Housing

Students MUST live with Italians and may live with a maximum of one other student from the program. Students may not live solely with other international students (i.e., Americans or other non-native Italian speakers) or on their own unless no other form of integrated housing is available, and then only with prior approval from the director of the School in Italy. Beginner students may only live in homestays and cannot live with other students from the program, unless this option is not available, and only with prior approval from the director of the School in Italy.

The housing policies apply to all students regardless of whether they have found accommodations independently or with the School in Italy program. Failure to adhere to the housing policies will result in you being required to change your residence, which may result in loss of rental deposits or payments.cropped-IMG_2509_2.jpg

Students have the option of securing housing independently or through the School in Italy. In either case, students are responsible for paying for their housing and following the rules established by the housing proprietor or the School in Italy.

All students must complete the Housing Placement Questionnaire in the online application portal.

Once the questionnaire has been received, the housing coordinator will email students who have requested to be placed in an accommodation by the School in Italy. The housing questionnaire will help the School in Italy to match students with a suitable accommodation. The choice of this process is binding and you should not expect to change your accommodation once you arrive in Italy.  Please note that Middlebury is not contractually responsible for housing arrangements and does not have authority over any lodgings.

When making a commitment prior to arrival in Italy, if not otherwise specified in a contract, you will be responsible for two month’s rent and are required to give at least one month’s notice to the proprietor should you decide to move out. It is not possible to rent a room for less than a month, therefore the rent is calculated on a monthly basis (e.g. March 1-31) and you will have to pay for an entire month, even if you are not there for the entire month. You should also keep this in mind in case you decide to give your notice to the proprietor (e.g., if you plan to leave in June, you should notify your proprietor at least before the end of April). When signing a lease contract, unless otherwise specified, you should notify the proprietor of your departure at least three months in advance.

Remember that the universities in Florence, Ferrara, and Rome do not have central campuses like U.S. colleges and universities do, so housing may be a considerable distance from both the Middlebury Sede and/or the university buildings where you will be taking your courses.

General Information

Accommodations available:
Ferrara:
homestays, single room with use of kitchen/shared apartment, university residence (limited availability)
Florence: homestays, single room with use of kitchen/shared apartment
Rome: single room with use of kitchen/shared apartment

Single room with use of kitchen: Most rooms are in apartments shared with other Italians: either with families (professionals or retired) or university students (when available).  In a shared apartment, you will be sharing the common areas: kitchen, living room, bathroom, etc.  You are responsible for buying food and preparing your own meals.

Homestays: In a homestay, you will have mezza pensione (half-board)option or an uso cucina (kitchen use) option.  With the mezza pensione option, breakfast and dinner are prepared for you, usually 5 days per week. In this situation, meals not included in the mezza pensione need to be taken outside of the home.  Unless otherwise agreed upon with the family, the kitchen is not to be used.  However, you might have use of the refrigerator to store some items.  With the uso cucina option, meals will not be prepared for you, but you will have access to the kitchen to store food and prepare your own meals.

Utilities: These may or may not be included in the rent. They typically include electricity, water, gas, WiFi, etc., and are paid monthly.

Cleaning products: When sharing an apartment with use of kitchen you will be responsible for cleaning your room and common areas, if not otherwise specified. Usually tenants agree on a cleaning schedule that everybody should respect. If you do not keep your room and common areas clean and tidy, you might be asked to pay for extra cleaning. The use of cleaning products is usually not included in the rent; cleaning products must be purchased separately. In a homestay, the mezza pensione (half-board) option includes a weekly room cleaning, unless otherwise indicated.

Laundry: In Italy, houses are not usually equipped with dryers, so you should plan to hang your clothes on drying racks or go to a laundromat with dryers.

Guests: You will not be permitted to have visitors to your apartment, either day or overnight guests. This rule must be respected otherwise you risk being evicted at your own expense.

Breakfast: A typical Italian breakfast is usually light and sweet, and is comprised of either an espresso, cappuccino, or caffè latte (coffee and milk) with a “brioche” (sweet pastry), cookies, or toasted bread with jam.

In Italy, the most important meal tends to be dinner, when the family gathers together around the table at the end of the day.

Deposits

Expect to pay your first month’s rent plus a security deposit equivalent to up to three month’s rent in advance to reserve the residence.

The deposit will be kept until you leave as security against damage, departure without proper notice, loss of keys, outstanding or excessive utility bills, or any failure to adhere to the rules and regulations outlined by the proprietor. Note that rent is paid monthly at the beginning of the month.

If not paid in advance, Italian hosts and proprietors expect that the first month’s rent will be paid upon arrival. Therefore, we strongly urge you to come with enough money to meet all your expenses at the beginning of your stay in Italy.

Housing Options

There are generally three types of housing arrangements in Italy: 1) homestays, 2) apartments shared with Italians, or 3) private student residence halls. NOT ALL OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR ALL STUDENTS AT ALL SITES.

(1) Homestays

There is no doubt that living in an Italian home can be a IR - Homestay Cookingrewarding experience for a study abroad student who is willing to adapt to a different culture and lifestyle. The use of Italian in the home and contact with Italians in their daily routine are among the advantages of this experience. Nevertheless, you must be aware that integration into the Italian home is gradual and that many things taken for granted in our own homes are often viewed from a different perspective in an Italian household. Meals are a way to become part of the household and have a more active participation in the Italian way of life. Dinner with the host family becomes the time to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and to better familiarize yourself with the Italian way of life and improve your Italian language skills.

