Frequently Asked Questions

You will find answers below to the most frequently asked questions. Feel free to contact us if you are still unsure about any of the answers listed, or questions you do not see answered below.

Academics
Is there anything I should do at my home institution in order to participate in a study abroad program through LAI?

You must receive approval from your home institution in order to study abroad through LAI. We suggest you discuss credit transfers and course approvals you take abroad with your home institution before applying. Additionally, you should understand how financial aid can be applied toward your study abroad program, if you receive any. LAI is glad to provide any information regarding the program of your choice to your home institution in the event that is is requested.

Can I earn U.S. credit during my study abroad program?

LAI offers undergraduate programs through FUA: Florence University of the Arts which collaborates with many U.S. institutions for the direct acceptance of credits. For students from non-affiliated institutions, US credit can be issued through FUA’s School of Record. Adhering to the Guidelines of the Forum on Education Abroad, the University of South Florida (“USF”) serves as the School of Record for FUA.

Can I transfer my study abroad credits back to my home institution?

LAI undergraduate programs offer U.S. credit, these credits generally transfer back to your home institution. It is important, however, that you discuss credit transfers directly with your home institution before arriving to your study abroad program. LAI cannot guarantee your study abroad credits will transfer, but we can assist in the process by providing syllabi and course matching information.

How will I receive my transcripts?

Within 12 weeks after the program end date, official transcripts will be mailed to your home institution. If you require an expedited transcript, please contact LAI directly to request one as soon as possible. *Some programs have a deadline in order to request an expedited transcript, ask us for this information directly.

I would like to intern or volunteer while studying abroad, is this possible?

Yes, LAI offers internship and service-learning components to study abroad options. (Does not apply to the High School Abroad program). For more information on internship and service-learning options, contact LAI.

How do I register for classes?

Once you have been accepted into your program, and all deposits have been paid, LAI will enroll you in the classes you listed on your application. You should get as many courses approved by your home institution as possible, we recommend 8 approvals if you plan to take 4 courses, etc. This way you have a higher chance of being enrolled in the courses you choose. You will then receive an email confirming your course schedule has been approved once we have finalized it. Please refer to the course schedule list here, or contact us directly with any questions.

Application Process
Can I submit my application, deposit or transcript separately, or do they all have arrive together when I apply?

You can submit these materials separately. You can even submit them in any order, we will process your application materials once we have received them all.

Is an official transcript required to apply?

Yes, you are required to submit an official transcript from each the universities or institutions you have attended. We cannot accept personally-generated or unofficial transcripts. E-transcripts are acceptable, if your institution offers them. If you cannot submit an official copy before the deadline to apply, we will gladly accept an unofficial copy with your application – to be replaced once your official copy arrives.

Is my application fee refundable.

No. Your application fee is non-refundable once you submit it. We can hold it for you to apply to a different program if you are forced to cancel.

What if my GPA does not meet the required minimum to apply?

Depending the circumstances, some exceptions can be made. We would require a letter of intent by you (the student), and an academic letter of recommendation explaining GPA related issues. We cannot guarantee acceptance with the submitted documents to any program.

The deadline to apply has passed, can I still apply?

Depending on space in a program, late applications may be accepted. Please contact LAI to discuss applying after the deadline has passed and see what options there are.

How do I know if I’ve been accepted?

LAI will email you directly to the address listed on your application with an acceptance email, including additional information regarding your program and next steps. Once you have been accepted officially, LAI requires a program deposit to confirm attendance.

Financial Aid
Can I pay with financial aid for my study abroad program?

You must first speak with your home institution as it is decided by them. Your home institution will have to complete a Verification of Financial Aid Award form on your behalf. They will need to list all of your financial awards and will either disburse the funds to you to pay for your program, or your home institution will pay LAI directly. All students using financial aid to pay for their program are required to submit a ‘Good Faith Payment’ form, regardless if their aid covers a portion or 100% of the study abroad program. This form ensures students’ enrollment in the program. * Please note, housing deposits cannot be deferred for financial aid awards, these fees must be paid upfront in order to secure housing. Contact LAI directly to discuss this matter in detail.

