you that you want that? And the list can go on. Your why has to be powerful enough to drag you over to another continent. That means you must know exactly why you are making all these life changes. So, before making any plans, write down your why’s and keep your list close by. You might need it later, when things get more complicated.
Your residence and permits
If you’re moving to Italy from another European country, things will be easier for you. A European passport simplifies things. Even so, you’ll still have to register your residency in Italy within 90 days of arrival. You’ll get a Codice Fiscale and make an appointment at the anagrafe. Make sure you don’t run into any problems at registration. If you do, as I did because of working for proofreading services, solve it immediately. Google is your best friend here. The goal is to be as efficient as you can.
If you’re outside of the E.U., you must get your visa first and then apply for the permesso di soggiorno. It takes about three months or more to receive it, so make sure you apply for it ahead of time. To apply for residency, you must fulfill other specific requirements, so keep an eye open for that. Check everything twice before arriving. Don’t leave anything unchecked.
Importing your things into the country
The easiest way to go about this one is splitting your luggage into two. Your clothes and personal items go with you on the plane. All the other items you own, including household items, can be shipped. Italy allows you to import anything free of charge within six months of your moving in date.
Friendly extra tip: importing your car into the country is useless. You’d better sell the one you own and buy a new one in Italy. It’s most likely cheaper that way.
Renting in Italy
You’ll need a place to stay, of course. Expect to pay no less than 800€ per month for rent in a middle-sized city. If you’re going for a central, larger apartment, your monthly payment could go up to 2,000€. That usually includes everything, from furniture to utilities. On top of that, you’ll also have to pay your extra expenses, such as gas and electricity, Wi-Fi, etc. This can go up to 500€ per three months.
Your next stop is the bank. You need to open up an account after your arrival. But first, make sure you’ve requested your working card and have an Internet connection set up. If you are out of options, you can buy a pre-paid Italian debit card from the nearest post office and use it until your bank account clears out.
Your health insurance
Unlike the U.S., healthcare in Italy is free. But when you’re not a European citizen, things can get a bit complicated. Prices are quite high for most medical services. And emergency care is not free unless you fit some specific requirements. If you have an E.U. Health Card, you are indeed entitled to free medical care. But if you don’t, you’ll have to pay for medical services out of pocket, which can get expensive. If you end up becoming a resident, you can apply for the healthcare card and have your fees reduced.
Getting a new driver’s license
Whether you’re coming from another European country or another continent, you still have to pass the Italian driving test. You’ll need to re-take the tests that you’ve taken. The test, however, is in Italian, so learning Italian is quite important for this specific reason.
Friendly extra tip: you could get an international driver’s permit beforehand to avoid taking the test in Italian.
You cannot live in Italy and speak no Italian. You simply can’t. Speaking English can indeed be helpful, but not everybody will speak fluently. Actually, a few people might. To avoid confusion, start learning the language – you’ll have to, at some point, anyway. You could use Duolingo to study new vocabulary and then practice in real life by interacting with people on the street. Italians are super friendly! Not learning the language would be a shame.
We’re not perfect, we all make mistakes. Here are the mistakes that I’ve made, and I recommend you don’t. Avoiding them will help you become used to the new environment way more easily.
- Moving during the summer season- it’s just too hot and prices are too high.
- Not caring to learn the language – most people don’t speak English.
- Receiving monthly packages – it’s too expensive!
- Not making any Italian friends – how are you going to immerse yourself into this new culture then?
- Not opening up a bank account – you’ll get charged too much on each transaction.
- Demanding Italians to adjust after you – shops and restaurants are closed between 1-3 pm so you cannot demand them to stay open. Adjust your schedule after the Italian schedule, don’t expect it to be the other way around.
Moving to Italy can be challenging but once you get the hang of it, things will become easier. Make sure that you avoid the mistakes that I’ve made, and prepare yourself for what’s about to come. Keep your head up and only look forward. Good luck!
Kurt Walker has been working as an editor and assignment help coordinator at college paper.org reviews in London for 3 years. He is also a professional content writer and journalist. Kurt provides assignment writing service in topics such as inspiration, productivity, education, and technologies.