Wednesday, 23 May 2012

FAQs we are hearing

It's been a while since our last FAQs post. We do our best to provide answers in our literature. But you may not find all of your answers in our Guidebook for Incoming Students or on the Incoming Student page.

Below are some of questions we've been tackling recently.


Q: I received an email saying I have not met the introductory economics requirement. What do I do?
A: All students must have passed an introductory course in micro- and macroeconomics to start coursework at SAIS. If you have not taken economics before, you need to take and pass a university-level course that will give you the adequate preparation to start classes at SAIS.

Q: I missed the deadline to enroll in the SAIS Online Principles of Economics course. Can I still hope for a spot?
A: The Online Principles of Economics course offered by SAIS is now full. Remember that you can look for an alternative course offered at another institution. Be sure it is a university-level course provided by an accredited institution. Before enrolling, non-U.S. students need to send the course syllabus for approval to

U.S. students should contact the Admissions Office in Washington for guidance.

Q: Can I start coursework at SAIS if I haven't taken exams in principles of micro- and macroeconomics?
A: No. All students must have passed principles of economics to start classes.

Q: Can I take pre-term economics courses instead of a course in principles of economics?
A: No. The micro and macro courses offered in pre-term are at the intermediate level. To take them, one must have already passed introductory micro and introductory macro with a grade of B- or higher. You need to learn how to walk before you can run.

Q: What pre-term courses are available?
A: Information on pre-term courses is available here. In this document you will find a link to the registration form.


Q: How long does it take to obtain a visa?
A: It's difficult to say. If you have not done so already, you should visit the website of the Italian embassy in your home country to understand what the requirements are.

Non-U.S. students should have received a visa request letter in Italian. A hard copy of the visa letter and of your letter of admission will be sent to you.

U.S. students should make use of the Italian visa service offered in Washington.

Q: Can I apply for a visa outside of my home country?
A: Requesting a long-term visa outside of your home country is not easy. In most cases your application will be denied. We strongly recommend that you make your visa application in your native country.

Q: As part of my visa application I have been asked to provide proof of address. What should I do?
A: Please contact us at


Q: I'm a non-European Union national. Do I need health insurance?
A: Yes. If you are not a citizen of a European Union member state, you need to make sure you arrive in Italy with adequate health insurance.

Q: I will apply for the emergency health insurance. Will that be enough?
A: No. The emergency health insurance is useful if one is taken to hospital, but it does not substitute for a general health plan.

Q: I have health insurance. Do I need to buy the emergency health insurance?
A: You are not required to buy the emergency insurance. But we strongly recommend you do. The cost is roughly 100 euros for the whole year. With this insurance you would not have to pay out of your own pocket if you were taken to hospital.

Q: I'm an EU citizen. Should I get health insurance?
A: As an EU citizen, all you need to do is to apply for an international health card in your home country. This  card will give you the same rights to health assistance as Italians.

Got more questions? You know how to find us.

Amina Abdiuahab