Travel Questions

Does the program cost include airfare?

No, students are responsible for their own airfare to and from Italy.

Students should book a round-trip flight to and from the Venice-Marco Polo airport. We recommend starting your search with tools such as Student Universe or Kayak, a local travel agent, or your preferred airline. Transportation to and from the airport will be provided by Saints Bible Institute on the official arrival and departure dates listed. SBI will not provide lodging or transportation for students who arrive before the semester begins or depart after the semester ends.

Do I need a passport and/or visa?

A valid passport is required to enter Europe. Your passport must remain valid for at least 3 months past your departure from Italy. Click here to apply for or renew a passport.

Americans are granted a free 90-day tourist visa that also allows access to other countries in the European Union. Please note that a semester at SBI typically last 88 or 89 days – students will not be able to travel in Europe prior to their semester at SBI. Staying past the 90-day visa expiration date puts students at risk of deportation. If you intend to stay longer in Europe you must apply for a long sojourn visa.

Can I do some personal travel while abroad?

A semester in Italy is a fantastic opportunity to explore Italy and other European countries. Students are free to make their own travel plans for Fall/Spring Break and enjoy nearby cities during free weekends at SBI. The Residence Life staff make recommendations, estimate costs, and provide brown bag lunches for optional Saturday day trips. Students should budget for transportation, snack, souvenir, and entrance fee costs.

Italy is home to an excellent public transportation. Students can catch a bus in San Lorenzo or a train in Casarsa (two miles away) to reach surrounding cities and even international routes. There are also a number of discount airlines that fly in and out of the Venice-Marco Polo and Venice-Treviso airports (perfect for Fall/Spring Break travel). Venice is also home to a number of cruise and ferry lines traveling to and from southern Italy, the Balkans, and Greece. Travel guides like Slow ItalyThe Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor are great resources.

How do I exchange currency?

The easiest and least expensive way to purchase Euros is to make withdrawal from ATMs in Italy using a debit card. U.S. dollars are not needed in Italy. Major credit cards are also generally accepted, although credit card purchase minimums tend to be higher than in the United States. To prevent fraud alerts, it is very important that you contact your bank and credit card company to inform them that you will be traveling in Europe. Click here to see current exchange rates for the Euro.

How do I communicate with home?

Cell Phones

If you would like to use a cell phone in Italy, you have several options: purchase a phone in Italy (usually around $50), purchase a SIM card for your U.S. phone in Italy, or switch your U.S. phone to an international plan. Cell phones are optional.

Skype or Google Hangouts

Many students use Skype (http://www.skype.com/en/) or similar apps for free internet computer-to-computer video calls. You can also use Skype to call US phones (paid by the minute) or purchase a phone number and voicemail that can be reached by American phones.

Internet

Wireless internet access is available in the lounge at Saints Bible Institute where students can stay connected to home in their free time. However, internet speeds are slower than Americans are accustomed to. The network is not set up for video streaming.

Snail Mail

Students can mail letters from a drop box around the corner from campus (stamps are available at a local post office in Casarsa). Each student has a personal mailbox for the semester where mail can be received at the address below. Packages are slow to pass through customs (i.e. 1 month transit time) and should be sent via FedEx to the student (not addressed to SBI). Medications/prescriptions are not allowed to enter Italy.

Example:

Student’s Name, Via Bertoiussi 29, 33090 S. Lorenzo di Valvasone Arzene, PN Italia

 

Academic Questions

What is Saints Bible Institute?

Saints Bible Institute (SBI) is an accredited study abroad program based in northeastern Italy (San Lorenzo), an hour north of Venice. The program is open to American college-age or gap year students interested in deepening their Christian faith and understanding Italian life and culture. Our curriculum, offered in intensive one or two-week courses, delves into missions, church planting, Biblical studies, and art history. SBI coursework guides students through Italy’s most famous cities and regional artisans and landmarks.

For more information, visit the Saints Bible Institute website here: http://www.saintsbibleinstitute.org/

Will my credits transfer?

Yes, you will receive ACU credit and grades for all classes taken while participating in an ACU-approved study abroad program. ALL credit hours and grades transfer automatically to your ACU transcript.

Will the courses I take abroad count toward graduation?

Yes, all courses taken while participating in an ACU-approved study abroad program count towards the credit hours needed for graduation; as long you have spoken with your advisor and received approval on the courses you are taking.

What happens to my status at ACU while I study abroad?

You continue to be enrolled and registered at ACU while you are abroad. Before your departure, the ACU Registrar’s Office will be notified that you will be participating in a study abroad program.

How many credits will I take?

Generally, SBI offers classes totaling 16 or 19 credits per semester. You need to speak with your advisor about the appropriate courses and course load for you. However, you must take a minimum of 12 credit hours.

What courses will I take?

You need to check with your advisor to determine the courses that will work best for your needs. However, the courses offered will generally encompass Bible/Christianity, Fine Arts, and Humanities subject areas and fulfill course requirements for ACU’s Liberal Arts Core and Bible Minor. Below is a list of courses being offered for Fall 2018:

Fall 2018 Courses:

  • CT 205: Christian Life Formation- Gospel in Cultural Life (1 credit hour)
  • CM 210: Cross-Cultural Missions & Evangelism (3 credit hours)
  • FA 211: Fine Arts (3 credit hours)
  • COM 331: Intercultural Communication (3 credit hours)
  • BIB 329: Acts (3 credit hours)
  • HIS 211: History of Western Thought & Culture I (3 credit hours)
  • CT 340: Contemporary Apologetics (3 credit hours)
  • BIB 224: New Testament Literature & Interpretation (3 credit hours)
  • BIB 334: Gospels (3 credit hours)

 

Financial Questions

How much does the program cost?

Students pay the standard Arizona Christian University semester tuition and applicable fees. Tuition covers the cost of courses, room, and three meals per day for the entire semester. Cost does not include travel expenses to and from Italy, textbooks, or personal expenses. In addition to standard tuition and fees, students accepted into the study abroad program pay a non-refundable $250 set up fee.

Is financial aid available for study abroad?

Institutional aid is not available for study abroad. However, students are able to use Federal and other sources of financial aid toward the program.

How and when do I pay my deposits?

Payments can be made by contacting the ACU Business Office. Below is a chart outlining the payment amounts and deadlines for the Fall and Spring semesters.

  Fall 2018 Semester Spring 2019 Semester
  Due Date Due Date
Study Abroad Set Up Fee: $250* December 1, 2017 May 1, 2018
First deposit due: $2,500** February 28, 2018 July 31, 2018
Second deposit due: $2,500** April 30, 2018 September 30, 2018
Third deposit due: remaining balance: $7,500*** June 30, 2018 November 30, 2018
*For those accepted into the program; fee is non-refundable.
**The first and second deposits are cash only.
***The third and final deposit can include any federal or other sources of financial aid

 

For all other questions, please contact [email protected].