Boulder MFT in EnglishBoulder MFT in English

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Where does the program take place?

A. The program takes place on the campus of the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organisation (ITC-ILO) which is located in Turin, Italy, along the Po River. The ILO is a UN agency that works to promote decent work throughout the world. The ILO and the Italian Government established the International Training Centre in 1964 in Turin, Italy to assist countries in their social and economic development through learning and training. The ITC-ILO campus has training facilities, accommodations, cafeteria, restaurant, bar, tennis courts, soccer field, health clinic, post office, laundry, travel agency, and a social activities office. For more information, click here

ITC-ILO
Viale Maestri del Lavoro,10
10127 Turin, Italy
Telephone: +39-011-693 -6486 (6568)
Fax: +39- 011-693 - 6589

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Q. In what languages will the program be held?

A. The Boulder MFT in Turin, Italy (July 17 – August 4, 2017) will be offered in both English and French. Our two week Spanish Boulder MFT program takes place each year in March in Latin America.  You can find information on these different language programs using the following links:

Boulder MFT in English
Boulder MFT en français
Boulder MFT en español

We are offering a separate Rural and Agricultural Finance Program (RAFP) in Turin, Italy (July 17 – August 4, 2017) alongside the English and French language Boulder MFT programs.  RAFP is specifically designed for professionals working in rural and agricultural finance.  For more information, use the following link:

Rural and Agricultural Finance Program (RAFP)

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Q. How much does the program cost and what does the fee cover?

A. The 2017 tuition fee is USD $4,900 (included a USD $500 non-refundable registration fee and a USD $4,400 program fee). The tuition fee primarily covers courses, daily coffee breaks, inauguration and closing gala dinners, and some extracurricular activities. 

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Q. What other costs will I need to cover?

A. Participants are responsible for other costs including travel to Turin, visa fees, meals, incidental expenses, excursions, and social activities, as well as any shopping in Turin.

For all participants staying off campus, the ITC-ILO requires that you pay a fee of € 150 to cover medical insurance and use of campus facilities.

The following table includes three sample budgets. Please note that these budgets are in US dollars and therefore can fluctuate with the exchange rate for costs that will be incurred in EURO.  They also do not include airfare and other related travel expenses (transfer to and from your home airport, visa fees, travel insurance, etc), as well as shopping expenses.

Sample 2017 Budgets in USD

*Does not include airfare and other related travel expenses.

Conservative Budget in USD:

Tuition ($500 non-refundable registration fee + $4,400 program fee) $4,900
Hotel off campus at 2 star hotel w/ breakfast ($65/night x 20 nights) $1,300
Meals & Incidentals ($30 x 21 days) $630
ITCILO Mandatory Off-Campus fee for insurance, use of facilities (€150) $175
Excursions, Social Activities, Daily Transportation, Miscellaneous $325
TOTAL $7,330

Medium Budget in USD:

Tuition ($500 non-refundable registration fee + $4,400 program fee) $4,900
Accommodations at ITC-ILO Campus  ($115/night x 20 nights) $2,300
Meals & Incidentals ($40 x 21 days) $840
Excursions, Social Activities, Miscellaneous $350
TOTAL $8,390

Liberal Budget in USD:

Tuition ($500 non-refundable registration fee + $4400 program fee) $4,900
Hotel off campus at 4+ star hotel w/ breakfast ($150/night x 20 nights) $3,000
Meals & Incidentals ($60 x 21 days) $1,260
ITCILO Mandatory Off-Campus fee for insurance, use of facilities (€150) $175
Excursions, Social Activities, Daily Transportation, Miscellaneous $950
TOTAL $10,285

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Q. Are financial assistance or discounts available for the program?

A. Boulder Institute does not offer scholarships or discounts to attend the program. Most of the Boulder MFT participants, however, attend the program on a partial or full sponsorship that they secure themselves. We recommend that you talk to your employer, donor agencies working in your region, microfinance networks, and government institutions. For some guidance on how to go about securing funding to attend the program, click here

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Q. Who typically attends the program?

A. The Boulder MFT program is very diverse in terms of regional representation, types of organizations, and experience level. We have over 5,700 alumni who have attended the program from 153 different countries. Participants represent MFIs, Central Banks, Ministries of Finance, Donor Agencies, Commercial Banks, Investment Firms, Microfinance Support Institutions, Development Agencies, Universities, Consultancies, and more.

Since we want you to select the best courses for your particular needs, we offer 4 different “concentrations” with distinct elective courses that cover a wide range of topics. Each concentration is designed for a specific professional profile to better respond to  your needs and improve your skills in specific areas. Depending on the concentration you select, you may also be in classes with participants sharing the same characteristics as you such as managers, regulators and policy makers, Donors and Investors, non-financial support organizations, etc. For more information about the concentrations, click here.

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Q. How do I register for the program?

A. You will need to complete the on-line registration form in order to reserve your space in the program. As we get closer to the program, you will receive email correspondence with additional instructions on payment, securing your visa (if necessary), course selection, etc.

