I couldn’t decide if I should title this post: “How to get a Dichiarazione di Valore” or “How to apply to graduate school in Italy” or “Please learn from my mistakes completing the most difficult task in the history of mankind so that you don’t go totally crazy.”
Do you want to move to Italy to go to graduate school? Well, take a deep breath and mentally prepare yourself to jump through some hoops because you are going to need a Dichiarazione di Valore. A Dichiarazione di Valore is a statement of value that is issued by the Italian consulate in your home country. Non-EU students or post-graduate researchers who want to study in Italy must obtain a Dichiarazione di Valore in order to verify their university credentials.
Basically, your Non-Italian degree means diddly-squat to Italian schools. You’re going to have to prove it is real.
How to Get a Dichiarazione di Valore
Step 1: Find out which Italian consulate is going to help you. Is it the consulate nearest to where you went to school or the consulate nearest to where you live now? Call them and verify who has jurisdiction.
Step 2: Obtain official copies of your college transcripts and diploma. The registrar at your college must sign each document, and have the signature witnessed by a notary. This step is not as bad as it sounds- most registrar offices are familiar with this request and have a notary on staff.
Step 3: Once you receive the signed and notarized documents, take them to the County Clerk to verify the notary’s signature.
Step 4: Once the County Clerk has verified the documents, take them to the Secretary of State to get an Apostille. In most states, you can skip the County Clerk and send the documents straight to the Secretary of State, just know that this means extra processing time.
Step 5: Have the transcripts (and the university grading scale) translated into Italian. Also translate your diploma into Italian. These do not have to be official documents and you are welcome to do the translation yourself.
Step 6: Make copies of EVERYTHING. The Apostilled documents do not need to be duplicated, but I suggest making a copy to save for yourself. In my case, the consulate needed to send the entire application on my behalf. I have heard of others being able to pick up the dichiarazione di valore and send it themselves, but most times the consulate must apply to the university as your intermediary. That means you must bring two copies of all of your application forms (one for the consulate and one for them to send to the university), 2 passport sized pictures, letters of recommendation, transcript with Apostille, diploma with Apostille, Italian translation of transcripts and diploma, AND an pre-paid pre-addressed envelope so the consulate can mail your complete application with the dichiarazione di valore to Italy. Some consulates even require your high school transcripts. Check with them!
Step 7: Done! Go grab an espresso and dream of Italia.
TRUST ME, this is the easy way to get a “Dichiarazione di Valore.” If you want to do it the frustrating way, then just follow my lead with these simple 28 steps.