My home institution cannot complete my financial aid forms before the final deadline, what do I do?

Contact LAI directly to discuss your payment options if the forms for financial aid cannot be submitted in time by your home institution.

My financial aid will not be disbursed until after my program starts, is this ok?

LAI is aware that many universities release this type of aid only once the student has arrived and started their program. An Award Verification form is required for LAI to defer payments until the student receives the financial aid.
*All balances covered by financial aid must be paid in full no later than halfway through the program in order to prevent further financial and/ or academic penalties.

Is there a timeline for paying with financial aid?

All dates will be determined by the estimated disbursement for each student. One of the following must be arranged prior to the final payment deadline to pay with financial aid:
1 – A completed Award Verification for the full program cost and a Good Faith Payment form
Or
2- A completed Award Verification deferring part of the program balance in addition to a payment out of pocket equal to or greater than the deferred amount
Or
3- A completed Award Verification deferring part of the program balance in addition to a prearranged payment plan for the remaining out of pocket amount.

Getting There - Travel Arrangements
Does LAI arrange group flights? Is this included in the price of the program?

No, LAI does not arrange group flights. Once you have been accepted, you will receive pre-departure information directly from us, indicating the arrival and departure dates of your program and tips on booking your travel. We suggest you do not book your flight until you receive this information from us. Flights are not included in program costs and will be an additional personal expense.

What if I don’t have my flight booked before the final payment deadline?

We require you to send us your travel itinerary 4 weeks before the start date of your program. Please note, we cannot guarantee airport transportation upon arrival if you do not send us this information on time. (If you applied late, please contact us directly to handle this matter).

What do I do when I arrive at the airport?

We provide airport transfer for all students to their housing accomodations. To receive this service, you are required to arrive at the designated airport within the assigned dates and timeframes. If your flight is delayed or cancelled on the day of your arrival, please contact LAI directly from the information you will be given for pre-departure. If you plan to arrive outside of the designated dates or timeframe, contact LAI to discuss other options for an additional cost.

What day should I depart from the U.S. for my study abroad program?

You will receive pre-departure information directly from LAI indicating the arrival date of your program. Generally, you should fly out of the U.S. on the day of your program start day and land on the same, or next day – if international. We suggest you do not book your flight until you have received confirmed dates from LAI, and are sure what location to arrive at. You need to be clear you will arrive on the correct date. Contact LAI for any questions regarding booking your flight.

What if I arrive early or late?

We cannot stress the importance of arriving on your designated program start date enough. Without prior notice from you, we cannot permit early arrivals or late departures. Keep in mind orientations are mandatory once your program starts. If you choose to arrive early or late, you will be responsible for any transportation and/ or accommodation fees not previously arranged for you by LAI.

What day should I depart back to my home?

Arrangements to return back home should be made for the last day of your study abroad program. You have the option to stay longer for personal travel, but you must make sure your passport / visa will be valid to avoid visitor travel issues. Please note, your insurance and accomodations expire once your program ends and you will be responsible for any additional costs incurred after your program completion. Please contact us with general questions regarding your stay past your program end date if you have interest.

How will I get to the airport from my apartment on the day of check out from my program?

LAI charges an additional cost to arrange housing transfer to the airport on the last day of your program. We can always help students figure out options at no extra cost, contact us directly to do so.
*LAI High School program includes this transfer service at no extra cost.

I want to go back home a day before the program ends, can I?

You are required to stay until the end date of your program, including the end of your classes and exams. LAI will not approve early departures. For emergency situations, please contact LAI directly.

What if I pre-booked travel before my program started and it ends up being during class exams or academic trips?

