I’m five days away from my departure to Walt Disney World and I find myself thinking about how much money I had to spend to leave Italy. Yep, ’cause leaving isn’t free… besides the different bureaucratic costs, want it or not, at a certain point you will have to shell out some money for trains, hotels, meals, etc. If you are considering the idea to move to the most magical place on Earth, I think it will be very useful for you to know how much you have to plan to cough up, from the moment when you send your resume to the moment when you will be resting your butt on the plane destination Florida.
Before starting, please bear in mind that what follows only reflects my personal experience (it comes without saying that, for example, people living in Milan or Rome won’t have to spend money for trains and hotels in order to hold the interview).
Okay, here we go!
- You must bring to the interview a criminal record issued by the tribunal. Cost: € 19.68 for stamps. Here’s already the first problem, because some tribunals issue the creminal record for free. It looks like that we really can’t follow common regulations… anyway, let’s put aside arguments and go on…
- Here comes the day of the interview – the day before, indeed. My interview was scheduled in Milan at 9 a.m. It meant, for me like for other people, to take a train, sleep in Milan and then go the interview (boys, remember to be smooth-shaven and to wear a three-piece suit, trust me!). Even if I slept in the cheapest hotel in Milan (I shouldn’t have done that…) and even if I ate only sandwiches, I spent a total amount of € 100. The expense is subject to changes, depending on where you live and – for those who have to spend the night out – on what level of service you need.
- The next expense is the fly deposit. Cost: € 150.
- Then you have to pay the Assessment Fee. Cost: $ 150 (it means € 130-140, depending on the exchange rate).
- For those who want – and I suggest you get it – it is possible to get your international driving licence (I remind you that in Florida the Italian Driving Licence is valid for one month after your arrival, while the international driving licence is valid for one full year. It is true that you can get the national driving licence of Florida, but I personally find it a little bit hard to start learning as soon as you get there). Well, I decided to get the international licence in an Italian driving school. Cost: € 100. You will pay the half if you decide to request it on your own at the DMV and to pay the PO bills personally. It depends on how much time you have at your disposal and how far the DMV is.
- Now it’s time to get your Visa. You have to pay a fee called MRV, that costs $ 190 (€ 170 more or less). If you want your passport to be shipped at your place, you have to add € 30. The interview for the Visa implies a trip (I took the train) and at least one meal. So, to have your Visa – considering photos, fees, transports and meals – be prepared to say goodbye to approx. € 250-300.
- At some point you will receive an email asking you to pay the flight balance. Prices can vary a lot, but it can be said you will have to shell out approx. € 500-600.
- Before leaving it is necessary to have a travel insurance with you, which covers your first three days in Florida, because the insurance with your employer will start after this period. Cost: € 20-40 depending on the insurance company and the type of benefits.
- I also had some minor expenses (bank fees, some exchange fees, a couple of US electric cables and adaptors, gasoline for moving by car) which amount was around € 35-40.
All in all, preparations for the departure cost around € 1,300 – 1,400. I wish to remind you once again that this is only my personal experience and that the amount can vary depending on a number of variables.
Well, that’s a lot of money….so now…shall I send the application? Do I want to leave or not? Is it worth it?
If I could answer with yes or no I would be too good. I think the right response is: it depends.
It dipends, ok, but from what? From two main key points:
- How much money you have saved. Very ordinary response indeed, but I think this is the first thing to take into account. Let me explain: if you have never worked or if you have worked for a very short time, if you have saved very little money and/or if your family can’t afford to sponsor this experience, you’d better let it go and wait. Put away some money before leaving, the risk of failing is just around the corner. Keep that in mind, have your head in the clouds and dream but keep your feet firmly on the ground. Once there you might feel uncomfortable, be fired or whatever and have to take a plane back home, maybe just after a couple of months of stay. Also consider that you will have to spend the major part of the money you are going to earn in the first few weeks for commodities, house, phone,data, etc. Not to mention that there could even be some unexpected expenses. So, be careful and decide by reasoning.
- Your motivation to leave. Be conscious that you’re not going to Florida on vacation, but to work. And working implies a certain amount of time and stress. I believe that if you leave thinking “nice, I’m going to Florida”, you’re wrong, I mean that’s a too simplistic thought that does not consider important factors. In my opinion you’d better keep in mind this: “nice, I’m going to work in Florida and I’m going to meet people from all over the world. I will have to make some sacrifices but in return I will earn a personal growth and have a lot of fun“. That’s what I mean with motivation. Spending a lot of money to leave, but then leaving with
wrong ideas in mind, may defeat that financial sacrifice: as I said in the previous point, you might feel uncomfortable and want to go back home or, even worse, be terminated (working every day inthe wrong mood drives to inevitable arguments with your colleagues, boss and guests).
Well, that’s what I personally want to recommend to who is evaluating the idea of working in Disney World. I am consciuous that you may whether agree or not with my thoughts, but I believe that they are a good starting point from which helpful stimulus for reflection may arise so that you will be more aware when it’s time to make your decision.
Oh, and if you will decide to depart, well… see you in Orlando!