Home expat life InterNations Is Helping M.E. Import You To Italy: Preparing for Your Move to Italy

InterNations Is Helping M.E. Import You To Italy: Preparing for Your Move to Italy

written by M.E. Evans August 19, 2013

This week I have an awesome guest blogger, a massive expat organization, InterNations. Yes, It’s happened, I’m getting fancy enough to have contributing writers and people wanting to advertise on my blog (What?! Fuck Yes!) The world is drunk, my friends. Here is a great article from InterNations, THE expat organization in Europe. If you’re moving here or you want to, I highly recommend signing up on their website. When you finally start to go crazy from living abroad (it happens to the best of us) they’ll provide helpful info, and other insane expats (like me) that can make the shitty moments a little less shitty and a lot more awesome.

Map Of Italy Brought To You By Google.

Map Of Italy Brought To You By Google.

Preparing for Your Move to Italy by InterNations

Have you been thinking of making the move to Italy? What do you need to know before you get on that plane? If possible, try to visit Italy as a tourist before moving there and gain a better understanding of life in Italy. You can experience the character of different cities, and maybe even find a job. Italians often prefer to do things face to face, which can make job-hunting difficult from overseas.

The next step is to decide where you want to live in Italy. Most expats will probably make this choice based on the job they find. The biggest expat hotspots in Italy are Rome, Milan and Florence. As Italy’s economy is much stronger in the north compared to the poorer south, you will most likely be relocating here. Not all expats live in Italy’s big cities, however. Some prefer life in the countryside, which opens up options like opening your own B&B.

Once you have found a job and decided where to live, you need to apply for a visa. EU citizens, as well as nationals of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican City, don’t need a visa to enter the country or live in Italy. Citizens from many other countries don’t need a visa to enter Italy for tourist purposes, but do if they are planning on taking up employment there. In this case, you will need to apply for a long-stay or “national” visa in person at your nearest consulate or embassy before relocating to Italy.

If possible, you should try to figure out your accommodation before arriving in Italy. A high proportion of Italians rent rather than buy, so especially if your expat assignment will only last a couple of years, this is probably the best option for you as well. Keep in mind that the rent in Rome and Milan ranks among the highest in Europe.

Another option is to live in a more rural town outside of the city. Whether or not this is a feasible option will depend largely on where you will be working in Italy and how long your commute would be. Public transportation in Italy is fairly good, and as gas prices are high and driving is chaotic, this may be a better choice than commuting to work by car.

Another big part of getting ready for the international life is learning the language. Italians are very proud of their country and language, and will appreciate any effort you make to speak their language. In addition, not speaking Italian will limit your job opportunities in Italy.

If you’re moving to Italy with kids, you should decide which school you want to send them to. Especially if your children do not speak Italian, it is probably best to send them to an international school. There are many such schools catering to expat children in Rome and Milan, as well as other cities. These schools are usually quite expensive, though, so unless your employer is helping with the costs, you may need to shop around a bit. Many of the international schools offer an International Baccalaureate diploma, which will make it easier for your children to attend a university in another country after graduation.

InterNations is the largest expatriate network worldwide. It was created to help members meet other high-profile expatriates from around the world living in their city and connect with them, both online and offline through events and activities. InterNations was founded in 2007 and now has over 900,000 members in more than 360 Local Communities around the world.

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notyourvictim August 24, 2013 at 3:17 am

While I have taken the obsessive pressure off of my dream to emigrate to Italy (or frankly, anywhere in the EU, I’m more willing to settle every time I read the news), it’s still with me- I just don’t want to be a psychotic mess if it never happens or if it takes forever for me to manage it. Anyway, I’m tired and rambly. My point is, I appreciate these articles and should probably bookmark them for future reading when I’m ready to get serious- maybe in another year or so when I’m closer to graduation.

Anyway, this was all just a long, awkward thank you. (Going to bed now.)

M.E. Evans August 24, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Hahaha. You’re welcome love. 🙂

Frequently Asked Questions: Studying, Moving, Working, Loving In Florence, Italy | Living In Italy.Moving To Italy. Loving In Italy. Laughing In Italy. June 16, 2014 at 4:34 pm

[…] InterNations Is Helping M.E. Import You To Italy: Preparing for Your Move to Italy […]

Kirsten June 21, 2014 at 7:19 pm

Hi, I am a new follower of your blog, and have really enjoyed reading your posts – very informative with some major doses of hilarity! You are a great writer!

I am hoping to move to Italy in October 2017 – I had thought I would be able to obtain dual citizenship because both my mom and grandma are Italian born. Major fly in the ointment, turns out my mom became a naturalized U.S. citizen at the ripe old age of 2. If my grandma could’ve waited until the move to the U.S. to give birth to my mom, I could gain citizenship through my grandmother — But I wasn’t there to advise her that one day her future grand-daughter would want to emigrate/immigrate (never know which one to use) to Italy!

I did find out out though, that because of my Italian ancestry, rather than having to live in Italy for 10 years before I can apply for citizenship, I ‘only’ have to live there for 3 years. Which is great, but I can’t find any information anywhere that will tell me what documentation I will need when that blessed day comes. Have you run into anybody or know of anyone who has done this? I’m not usually a planner, but have a feeling that I need to start getting things like this in order as early in the game as possible. 🙂

Thanks in advance!

M.E. Evans June 22, 2014 at 8:51 am

Kristen, First, thank you for the kind words. I’m really bad at taking compliments so I never know what to say exactly, but thank you. You’re very kind.

I have had a few friends who have done this. I’ll ask around and get you some information in the next week.

Kirsten June 22, 2014 at 11:03 am

Thank you so much! I really appreciate it!

Deborah June 1, 2015 at 7:15 am

I am moving with my kids to Milan and I am pretty concerned about the schools that there are! I am happy to hear that there are many international schools there! Thanks for the information! I am really excited and I can’t wait to get there!

Serra February 16, 2016 at 2:31 pm

I really love your blog – and am grateful to have found it! I’ve been in Italy for over 18 months, and I can’t believe I haven’t read any explat blogs before now!

I wanted to share that although it would be much easier to send kids to an international school in Italy, I would also stay open to the idea of sending kids to a local Italian school…depending on the age of the kids, and their Italian language level. My kids started at the local Italian primary (elementare) school without speaking Italian (1st, 4th and 5th), and are fluent now – it’s so beautiful to hear them speak, and it was well worth the initial effort.

Phyllis September 13, 2016 at 12:37 pm

Hi Serra, may I know which part of Italy do you stay? And Is it near the local elementare school? We are planning to relocate to Milan and would like to find out which area is best for families….


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