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European University Institute (EUI): Florence, Italy

a. General Information

The European University Institute (EUI) offers one of the world’s largest and most distinguished graduate and postgraduate programs in the social sciences. A distinctly international institution, the EUI was founded in 1972 by the six founding Member States of the European Communities to provide advanced academic training to PhD students and to promote research at the highest level, and opened its doors to the first research students in 1976.

Today it hosts a community of scholars – roughly 55 fulltime faculty, 550 doctoral candidates, 100 post‐doctoral candidates, 100 visiting faculty and fellows and 150 administrative staff – drawn from over 50 countries. It carries out research in a European perspective (basic research, comparative research and Community research) in history, law, economics, political and social science.

Its full‐time teaching staff, fellows and research students are recruited from all countries of the European Union and elsewhere. It welcomes research students for periods of one to four years who wish to study for the Institute's doctorate (normally four years) or take the LL.M. in comparative, European and international law, as well as post‐doctoral fellows. These scholars conduct research at the institute’s historic campus in the hills above Florence in the areas of Political and Social Sciences, Economics, Law, and History and Civilization. The Department of Law is best described as being "European and international in its character, comparative in its approach and contextual in its methods." They are definitely "European" through and through, not specifically for biological reasons, but in their devotion to European problems and the European scholarly scene.

Most, if not all, postgraduate and research legal institutes in Europe are very international in terms of the composition of the staff and the student body but none are probably as diverse as the Law Department of the EUI. If there ever were a truly cosmopolitan centre of legal postgraduate education and research, it would be the Law Department at the EUI. A small faculty of 13, composed of professors of nine nationalities, the administrative staff of six people from six countries, and the student body having over one hundred and fifty researchers from no fewer than thirty‐nine countries. These people bring with them the expertise, intellectual habits and expectations embedded in diverse legal and educational cultures and enrich us all in the process.

The Department of Law also embraces the precept that legal scholarship is at its best when pursued in an interdisciplinary manner, in dialogue with, and using the tools borrowed from other academic disciplines, thereby displaying sufficient sensitivity to the broader context ‐ political, economic, cultural etc ‐ in which legal phenomena take place.

b. The Exchange Program

Two SLS Law School students may study law at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy each fall quarter. This program offers students the opportunity to study international and comparative law. The majority of courses are conducted in English, with a few seminars taught in French.

c. Academic Calendar

The 2013-2014 academic calendar can be found here

Key calendar dates applicable to SLS exchange students are as follows:


August 29

  • Student Registration. See section (h) below for additional details.

September 2 Start of fall semester

  • Orientation and intensive Italian language course which lasts for the whole of September

September 30

  • Start of Seminars

November 26

  • Deadline: Registration 1st Term Papers & US exchange papers

December 20

  • End of First Term and Seminars

December 21‐January 6 2014

  • EUI closed for Christmas/New Year

January 9, 2013

  • Final Deadline for presenting 1st Term and US exchange Papers

January 23

  • Deadline for professors' reports on 1st Term and US exchange Papers, after which transcripts will be drawn up and sent to the SLS administration

d. Language of Instruction

Most seminars at the EUI take place in English. English is particularly important in the departments of Economics and Political and Social Sciences. A knowledge of Italian is not obligatory, but is important for living in Florence. Students are encouraged to attend the Italian language courses at the EUI Language Centre. The Centre runs intensive language courses in September and regular language courses until the end of March in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Portuguese.

e. Eligible Courses

For reference, EUI’s full seminar list with course summaries for 2012‐2013 can be found here.

The 2013‐2014 schedule will be available in June.

NOTE: All courses are eligible as well as those in the other departments if appropriate permission is sought.

f. Academic Requirements for Admission to the Exchange Program

Candidates are considered for admission on condition they fulfill the following requirements.

g. Standard Course Loads

Course loads and the Stanford Law School credits to be awarded for those courses will be determined by SLS. EUI will ensure that the requirements are met and papers/presentations passed.

h. Course Enrollment and Registration

EUI typically sets seminar registration deadline for all participants in September. In 2012 registration took place between September 7 ‐ 28. During this period, EUI has a full meeting of the Law Faculty with all the new students (PhD, LLM and Exchange), at which the professors describe their seminars and research. The final seminar registration will always be a few days after that meeting. In 2012, the meeting was on September.

NOTE: Academic Service highly recommends [it is not obligatory] that the Exchange students register on registration day which is Thursday August 29 2013. This way the exchange students are invited to participate in all events/introductory courses organized for new researchers, including the intensive language courses which are held during September.

i. Grading System

Pass/fail only.

j. The Application Procedure

The application procedure and relevant forms may be found at the link above in section (f) – “Academic Requirements for Admission to the Exchange Program.”

k. Application Deadlines

For academic year 2013-2014, SLS students must submit their applications to EUI by 31 May 2013.

l. Housing Information

The Housing Office provides information for members of the EUI on long and short‐term accommodation in the private and commercial market in and around Florence. The Office has a housing database. Once accepted, you will be informed on how to access the database. For more info about housing, visit their website.