Although living with an Italian host may sound ideal, it is important to consider the following:
• privacy may be relatively limited;
• while a homestay may involve cultural exchange, it is also a business agreement in which each party has particular rules by which to abide;
• it is unlikely that a host will allow you to have friends or guests over;
• utilities in Italy are costly; guests (even paying guests) should be careful to turn lights off when leaving a room, keep showers short, and minimize hot water use. If you have phone privileges, keep calls short and to a minimum.  In case of excessive bills, you maybe required to pay extra charges;
• kitchen privileges may or may not be granted;
if you commit to a homestay, you are financially obligated for a minimum of two months’ rent.  If you sign a contract, you might not be able to move out before the expiration of the contract. Breaking a verbal or written agreement will jeopardize future students’ ability to stay with these hosts. The School in Italy has developed special relationships with these families, who trust that our students will be responsible for fulfilling their obligations.

(2) Apartments Shared with Italians

If you share an apartment with Italians you will be immersed in the language. However, it might be difficult to find an accommodation with Italian students as most of these apartments are often not centrally located and may be of different standards.  Moreover, most Florentine, Ferrarese and Roman students still live with their families, and those from other towns and cities often arrange to live together far in advance. It is not always easy for international students to break into Italian social circles and find housing with those students who do live in apartments.  Academic year students usually have a better chance of finding Italian students as roommates by either accepting a pre-arranged living situation for one semester and then moving in with Italian friends for the second semester, or by pursuing apartment leads from internet sites and Facebook university groups far in advance. However, you may have difficulty changing housing mid-year without breaching an existing contract or alienating friends with whom prior agreements have been made.

For most, obtaining and maintaining an apartment are experiences you have not had before. It requires an initiative that, in most cases, has up to now been the responsibility of your parents, guardians, or college housing officials. Utilities are not usually included in the rent, and certain house repairs (leaking faucets, appliance malfunctions, etc.) are expected to be paid for by the tenant. Students are advised to obtain in writing what responsibilities they have for making repairs to major appliances.  Tenants must conform to anti-terrorism laws by informing the proprietor of the number of people actually living in the apartment (this includes friends and relatives staying for more than two or three days.)

(3) Dormitories and residences

Depending on the semester, private dormitory spaces may be available for students enrolled in the School in Italy. Students will be notified of availability closer to the start of the semester.

Finding Housing Independently

If you choose to wait until you arrive in Italy to arrange your own housing, the School in Italy can provide you with some assistance on how to go about finding housing in your city.  If you choose to find housing independently, we suggest you arrive early and have a lot of patience.

Before choosing any housing option, it is the student’s responsibility to READ ALL CONTRACTS CAREFULLY AND UNDERSTAND THE TERMS, CONDITIONS, AND “FINE PRINT”. Middlebury does not have any authority to make agreements concerning lodging with Italian hosts and/or proprietors; however, students should not hesitate to ask for assistance if something is unclear.

The Sede offices are closed during the months of August and late December/early January therefore staff will not be available to aid students in their search during those periods.

Resources for Finding Housing

Ferrara

Students may locate housing in Ferrara through:

• The School in Italy program
• Internet sites and Facebook university groups (This is the method most Italian university students adopt in order to find lodging. Students who are seeking roommates will post announcements stating the type of accommodation that is available, the price, and the location.)
• Bulletin boards at various faculties

For a list of ads for single and double rooms for students, check websites such as:

Camplus: www.camplusapartments.it
Housing Anywhere: https://housinganywhere.com/s/Ferrara–Italy
Idealista: www.idealista.it
StanzaZoo: http://www.stanzazoo.com/ferrara
Subito: www.subito.it

Florence

Students may locate housing in Florence through:

• The School in Italy program
• Internet sites and Facebook university groups (This is the method most Italian university students adopt in order to find lodging. Students who are seeking roommates will post announcements stating the type of accommodation that is available, the price, and the location.)
• Bulletin boards at various faculties

For a list of ads for single and double rooms for students, check websites such as:

Cercoalloggio: www.cercoalloggio.com
Housing Anywhere: https://housinganywhere.com/s/Florence–Italy or https://www.facebook.com/groups/175806119290187/
Idealista: www.idealista.it
La Pulce: http://www.lapulce.it/
StanzaZoo: http://www.stanzazoo.com/firenze
Subito: www.subito.it
Uniplaces: www.uniplaces.com/it/

Rome

Students may locate housing in Rome through:

• The School in Italy program
• Internet sites and Facebook university groups (This is the method most Italian university students adopt in order to find lodging. Students who are seeking roommates will post announcements stating the type of accommodation that is available, the price, and the location.)
• Bulletin boards at ]various faculties

For a list of ads for single and double rooms for students, check websites such as:
Housing Anywhere: https://housinganywhere.com/s/Rome–Italy
Idealista: www.idealista.it
La pulce: www.lapulce.it
StanzaZoo: http://www.stanzazoo.com/roma
Subito: www.subito.it
Uniplaces: www.uniplaces.com/it/


Real Estate Agencies

There are real estate agencies you can hire to assist you in finding apartments in Florence, Ferrara and Rome. If you choose to use an agency:
• Find out the agency’s commission (typically 7% of the total monthly rent or more)
• Read and understand the contract provided by the agency and the contract for the apartment. If you have any questions, bring them to the School in Italy staff before signing
• Make sure you understand the policy regarding the deposits
• Inquire as to exactly what services are offered by the agency, which may act as a sort of intermediary between the client (you) and the proprietor.

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