Rural and Agricultural Finance ProgramRural and Agricultural Finance Program

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

Back to top

Q. In what languages will the program be held?

A. The Boulder RAFP (July to August, 2018) will be offered in English only.

Back to top

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

A. The 2018 tuition cost will be available soon. As reference, the 2017 tuition cost was USD $4,900 (includes 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. 

Back to top

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 approximately € 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, they 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 (2018 Budgets will be available soon)

*Does not include airfare and other related travel expenses.

Conservative Budget in USD:

Tuition ($500 non-refundable registration fee + $4400 program fee) $4,900
Accommodations 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 $ 325
TOTAL $7,330

Medium Budget in USD:

Tuition ($500 non-refundable registration fee + $4400 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 $ 350
TOTAL $8,390

Liberal Budget in USD:

Tuition ($500 non-refundable registration fee + $4400 program fee) $ 4,900
Accommodations 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 $ 950
TOTAL $10,285

Back to top

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 RAFP 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

Back to top

Q. Who typically attends the program?

A. The RAFP has been designed for professionals from the following institutions:

 

  • Agricultural value chain providers of finance, state agricultural banks, credit unions and microfinance institutions that serve rural SMEs and smallholder farmers.
  • Development programs offered by ministries of agriculture.
  • Multilateral and bi-lateral organizations, donors, support organizations and NGOs with a mandate of working with this sector.

Experience in rural and agricultural finance is a pre-requisite for participation. Program participants should have an understanding of basic issues in agriculture and some experience with rural SMEs, agricultural households, agricultural related markets, financial services, as well as relevant concepts such as seasonality and diversification. 

We invite practitioners and specialists to register! click here

Back to top

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

Back to top

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

Back to top

Q. What is the program schedule?

A. This intensive rural and agricultural finance 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-10am), followed by 30 minute coffee break
  2. Morning Elective Course (10:30am-1pm)
  3. Lunch and Lunchtime Special Sessions (1:00-2:30pm)
  4. Afternoon Elective Course (2:30pm – 5:30pm), with a 30 minute coffee break at 4pm.
  5. After Class Social, Cultural, Athletic Activities and Networking  (5:45pm and beyond).

In the 2017 RAFP program, the content was offered in three stages: morning Master Class, morning elective courses, optional special session and afternoon elective courses.  The curriculum emphasized on strategic views and emerging trends, with the goal of empowering participants to push the field further.

To gain a better understanding of the course schedule, you can refer to the RAFP course schedule grid that was offered in the 2017 program. The 2018 program will contain similar content to 2017 as well as some enhancements to the structure and content.  Check back soon for our 2018 program grid!

 

Back to top

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

A. Experience in rural and agricultural finance is important for participation, but the RAFP is also adapted to newcomers to the industry. Program participants should have an understanding of basic issues in agriculture and some experience with rural SMEs, agricultural households, agricultural related markets, financial services, as well as relevant concepts such as seasonality and diversification. We invite practitioners and specialists to register! For more information, you can email us at info@bouldermicrofinance.org

Back to top

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.

Back to top

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!

Back to top

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

Back to top

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.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

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

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

Back to top

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

Back to top

Boulder Institute of Microfinance

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

info@bouldermicrofinance.org

Boulder Institute