Giovanni Ugolini
Housing Office, Logistics Service
Badia Fiesolana
European University Institute, Via dei Roccettini, 9
I‐50014 San Domenico di Fiesole
Tel.: +39 055 4685218 or
Fax : +39 055 4685347

Overview of offers & prices

  • Rooms with landlords or families with monthly rent generally all‐inclusive at €400– 500
  • 1‐room studio flats, with kitchenette and bathroom, for 1 person or a couple, €650– 750
  • 2‐room flats (1 bedroom, separate kitchen and bathroom), €750–850
  • 3‐room flats (1 bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom, which can become 2 bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom), €850–950
  • 4‐room flats (2 bedrooms, living room, kitchen, bathroom, which can become a 3‐ person flat, e.g. if the living room is used as a bedroom), €950–1,200
  • 5+‐room flats/houses, i.e. at least 3 bedrooms, living room, kitchen and bathroom for 3–4 people, €1,300–1,500
  • Prices generally refer to rents for furnished accommodation, with or without utility costs (gas, electricity, water)

m. Visa/Immigration Information

For detailed information, all exchange students are directed to their local Italian Consular Office. Some general information follows.

n. Visa

All applicants require the following documentation, in original and photocopy (except for the application form)

  • Visa application form to be signed by the applicant in the presence of the Consular Officer
  • One recent passport size photograph (full face, front view, color)
  • Passport valid three months after the last date of stay in Italy, plus a photocopy of all pages with pertinent information (photo, name, date of birth, expiration date, name change, etc.)
  • Proof of permanent residence in the US, green card, valid US long term visa. 5
  • Round trip flight itinerary. If entering Italy by other means, Eurorail tickets, car rental or ferry reservations. The reservations must reflect the name on the passport, and specify the exact border and date of entry into Italy.
  • CURRENT ENROLLMENT letter stating that the applicant is fully enrolled for the current academic year, or already enrolled for the following semester, containing anticipated graduation date, major, etc., of the university you are attending
  • LETTER OF ACCEPTANCE addressed to this Consulate from the host institution in Italy, or the Italian branch of the US academic institution, indicating the name of the student, the dates and address of the program, if the University will provide full health insurance conforming to the Italian standards, etc.
  • Proof of HEALTH INSURANCE coverage, should the letter of acceptance in Italian not provide it, please present a letter on insurance company letterhead containing name, full policy number, and signature, guaranteeing unlimited worldwide coverage and that the Italian health provider will be paid directly for services rendered. Should the health insurance provider refuse to state this the student has the option of purchasing coverage from any Italian insurance company. If the insurance has already been purchased, proof of policy payment must be presented. If not the student can fill out the affidavit of insurance in which he/she commits to buy a special insurance policy with INA‐ASSITALIA.
  • For students financially dependent on their parents: Notarized Affidavit of support from the parents stating that they will assume full financial responsibility for their son/daughter during the stay in Italy.
  • A recently dated Bank letter (Bank statements will not be accepted) on letterhead, signed by a Bank official indicating account number and the exact balance. A minimum of $1,000.00 per each month of stay is required.
  • If the minimum $1,000.00 per each month of stay is not met, and the applicant is a recipient of financial aid, a letter from the Financial Aid Office or Advisor, stating the semester costs, the amount of aid, etc. must be submitted along with the proof of funds.


Please be advised that the Consular Office may request any additional documentation at its discretion. Each consulate has its own hours and procedures for applying for a visa. Do read all the information on their website before applying.

There are Italian consulates located throughout the US ‐ Washington D.C., Detroit, New York, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and honorary consulates in Kansas City, Denver, St. Paul, and St. Louis. Each consulate is designed to service a particular part of the country. Based on your state of residence, be sure to make your application to the appropriate consulate.

Permesso di Soggiorno (Residence Permit)
As a visiting exchange student, you will be required to obtain this permit. The EUI offers full assistance to members and dependents who need to apply for a Residence Permit. Assistance is given in English and will be free of charge apart from the usual Residence Permit fees due to the Italian State.

