Tips and Resources

Preparing for Your CIMBA Experience

Before you arrive in Italy, there are many important steps to complete. This page has valuable information that will help ensure you have a successful time at CIMBA. For logistical correspondence such as related to teaching in Italy, please contact Deborah Contin.

Course Dates

The exact dates of the MBA courses vary from professor to professor and will be provided individually to each person who is teaching.

Booking your Flight

Venice Marco Polo (VCE) is the closest and most convenient major airport for incoming international flights. Before booking, please double check your class dates so you arrive and depart on the correct days. Keep in mind when planning that you will lose a day on your flight to Italy due to the time change. If purchasing an itinerary that includes personal travel, please contact Stephanie Schnicker. Note that you must also secure an airline quote for the actual business dates of travel at the time of purchase. The university will use the lowest fare, either the actual paid itinerary or the quote, for your reimbursement. Please email your flight itinerary to Margherita Lago.

Getting to Campus

For your convenience, CIMBA can arrange for a taxi to pick you up from the airport and take you directly to campus. The cost of this taxi is approximately 90€ in cash. Let Deborah Contin know if you would like a taxi. Please keep the emergency staff phone number with you in case there are any changes to your travel schedule or emergencies. Although not recommended for new faculty, if you would like to find your own way to campus, full directions can be found here.


While teaching for CIMBA, you will be a faculty member of the University of Iowa. Therefore, you will be covered under a comprehensive travel insurance plan through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). Coverage will be based on your submitted travel dates. Details can be found on the UI study abroad web page.

To purchase insurance for dependents traveling with you, you will need to complete CISI’s Dependent Enrollment Form; the cost per dependent is $1.19/day. All dependents need to be covered, at a minimum, by emergency evacuation and repatriation insurance, whether through CISI or elsewhere.

To extend your CISI coverage dates for personal travel, please follow the directions on the policy email that will be sent to your University of Iowa email account approximately two weeks before your departure date.

Money Matters

Before you leave:

  1. Call your bank, debit cards, and credit card companies to:
    1. Let them know the dates you will be living in Italy, and also emphasize that you will be traveling around Europe. You may want to add a few days before and after in case your plans change so they not freeze your account when they see international charges.
    2. Inquire about international fees for using your debit and credit cards to make informed decisions about how you spend. They may have a recommendation for a card that works better for foreign transactions.
    3. You may want to consider putting a trusted family member or friend on your accounts so if you have any difficulties while abroad, they can call the bank on your behalf. This is especially helpful considering the time difference between the U.S. and Italy.
    4. Request to have back-up copies of your card mailed to you prior to departure. This way, if a card gets stuck in an incompatible machine, you will not be left without convenient access to your funds.
  2. Convert at least 150 Euros before departing for Europe at a local bank to have to pay for the taxi and in case of an emergency. Avoid converting money at airports and train stations as they likely have higher exchange rates. Once you arrive on campus, you can withdraw more money at the ATMs in town.
  3. Make copies of your important documents, including your credit and debit cards. Keep these in a separate location than your original cards, and leave a copy with a trusted family member. This will help if your card is lost or stolen.
  4. Make sure you either have access to your bills online or designate someone at home to facilitate payments.

Cash: Europe is a very cash friendly society. Expect to use cash at restaurants, shops, markets, and for admissions to attractions. Many times you are not able to split a bill amongst several diners, so it is important to have exact change. Keep in mind that Euro coins have different monetary values than American coins.

We recommend using the ATMs on and around campus to withdraw Euros, as they have a fair exchange rate. You may want to withdraw a larger amount of money each time to avoid numerous ATM charges. It is important to make sure your card is compatible with an ATM by matching the symbols on your card to the symbol on the ATM before inserting your card.

Debit and credit cards: You will use debit and credit cards for larger purchases abroad like tickets, large souvenirs, and hotels/hostels. Most large debit and credit providers are accepted throughout Europe. AMEX is not as widely accepted as MasterCard and Visa. 

Money safety: You should store valuable items such as your passport, identification, cash, and credit cards in a secure location. CIMBA recommends purchasing a money belt or neck pouch. A money belt is less susceptible to pickpocketing and is out of sight for criminals. You can keep the majority of your money in this secure location and carry only a small amount in your purse or wallet. We recommend never having all of your money and cards in one place.

Electronic Devices

Electric voltage and delivery in Europe is different than in the United States. Your devices require a different plug shape (adapter) and voltage (converter) to function in Europe. You can purchase these individually or as a combined unit at most travel and electronic stores as well as Walmart or Target.

To insert your American devices into European outlets, you need an adapter to change their shape. Depending on how many devices you will use at one time, you may want more than one. If you intend to travel to many different countries, please keep in mind that some non-Italian countries in Europe also have different outlet shapes. We recommend looking at universal outlet adapters as an option. 

The standard voltage in Europe is 220 volts, compared to the United States where it is 110 volts. This means that most of your electronic devices will not work in Europe or will require a converter.

We recommend that you look at the plug on your device, which lists its voltage compatibility. Many electronic devices like laptops, camera chargers, and phone chargers will list 110-220v, meaning they can be used in Europe without a converter. If your device only lists 110v, you need a converter.

Certain devices will not work in Europe, even with an adapter and converter, and will be destroyed if you plug them in. You also risk injury to yourself and your surroundings.

Devices that WILL NOT work include:

  • Hair dryer
  • Hair straightener
  • Curling Iron
  • Electric razor
  • Plug-in clock (Most people use their phone for a clock and alarm or bring a small, battery operated travel clock with them.)

You can purchase inexpensive versions of these items once you arrive in Italy or purchase a dual voltage one specifically for Europe before you arrive.