Engineering Rome

Pre-Departure Must-Do’s

The UW Rome Center (UWRC) and the Study Abroad Office have some specialized pre-departure items that you must complete before leaving for Italy. You can find all the information on their websites, but they are outlined below for your convenience:

  • Euros for Arrival at Airport
    • U-District Wells Fargo (206) 545-3578 for currency exchange before departing
    • Taxi costs ~ 48€ (this is a fixed price and you should ask the Taxi driver before you get in to confirm the cost)
    • Train costs ~ 15€ or less, depending upon which one you take.
  • Refundable Damage Deposit (50€) & Key Deposit (20€):
    • You need to bring this to the UW Rome Center when you check in. They want exact change only and cash only. Don’t worry. There are ATMs nearby.
    • Both deposits will be refunded upon checkout and apartment inspection.
  • Recommended Daily Food Budget
    • $15.00-$30.00 per day (eating out more often costs more)
  • Mobile Phones are required by the Rome Center
  • Credit cards
    • Tell your bank and/or credit card company that you’re going to Rome (and where ever else you may be stopping along the way),If they don’t know, they will undoubtedly BLOCK your credit card the first time you try and use it overseas. What a drag! It usually happens when there is no easy way to unblock the card. So take the time and call the company or use their online services to let them know when you will be in Rome and elsewhere. Saves LOTS of hassle.
    • Consider bringing a backup credit card that you can use if (1) your primary card gets blocked, or (2) your primary card gets lost or stolen.
    • Use a credit card on the VISA/MASTERCARD circuit and not the Cirrus/Maestro circuit since some ATMs do not accept the latter.
  • Computers
    • Bring your laptop, iPad, etc. The Rome Center has SOME computers for students to use, but it is much more convenient to use your own.
    • POWER SOURCE: Italy uses 220 volt, 50 Hz electricity (that’s different than U.S. 110V, 60Hz). In almost all cases your computer’s transformer should be able to handle European (Italy) power (read the specs on the transformer). That would mean that you would be fine with a cheap adapter (one that doesn’t have a transformer to step down voltage). HOWEVER, I have blow at least 2 transformers in foreign countries and Jillian did so on our last 2015 Engineering Rome trip. SO – bring a backup power source for your computer so if you blow one, you have a spare.
    • WIFI: The Rome Center has WIFI for sure. You apartment will have WIFI but it will likely be spotty and will grind to a halt if everyone tries to get on at the same time. Upload pictures over night or at the Rome Center. Facetime quality may suck.
  • Packing
    • Pack what you wish, but you will have to lug your stuff for a 15-20 minute walk across cobbled streets to get to your apartment.
    • Hiking/Construction clothes: we will crawl in an ancient aqueduct and tour a construction site. Bring appropriate clothes. “Appropriate” means:
      • Hiking boots or work boots (steel toed or not).
      • Long pants that are durable and can get dirty.
      • Shirt that covers your shoulders (i.e., t-shirt). No tank tops.
    • Fashion. Folks in Rome dress better than we do in Seattle. Bring one or more outfits that are a bit nicer than casual workout clothes.
    • Laundry. You will have it in your apartment, but there is no dryer. You have to hang-dry your clothes. And the washer usually takes 100 minutes for a small load. Quick-drying stuff is a plus.

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