Registration for the program is on a first-come first-served basis. You will be accepted into the program once you register and submit payment. If you have any concerns regarding whether this is the right program for you, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We encourage you to register early in order to secure your space in the program.

To register now, click here

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Q. What are the accommodations / hotel options?

A. There are many options for accommodations on or off the ITC-ILO campus. Some people prefer to stay on the ITC-ILO campus, while others choose to stay in hotels near campus or in the City Centre.

For more information on the different ITC-ILO accommodations packages as well as hotels with special Boulder rates, click here

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Q. What is the program schedule?

A. This intensive microfinance training program will take place during three full weeks. Classes start at 8:30am and finish at 5:30pm each day. There will be two coffee breaks and a lunch period. Participants should plan for one to two hours of course preparation and reading each evening, as well as participation in at least three lunchtime round table discussions, panels, or networking meetings. After class and on weekends, there are several social and cultural activities planned for participants.

The program schedule is as follows:

  1. Morning Master Class (8:30am-10:00am), followed by 30 minute coffee break.
  2. Morning Elective Course (10:30am-1:00pm)
  3. Lunch and Lunchtime Special Topic Sessions (1:00pm-2:30pm
  4. Afternoon Elective Course (2:30pm – 5:30pm, 30 minute coffee break at 4pm).
  5. After Class Social, Cultural, Athletic Activities and Networking  (After 5:45pm)

The Morning Master Class, led by Boulder Institute President, Robert Christen, and Vice President, Natasa Goronja, lasts all three weeks and involves many expert panelists and presenters, discussing different aspects of the Financial Inclusion landscape.

Morning and Afternoon Elective Courses are 5 days (Monday through Friday). There are 38 elective English courses and 20 elective French courses to choose from. Participants will select a total of 6 elective courses prior to coming to the program.

For more information about the program design, click here

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Q. How do I select my courses?

A. The on-line course selection will begin in May-June. We will send you an email with instructions a couple weeks before registration begins. You will be able to see all of the course descriptions and there will be some guidance tools to help you select a set of courses that best fits your specific position and interests. We offer 4 different “concentrations” with distinct elective courses that cover a wide range of topics. Each concentration is designed for a specific professional profile to better answer your needs and improve your skills in specific areas. For more information about the concentrations, click here.

In order to be able to select your courses, you will need to have completed the registration process and submitted your registration fee. You will then receive a code which will enable you to go on-line to the course selection platform and select your courses. First, you will need to choose a concentration (management, policy, development, or the new digitial financial services) according to your profile (i.e. managers, regulators and policy makers, donors and investors, non-financial support organizations) and then you will be able to select your courses. Once you have selected your courses, you will be sent an email confirmation of your course selection. We will still need to review and approve your course selection, and this cannot be done until you have paid your full tuition fees. The 2017 course schedule grids are available now.  

To review the 2017 course schedule grid for the English program, click here
To review the 2017 course schedule grid for the French program, click here

We encourage you to select courses early in order to get into your top choice courses! If you need some extra guidance regarding course selection, feel free to contact us at rodrigoc@bouldermicrofinance.org

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Q. Is this program right for someone new to the Microfinance field?

A. If you are a professional with some experience in the field of banking, finance, or development, this is a good program to familiarize you with the foundations of Microfinance. When you begin filling out the on-line course registration, you will receive some guidance on which courses best fit your experience, position, and interests. We are also happy to talk with you and help you figure out the best set of courses given your background. You can email us at info@bouldermicrofinance.org

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Q. Is this program right for a student interested in Microfinance?

A. The majority of the participants in the program come with at least some field experience, and a large number of our participants have many years of experience, holding mid to high level positions in Microfinance Institutions, Commercial Banks, Central Banks, Government Institutions, Development Organizations, and Donor agencies. If you are a student with no field experience, this is probably not the right program for you. If you are a student who also has some practical field experience, there are courses that will give you a good foundation in the field of microfinance and this is a great opportunity to learn from expert faculty and from fellow participants who come from all over the world and bring a wide range of experience and perspective.

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Q. Is special food available for dietary restrictions (Halal, vegetarian, etc)?

A. The ITC-ILO has a cafeteria with a wide array of food choices. Since the ITC-ILO is an organization that holds many international programs, they do try to offer food that meets the dietary restrictions of different cultures (i.e. vegetarian, halal, etc). Most participants will have their lunch on campus, and dinner depends on whether you are staying on or off campus. A meal will cost anywhere between € 6 to € 15. Breakfast is usually included in the price of the hotel, and is served buffet style. If you stay on campus, the accommodations package will include a meal card that is charged each day and can be used in the cafeteria or bar. Participants staying off campus will receive a meal card that can be charged for use on campus.

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Q. How do I get my visa to travel to Italy?

A. The following website gives you some information about the countries that will need a visa to travel to Italy: http://evostar.iti.upv.es/

If you are required to get a visa to enter Italy, you will need to contact your nearest Italian Consulate or Embassy and apply for a 'Schengen Visa'. This process can take very long and therefore we strongly recommend you apply at least two months prior to the program in order to get your visa on time. In preparation for securing your visa, we encourage you to make sure that your passport is current and will not expire within 6 months of the program. It is also important that you know where the nearest Italian Consulate / Embassy is located.

