According to Study-in-Italy.it, a dichiarazione di valore is “an official document which provides a short description of a certain academic or professional qualification, awarded to a specific person by an institution belonging to an educational system other than the Italian one”. It’s basically a statement from the Italian Consulate that verifies your educational qualifications, so that the Italian University can say, “Oh okay, he/she is qualified to attend our university”.
Once you get the DV, it doesn’t mean that you are automatically enrolled at Italian University, as there are typically entrance exams and other factors they must consider. Nevertheless, its the first step to applying for a University in Italy – and it’s not an easy one.
So how do you obtain a Dichiarazione di Valore? Based on my experience, these are things you must do:
1. Contact the Italian University – Ask them what documents are required for your degree program. Also confirm that based your educational qualifcations you are eligible. Some degrees require only a high school level of education, while more advanced degrees require a bachelor’s degree in a similar field.
2. Contact your nearest Italian Consulate in the U.S. – Ask them what documents are required for a Dichiarazione di Valore and confirm the consulate’s jurisdiction. You may have to apply for the Dichiarazione di Valore at the consulate nearest to your univeristy, rather than the consulate nearest to where you live now.
3. Request your official transcripts and certified copy of your diploma from your university, college, and/or high school. The registrar’s office must not only issue this documents, but also place the school’s “raised seal” on each document and sign the document in the presence of a public notary (the notary must confirm the registrar’s signature and identity). Most registrars office are familiar with requests like this and usually have a public notary within the office.
You have two options for the diploma. Most people don’t want to ruin their original diploma by having it notarized and apostilled, as they must write on the face of the diploma. So you can do two things:
1) Order another diploma, which might take a few weeks to issue and cost you $30-40. Then, this can be signed by the registrar and notarized.
2) Have the university make a photocopy of the original diploma, and notarize the copy (verifying that it is a true copy), as well as notarizing the registrar’s signature on the copy.
4. Request course descriptions – Some Italian Univeristies also request a description of the courses that you took. If this is the case, you must ask the university to issue these descriptions, as written in the course catalog.
5. Obtain 2 passport sized photos and certify them – The photos must be certified by a public notary, confirming that they are, in fact, photos of you.
6. Apostille the transcripts and diploma – An apostille is basically a document that you attach to other documents, validating them for use in other countries. You can obtain an apostille at the Secretary of State office for the state that documents were issues from (i.e. If you went to university in California, so you must Apostille your university documents at the Secretary of State of California. However, if your high school documents were issued in Kansas, you must Apostille the documents at the Secretary of State in Kansas). Check the secretary of state’s website for more information about how to apostille a document.
7. Translate all documents – You must translate ALL documents into Italian. Unless you speak both English and Italian and are able to translate these documents yourself, I recommend that you get this done professionally.
8. Complete the Modello A – This is basically the application form for pre-enrolling at the Italian university. Check the University’s website and with the consulate to confirm which Modello you need to fill out, as well as the deadline for pre-enrollment. DO NOT sign or date the application until you are in front of the consulate.
9. Bring all these documents to the Italian Consulate and pray that nothing is missing! Be prepared to do more work…
Easy? No. Consider this process your “Initiation into Italy”.
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