Codice Fiscale (Tax Number)
During your stay in Florence, you will certainly have to get, sooner rather than later, a Codice Fiscale or tax‐code number. It is, in fact, obligatory for all citizens, whether Italian or foreign, to have this number, even though you may not be subject to Italian taxes.
You will need a Codice Fiscale for:

  • opening a bank account
  • signing any official contract, e.g. the lease for a flat (if the lease is going to be registered)
  • taking out an Italian insurance policy
  • taking up employment of any kind
  • signing contracts with the gas, electric and telephone companies (including mobile phones)

To obtain your tax‐code number, simply go to the provincial tax office in Florence (Ufficio Imposte) with your passport or national identity card and ask for a Codice Fiscale. You will be given a card with your number.

o. Fees

Students will pay their normal tuition to Stanford for the quarter during which they study at EUI.

p. Estimated Cost of Living

Florence is considered to be one of the more expensive Italian cities and two factors which certainly have an impact on the cost of living are the city's importance as a tourist centre almost the whole year round and the lack of housing for its resident population. Transport and service costs are comparable to those in the rest of Italy, but property to rent, hotels, restaurants, food and clothing are generally more expensive than in other cities. The following table shows what might be the typical monthly expenses for essential services and commodities for a person occupying a single room in a flat‐share situation in Florence. €1 is approximately US$1.29.

  • Rent/month €420
  • Electricity/month €50
  • Gas & Heating €50
  • Bus pass €35
  • Supermarket, food, drink, essentials €250
  • EUI lunches €75
  • Breakfast/coffee bar €50
  • Shoes, clothing €60
  • Other expenses €80
  • Leisure €100

Inexpensive meals can be had on the EUI campus for €3. To live comfortably you will probably need about €1,200/month.

q. Health & Accident Insurance Requirements

All research students and postdoctorate fellows admitted to the Institute must have adequate medical insurance for the duration of their stay. This may be by means of a private or state/national insurance coverage which will be checked when the research student or fellow registers at the beginning of the academic year.

For anyone who cannot or who does not subscribe to a national or private insurance scheme, the Institute has a collective medical insurance policy taken out with an international broker, Vanbreda International. The policy is valid world‐wide and costs €58.19 per month per adult and there is a three month minimum purchase.

In broad terms, this is an indemnity policy where you pay for medical services that are reimbursed by VanBreda. Reimbursement ranges from 80‐100% with a maximum pay‐out for each service, depending on the service and circumstance. For more information, visit the Vanbreda Info webpage.

Accident Insurance

All research students are covered world‐wide against the risks of accident by a second, additional, collective policy that the Institute has taken out (with Vanbreda International). It has to be underlined that this is a complementary coverage, and that it comes into operation only after the insured's principal health insurance cover (be it the Vanbreda health insurance scheme mentioned above or any other public/private scheme) has reimbursed its part of the medical expenses incurred.

It must also be noted that the dependants of research students are NOT eligible for this accident insurance coverage. They are advised to take out suitable accident insurance coverage in their country of residence that will be valid for the entire duration of their stay in Italy.

For full details on the EUI/Vanbreda scheme, a health insurance booklet is available in Academic Service. Apart from the Accident Policy (automatically applied by the EUI for all research students), other supplementary policies to the Vanbreda basic health insurance policy are also available, e.g. further hospital and surgery cover and a more global policy for use in the USA. These are all at the research student's or Fellow's own cost.

General Practitioners/Specialists at the EUI

During term time, at the Badia, two doctors (general practitioners) are available for consultation. Both doctors may be consulted by appointment only, by phoning them in advance. On Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30p.m., Dr. Stephen Kerr (GP) is available by appointment. Dr Kerr was trained in Britain and he is now registered in Italy. A general practitioner, he has experience in various fields, including urology, pediatrics, obstetrics & gynecology and psychiatry. He speaks English and has a good knowledge of Italian.

Dr Gabriella Friedl is a German general practictioner, with a specialisation in respiratory problems / pneumologia. Her working languages are German, English, French and Italian. She receives patients at the EUI only on Mondays, from 9.30 to 10.30.

r. Program Contacts/Advisors at EUI

The Academic Service Staff provides students with all the assistance they may need from the time they are selected, through registration to the moment they finish the program. Some examples of the responsibilities of the Academic Service include: accident and health insurance, welfare, information on academic, cultural, social and sporting activities. Students may address the Academic Service for all material questions regarding their arrival and stay in Florence.

In addition, the Academic Service is responsible for the practical organization of the Academic Council, the Executive Committee (Heads of Departments), the Admissions Committee meetings and the May meeting of the Grants Committee, and the yearly Research Council and twice‐yearly High Council.

Following is a list of programs contacts and advisors: here.

Other Information

Researchers Guide / Department of Law: Academic Year 2012-2013 is available here

Information for New and Current Researchers & Fellows 2012-2013 is available here. 

Infopack 2012-2013 can be found here. 

Updated information relating to 2013-2014 will be available as of June 2013