Once you have submitted your registration fee or full tuition fees (depending on the specific country requirements), the Participants’ Admissions and Travel Unit (visa department) at the ITC-ILO will provide you with special support including a letter of invitation to the appropriate Italian Embassy or Consulate. The document will be sent about 6 to 8 weeks before the program start date because this is what is generally recommended by the Embassies / Consulates. Sending the document before this date will not generally be beneficial to you since the Embassies / Consulates can reject an application that is sent too early or they may request specific information that you don't yet have (accommodations, air tickets, etc).

The Embassy / Consulate may also provide you with additional instructions for obtaining your visa, and it is very important that you follow these instructions in a timely manner. For example, you might need to go to the Consulate and provide them with additional information or you may need to pick up your visa.

We encourage you to request information from the Italian Embassy / Consulate to understand the process and the documents that will be required.

Please feel free to contact us at boulder@itcilo.org if you have any questions or are concerned about your visa process!

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Q. What are the health requirements for traveling to Italy?

A. The following links provide you with health information related to traveling to Italy and Western Europe. We highly recommend that you get travel insurance to cover your travel to and from Italy. During your time in the program, you will have health coverage through the ITC-ILO. If you get sick during your stay, you will be able to go to the on-campus health center to see one of the doctors, and they will provide you with the necessary medical attention.

It is VERY IMPORTANT to note that you must be in good health before coming to the program. If you are sick before coming to the program, you must be seen by a medical provider to make sure that you are cleared to travel both for the sake of your health and the other participants in the program. Here are some helpful links regarding health and travel in Italy:
http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/italy.aspx
http://www.worldtravelguide.net/country/129/health/Europe/Italy.html
http://www.traveldocs.com/it/health.htm

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Q. What tourist activities can I do while I'm in Italy?

A. Turin is located in Northern Italy in the Piedmont region surrounded by the Alps. You can find more information on the cultural attractions in this region by going to the Turin tourism site, click here

There are many social and cultural activities planned throughout the three weeks of the program, on the weekends and during the evenings. On weekends, there are day excursions planned to nearby attractions such as Venice, Florence, Nice, Monte Carlo, Lake Como, and Lake Maggiore. These excursions cost anywhere between €35 to €90 per person. During the evenings, there are music and dance nights, tours of the city, shopping trips, exercise classes, and more. Some of these activities are free and some of them cost anywhere between €5 to €20. On the campus, there is a soccer field, tennis courts, and a ping pong table which participants can use. You can also rent bicycles to ride along the trail next to the Po River.

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Q. What are the recommendations for traveling to Italy?

A. We recommend that you purchase your airplane ticket early since many people travel to Europe during the summer months. You are also much more likely to find lower prices and more direct flights. It is most convenient to fly into the Turin airport, however, you also have the option of flying into the Milan airports which are about 2 hours away from Turin by bus.

There are two airports near the city of Turin. Caselle is the main airport of Turin, the actual name of the airport is Aeroporto Sandro Petrini. A taxi from the airport to the city costs about €30 and takes about 30 minutes. The bus is a cheaper option, the ticket offices are in the arrival lounge. The train is another option that costs around €3 from the airport to the city centre, the only rail link available from Caselle Airport is the one to Dora rail station.  

If you are arriving during the weekend, we recommend that you bring Euros from your country with you into Italy, downtown currency exchange offices are closed on weekends. Alternatively, you can use the currency exchange services at the airport upon your arrival or the bank at the ITC-ILO Campus.

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Q. What clothing should I bring for the program?

A. July and August are the hottest months in Turin with temperatures ranging from about 18°C (65°F) at night to up to around 29°C (85°F) during the day. You should bring clothes appropriate for hot weather but also be aware that the training rooms have air conditioning and therefore can get a little chilly at times. During the past few years, there have been occasional heavy rain storms during these months and therefore it’s advisable to bring rain gear including an umbrella and rain jacket.

For most of the program, you are free to dress casually, in clothing that is comfortable to you. There are a few special events where you will want to wear more formal attire including the opening ceremony and closing graduation dinner. For the photo day, when we take a photo of all the participants together, we have a special 20 year history of participants wearing the traditional dress from their country. We hope that you will share your traditional dress with us.

We recommend you bring some athletic attire as there is a soccer field, voleyball nets, tennis courts, bicycles, exercise classes, gym facilities, and other sports activities that take place, as well as a nice running and biking trail, and a swimming pool fairly nearby.

There is a laundry service on the ITC-ILO campus where you can bring your clothing. This service takes two business days.

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Q. Is there any other special information I should know for the program?

A. We advise that you do not plan on sending back large items to your country as they are difficult to ship and it detracts from focusing on the program.

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Q. Who can I contact to learn more about the program?

A. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at:  info@bouldermicrofinance.org

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Boulder Institute of Microfinance

120 E Washington Street Suite 325
Syracuse, New York 13202, USA
+1 (315) 760-3091

info@bouldermicrofinance.org

Boulder Institute