Thursday, June 23, 2016

Some questions and answers

We're getting ready to welcome the students who will be part of the Class of 2017.

We've been receiving a lot of questions from incoming students -- quite rightly since coming to Bologna involves a great deal of preparation. 

Below, we've grouped some of the most frequently asked questions. If you have more questions, or you wish to get more details on any of topics below, you can reach us via email at

Q: I have been given access to the online pre-calculus tutorial, am I required to take the course and the quiz?
A: As you know, our curriculum has a strong quantitative focus and we want to make sure you arrive with the adequate quantitative skills that will allow you to tackle the coursework. This is why we give you access to the pre-calculus tutorial and we ask you to take a quiz at the end.

Although it is not a requirement that will impact your admission, you are asked to follow the tutorial
and to take the quiz at the end. This will help us understand whether we need to help you get up to speed with your math skills.

If you've not received access to the online tutorial, be sure to get in touch with us.

Q: I have a strong quantitative background, do I need to take the pre-calculus tutorial and test?
A: If you have a strong math background, you can probably get through pre-calculus quickly. Once you have taken the quiz, we strongly recommend that you dedicate your time to the calculus review and quiz.

Q: How do I qualify to take the waiver exams in economics?
A: The purpose of the waiver exams is to allow those who have already taken the required economics courses to take more advanced courses while at SAIS.

To qualify for the waiver, you must have completed a course equivalent to the SAIS economics course and received a grade equivalent to a B- or higher. Look at this page for information on the economics waiver exams.

Q: I would like to pursue a different concentration than the one I indicated in my application. Can I change concentration?
A: Yes, you will be able to change concentration once you arrive in Bologna. The only concentration you will not be able to change to is International Development (IDEV), which is the only concentration with capped enrollment.

Those interested in switching to Strategic Studies will have to make a formal request. Information will be available at the Registrar's Office.

Q: I would like to pursue a different course in pre-term than the one I selected. Can I change?
A: Those coming for pre-term can take courses in intermediate microeconomics, intensive and survival Italian, or intensive English.

If you've been required to take intensive English you will not be able to change your registration. 

If you signed for the other courses and you've changed your mind, you should contact the Registrar's Office at before the deadline for registration on June 30.

Q: I've not booked my visa appointment yet. Will I be able to obtain my visa in time for classes?
A: You should book your appointment as soon as possible. It's difficult to predict how long it might take the Embassy to process your visa. Some take a few days, others can take weeks. You'll do yourself a favor by booking an appointment as soon as possible. 

If you're planning on coming for pre-term or if you are a student in the Master of Arts in Global Risk (MAGR) program, you should book an appointment immediately to make sure you can be on a plane before August 18, when pre-term classes and classes for MAGR students in the begin.

Q: I've been asked to provide proof of health insurance. What can I do?
A: In the visa letters, we clearly state that all students are automatically signed up for a health insurance plan. However, some Embassies might require additional information. If you're in this situation, please get in touch with us.

Q: I have an EU passport, do I need health insurance in Italy?
A: If you are a European Union citizen you should apply for a European health card. Such card, will give you the same access to healthcare as Italians.

Generally, only residents of an EU country are able to apply for a European Health card. If you don't qualify for a European Health card, you will be enrolled in the plan provided by SAIS, unless you have adequate coverage already.

Amina Abdiuahab

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