Worst Parts of Living in Italy as a Foreigner

Italy is a wonderful country with its history, geographic location, culture, food, and many other things. These are the primary reasons that make the country attractable. However, when you decide to live in Italy, you face with thousands of difficulties after your first arrival. Italy is the country of procedures, and the ones who want to spend half of their time with these procedures keep living in Italy. The others are being messed with unreasonable difficulties and decide to leave the country. Let me give you some examples from our daily life here in Milan.

  • As an international student, you need to renew your permit of stay each year, even you are a Ph.D. student. There is not any agreement or integration between university and government which facilitates your stay. You need to get your documents from university each year and then follow the requirements for applying for a stay permit. If you are lucky, you can get an appointment date to 4-5 months later, and it takes 40 days to get your card after attending the appointment. I am not kidding, it takes almost 6-7 months to renew your yearly permit of stay. In other words, you spend half of the year to get access to stay on the following mid-year. Since you don’t have a valid stay permit for 6 months, you are forbidden to visit any European country because with the appointment paper, you can only go to your home country. You should have the card, not the paper to visit France for example.
  • Even you have an appointment date for stay permit, the officers may not work on that day, because they can give decisions on their own. In my case, my wife was having an appointment on Saturday, we went to the Police station with our official appointment paper, but they told us that their colleagues decided not to work on that day, and we should come by Monday.
  • Most of the government organizations do not support their online valid operations. You need to go to the offices as a person and wait for hours to get the hard-copy of documents.
  • For each document, Italy government requests a timber costing 16 euro. In many cases, you need 2 timbers, which cost 32 euro in total. You buy your timber from the shops located in the streets, and you collide your timber into any document to make it official. In some cases, the machine which generates the timber doesn’t work, because it is connected to the government computers. In a single year, I bought 40+ timbers and I paid more than 650 euro for the timbers. (I am not including the application fees for each process)
  • If you are a student and want to work in a company, you should change the stay permit from student to employee. This process nearly takes 3 months. You are very lucky if you haven’t heard the words of Nulla Osta so far.
  • When you are ready to work in a company, you should prove that your house is convenient to live. In fact, your house is already recognized by the municipality, but it doesn’t matter. You should find and call a certified engineer to validate your living conditions in the house and pay him 100 euro. But before that, you should have the certificates, plans of the house, and if you don’t have, you should pay 600 euro and spend days to get those documents. Each year, the validity of approval expires, so you should find and call a certified engineer and pay 100 euro.
  • Most of the employees working in local authorities (municipality, police office, etc) do not know English. So you should use your body language capabilities.
  • If you make a money transfer from a bank account to another, it needs to pass a day. Only in very few examples, such as internal bank transfers between Intesa San Paolo accounts, you can transfer money on the same day. In 99% of cases, you need to wait, and also pay 1 euro for each transfer.
  • If there is a cargo or a document sent to your address with Italy Postal Office service and you are not at home, you need to take it from the central Postal Office. When you go there, you should wait at least 2-3 hours other people, and after all of that time, you may not have your package since it is lost.
  • After being graduated, it takes 4 months to get your diplome. In that time, your stay permit maybe overdue, so return to your home country, and apply for a tourist visa to come back and get your document. If you plan to stay in Italy and apply for a job, you cannot make that application without your diplome.

There are many different stories which make our life messy here. In my calculation, I spent nearly 720+ hours of dedicated time for my official things in a single year. My house is full of documents. And the most interesting thing is, Italians are okay with this. There is no need to make any progress to make life easier.

In my following post, I will explain the best parts of living Italy.

Data Science Research Group at Politecnico Milano

Good news, I joined to Data Science Research Group of Politecnico Milano as Research Fellow. At the moment, this is a position with a temporary contract since we need to see if I could contribute well to the research of this community. My advisor will be Marco Brambilla, who is known for his studies in Web Science and Software Engineering.

I am very pleased with becoming a member(even as a temporary researcher) of this valuable group. I believe I will gain a broad knowledge by making research with my professors and I will be able to solve a significant research problem in my Ph.D. thesis.

You can get more information about the research group from here. http://datascience.deib.polimi.it

PhD Study in Politecnico di Milano

5 months ago, I wrote a blog post here that we have decided to move to Milan for the next 4-5 years. Finally, I am enrolled to Politecnico di Milano for the Ph.D. program in Computer Science and Engineering. It will be a great experience to join to Politecnico di Milano, which is in the 49th ranking in worldwide. As a result, I am leaving my current job at Vodafone. Actually, I really learned and applied various things in Vodafone. Thank you to my all colleagues there for their friendship.

A New Adventure, Milan – Italy

In the last 2 years, we were planning to live in a foreign country and we were trying to catch the best opportunity for both of me and my wife, and we had various alternatives including Toronto, Madrid, Berlin, and Milan. Finally, we have decided to move in Italy since the lifestyle of Italians seems very close to the Turkish people. Moreover, we speak French and it is a good opportunity to learn Italian quickly. I think there is no need to talk about how much delicious is Italian kitchen, with its pizzas, kinds of pasta and more…

As of 1st September, my wife Seda is going to begin to her Ph.D. study at Bocconi University, in Milan. Since she also had a full scholarship, it will be beneficial to cover our living expenses. On the other hand, I should leave my current job at Vodafone and seek new opportunities in Milan. Currently, I applied to Politecnico Milano for the Ph.D. degree in Computer Science and I will apply also to Milan Bicocca University. By the way, I started to learn Italian since I have a huge interest in the Italian language. I already completed one course in Italian Culture Institute, and I am now in the second course. Maybe, my next blog post could be in Italian, since in a very short time period of time, I got a great progress in Italian. And also I have started to listen to Italian songs as well, and I become happy when I understand the meaning of the lyrics…

I will continuously share my experiences from here…