LAI understands you may not have class everyday and plan to travel to other cities or countries while studying abroad. However, programs have very strict attendance and exam policies, therefore, LAI suggests you wait to book any travel during your program until you have received your class / field trip and exam schedules. Your host institution reserves the right not to allow makeup exams or excused absences due to pre-booked travel. You will generally receive your class schedule during your program orientation and exam / field trip schedule during the first week of classes.

Health & Safety / Being Prepared
What do I do in an emergency?

Your first contact should be the ambulance, police or fire department if you are in need of immediate assistance, you will receive these local numbers once you arrive to your program during orientation. Then you should contact LAI directly to assist in an emergency event. If an emergency takes places after-hours, contact your assigned 24-hour emergency phone number you received upon arrival.

I feel sick abroad, what do I do?

All students studying through LAI receive international health insurance in their program fees. If you need medical attention while studying abroad, please contact LAI directly or consult your insurance’s website for a list of local English-speaking doctors approved through your plan. If you are seen by an approved doctor, you will not have to pay out of pocket for the visit. You can see another doctor and pay with credit or cash and later submit a reimbursement form through the insurance company.

I need to submit an insurance claim, how do I do that?

Keep all of your receipts, prescriptions and doctors forms in order to submit a claim (copies are acceptable). Go to your international health insurance website to file a claims form. Checks for reimbursement can take up to 75 days to arrive by mail to your permanent address back home. Contact LAI directly if you need help with this.

Housing & Amenities
What will housing be like?

Housing accommodations are included in your program fees. You can choose between an apartment, or a homestay. Apartments are within a 5-25 minute walking distance to the university. You have the option to be placed in a shared room, or private room (upon availability, and for an additional fee). Homestay options are not all located in the city center.

Shared apartments are located within local neighborhoods throughout the city center. This enables you to connect with the local life since residents will more than likely be living in the same apartment building. You would have access to local grocery stores, cafes, restaurants, museums, pharmacies and more – all within a short walking distance.

Is the housing furnished, what amenities come in it?

All student housing is furnished and comes with a common living area, kitchen, shared bathroom, and shared or private bedrooms. Basic cookware is provided in the kitchen (pots and pans, plates and cups, silverware) and bedrooms provide basic wardrobe storage, twin beds and sheets with a pillow. There is also a washer machine and iron to be shared. Wifi access is provided. Apartments do not include dryers for clothing or telephone lines.

Can I live with my friend(s)?

Yes, it is possible to request to live with friends, but the requests must be mutual and you must all request each other. This can be noted on the application. If you need to make a roommate request after you have applied, please contact LAI directly.

Something in my apartment is not working, what do I do?

All students receive a housing orientation within the first few days of arrival to their study abroad program. During this orientation, instructions on how to deal with maintenance requests will be explained. Always keep in mind your living experience abroad may be different than what you are used to in your home country. We remind you not to become overwhelmed and reach out to us with any concerns you might have.

Payment, Cancellations and Refunds
Can I pay with a credit card?

Yes, you can pay program fees with a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Amex, and Discover). LAI also accepts personal check, cashier’s check, money order, or direct bank wire. Please contact us directly for payment instructions.

Can I pay on a payment plan?

LAI does offer a payment plan for an additional $50 fee. All installments must be paid in full no later than 1 month from the program start date. To arrange a payment plan, please contact us directly.

Are there late fees?

LAI does charge late fees depending on any unarranged late payments. If you are paying with financial aid, there are additional forms to submit to avoid late fees and guarantee a student’s participation in a confirmed program.

I want to study abroad for entire academic year, am I required to pay all at once?

Yes, LAI requires students to submit payment for an academic year at one time in order to confirm their participation and to secure multiple semester attendance. Generally, a multi-semester option costs less than applying for semesters separately.

I decided to cancel or withdraw from my program, will I be refunded?

