guest post By Mehrad.
Hello everyone, my name is Mehrad, and I am currently a first-year medical student at the University of Pavia in Italy. It was around this time last year, that I was going through the application process for the medical schools in Italy and I remember how terrifying it was for me, not knowing what the required steps are. So, today, I have decided to share my experience regarding the application process for Italian medical schools from Canada. Before going into detail, I would like to note that the application process might be slightly different from one province/territory to another, however, the main steps are similar for all students around the world.
If you’re applying to medical schools in Italy, chances are that you already know about the overwhelming application requirements of medical schools in Canada and the States. Good news: you only need your High School Diploma and High School Transcript in order to apply for medical schools in Italy (and of course you need to take the IMAT, which we will talk about later). Don’t worry though, your grades will not be taken into consideration for the admission and they are only used as a proof of high school completion.
If you need a copy of your transcript, you can get one from your high school, or, if it has been some time since you have graduated from high school, you could request one from your district’s school board.
STEP 1: Dichiarazione di Valore
Once you have obtained your transcript and diploma, you would need to apply for your DV (Dichiarazione di Valore). DV is a document, issued by the Italian authorities in Canada. It verifies the authenticity of the academic credentials obtained in Canada, in order for the receiving institution, in Italy, to evaluate their correspondence into the Italian educational system. Depending on the province/territory that you are applying from, you would need to provide different documents. You can find the Italian Consulate under whose territorial jurisdiction your high school is located.
The breakdown of the Italian consular districts are as follows:
Consulate general of Italy in Toronto: Ontario (with the exception of territories that belong to the Consular district of the Italian Embassy in Ottawa), Manitoba and Northwest Territories
Consulate general of Italy in Vancouver: BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Yukon Territory.
Consulate general of Italy in Montreal: Québec (with the exception of territories that belong to the Consular district of the Italian Embassy in Ottawa), Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland
Once you have found your Consulate/Embassy, you could look up the required documents for DV on their website (Links below). Once you have submitted your documents, either in-person, or by mail, you will just have to wait for your Consulate/Embassy to prepare the DV for you.
STEP 2: submit Form A (Only for Non-EU applicants)
If you are a non-EU applicant, you would need to submit Form A to your consulate, as well. You don’t necessarily have to submit this form with your DV documents; However, I would suggest doing it as soon as possible. By submitting this form, you’re letting the university know that you’re interested in applying there for the next year.
STEP 3: Prepare for IMAT
If you’re done with the first two steps. It is time for you to relax for a little while… But not so much, because it’s time to start studying for IMAT!
However, keep in mind that if you’re taking IMAT in a country, in which requires entry visa for you, it is your responsibility to get the visa.
(Personal advice: get the visa as soon as you can, because if your visa gets rejected after you’ve applied for IMAT, it is virtually impossible to change your test centre.)
STEP 4: Online registration on Universitaly
In the beginning of August, MIUR (Ministry of Education in Italy) opens the registration for IMAT on the Universitaly website. All you need for the online registration is your passport number and a credit card to pay for the exam fees.
STEP 5: IMAT test
Take the test and patiently wait for the results.
STEP 6: Study visa application
Once you have received your acceptance (and if you are non-EU) you would need to apply for the study (national) visa in Italy. You can check out the required documents and the application process for study visa in Italy on your consulate/Embassy’s website (links at the end of this post).
- If you’re positive regarding the result of your admission, start preparing your visa study documents ahead of time. Usually, there’s only a 7-day gap between the admission results and start of the classes. This way, you could prevent the late arrival as much as possible. The visa officer in Toronto was nice enough to process my visa application earlier, under the condition that I provide the letter of acceptance before him issuing my visa.
- Depending on the university that you’ve applied to, they might release the admission results on their website, as opposed to sending you a direct email with your personal letter of admission. Most of the Consulates/Embassy in Canada would require a personal letter of admission to be able to process your visa. Once the results are out and you’re admitted, contact the university and ask for your letter of admission. The passport officers at the airports in Italy might ask for that letter as well, so just get it to be on the safe side.
- Read the DV/Visa requirements very carefully. For instance, for getting your DV in the consulate of Toronto, you would need to authenticate your transcript and diploma at the office of Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa either by courier (which currently has 20 working days of processing time) or in-person in Ottawa which takes only 5 minutes. Before submitting your documents to Global Affairs Canada, make sure your diploma and transcript are signed and the name of the undersigned is legible (could be your high school principal or any other authorities in your school board) otherwise they will not process your documents.
- Make photocopies and digital scans of every document that you receive along the way; both in Canada and once you’ve arrived in Italy. You would need to submit most of them once you’re applying for student bursaries. (more on that on another post)
In the next post, I will be writing about the international accreditation in Canada (once you have finished your degree in Italy) for both Canadian and non-Canadian citizens.
I look forward to meeting all of you this October!
Alex is a graduate of Harvey Medical course in English, taught in Pavia University and the founder of MEDschool.it. He currently pursuits his carrier in Ophthalmology and ophthalmic gene therapy research in Germany.
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