The second most tedious step in the process of applying to the universities in Italy is gathering your transcripts, diploma and have them notarized and translated.
This step is not as easy as it sounds. Oh no, it is not as easy as ordering your transcripts from your high school and universities. No, Italy wants you to sweat for this opportunity.
First you must contact your registrar of each respective school you have attended. Notify them that you need your original transcript (without a copy of the registrar's signature on it) but you need the registrar's physical handwritten (I made that statement twice for a reason) signature on the transcript and then they must have it notarized with a letter stating the following
"To Whom It May Concern:
Please accept this letter as proof that this is an official transcript in lieu of a diploma school's name and to my knowledge and according to the official records, student name and born on dob graduated on date. "
It must been then signed by the registrar and notarized. Notaries are generally free and should not have an extra charge.
After you have collected your transcripts, diplomas and letters, you must take everything and have them translated into Italian. However you must find an Italian translator who specializes in university translation. My translator Elisabetta Zaffaroni has been certified by the Italian Consulate and gives really good rates. She knows exactly what to do and you can do the entire transaction over email. The translations do NOT have to be notarized.
This process in itself, depending on how many school's you have attended can take from 2-5 months. Seriously, it took me 4 months to get all of this done.
Once, this step is completed, you must take all of these documents--translation included-- to your state's capitol to have them place an apostille on the documents, certifying that the notaries are up to date and authentic. Apostilles cost from $15-18 per document (each transcript, letter, diploma and translation is considered one document).
Before you take this step, make sure you contact your Italian Consulate to verify all the steps you need to take before taking them. Usually the process is universal however do not take any chances.
Next week, I will tell you what you need to apply for scholarships.
In bocca al lupo!