All withdrawals or cancellations must be provided in writing via email with “CANCELLATION + YOUR NAME” in the subject line. You can refer to LAI’s Cancellation Policy to understand better what you will be refunded or any potential liability. The cancellation policy is also located on the application.

If I submitted a refundable security deposit, when will I get it back?

We will mail you a deposit refund in check form to your permanent address within 45 days after your program completion as long as there are no damages and no pending issues on your account.

The Basics
Can I study abroad through LAI?

LAI offers English-speaking students, from all over the world, undergraduate and high school programs. Programs for graduated and adult participants including career and professional certificates are also offered. Please refer to the specific program pages for eligibility requirements.

What are the language requirements to study through LAI?

LAI offers programs that require English language proficiency. All courses taught at your host institution will be in English. No previous language experience is required of the country you will study in, unless noted otherwise on a program page.

Can I participate in a program as soon as I have graduated high school or college?

Yes, LAI offers study abroad opportunities to high school and college graduates. Options include for-credit and non-credit options. Contact us if you are unsure which program best fits your status.

What is included in my study abroad program through LAI?

The following is included in your LAI program:
Tuition costs, housing, international health insurance, 24 on-site emergency support, counseling services, cell phone, field trips, onsite orientation and LAI guidance from start to finish (applying, registration, pre-departure, general support, re-entry).

Can I work while I study abroad?

Each country has different rules applying to students obtaining jobs. Italy does allow students studying abroad and holding a student visa to work up to 20 hours per week – no more than 1,040 hours within a year. However, securing a job is not as easy as it seems, and pay rates / taxes are very different in each country. Keep this in mind when hunting for jobs. Since you may be unfamiliar with worker rules, be clear on any opportunity you are offered, so not as to be taken advantage of. Remember, your main priority abroad is your academic program and any other work should never interfere or negatively affect your studies. *LAI is not responsible for any employment students obtain while abroad.

Will there be locals of the host city in my class?

Generally, your classes will include a majority of U.S. study abroad students. However, other programs at your host institution may include citizens from all around the world, enabling you to meet new people from different backgrounds and cultures in your classes or through extracurricular activities and school-wide events.

Travel Documents - Passport & Visas
Do I need a passport to study abroad?

Yes. You must have a passport with an expiration date of at least 90 days after your program ends (at least 180 days from the start of your program) to study abroad through LAI in Italy for U.S. citizens. If you are not a U.S. citizen, we suggest you consult your local consulate to check your options to study abroad through one of our programs. We are available to discuss this with you if you are unsure. Since you are responsible for the entry and exit requirements of the study abroad host country, we recommend you renew your passport to avoid any issues, if you think it will expire during this time.

How can I apply for a passport?

You can find passport applications and information on the U.S. Department of State’s website. Since the processing can take up to 3 months, make sure you apply as early as possible. For an extra fee, you can speed up the passport application.

I applied for my passport, but have not received it yet. Can I still apply for a study abroad program?

LAI will gladly accept your application pending your passport arrival. We suggest you submit all of your required application materials once they are ready. As soon as you receive your passport, we would require you to submit a copy so that we can add it your file. The deadline to do this would be before the final program fees are due. We do not suggest you apply for a program if you are unsure your passport will arrive in time for your study abroad program, since we cannot guarantee a refund for the program. Please refer to our Cancellation Policy page.

Am I required to apply for a student visa in addition to my passport?

Depending on your program, you may need to apply for a student visa. European Union (EU) countries permit up to 90 within the designated Schengen Area for a U.S. passport, a student visa is not required for programs lasting less than this. Therefore if you will be within the region, such as Italy for no more than 90 days (from arrival to departure), you are not required to obtain a student visa. If your program / travel plans will run longer than this time period, you are required to apply for one. LAI can assist, at no extra cost, with visa application, but cannot guarantee a student’s approval. Contact us directly for more questions on this.

I am having a problem with obtaining my visa. What do I do?

Many issues can arise during a visa application phase, do not worry, contact LAI directly for assistance.

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