Italy is a nation immersed in history, art, and culture. This famous birthplace of the Roman Empire and the revolutionizing Renaissance movement is now a nation so rooted in its past and adorned with historic architecture and monuments like the Colosseum, Pompeii, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Venice Canals. A country that boasts not just of its historic past but also of its historic institutions carries a sense of past while constantly evolving with the present and is fully equipped with modern infrastructure and technology. Imagine, what it would be like to be part of a culture that values both the past and the present, a culture that encourages you to broaden your horizons. Italy stands as a land of opportunities and possibilities and you can have a share of it when you study in Italy. Are you planning to study in Italy? Not sure if it’s a good idea or not? Want to discover the best universities to study in Italy? Well, you are in the right place. Then learn about Italian universities, benefits, costs of living, tuition fees, visas, applications and more.
This Blog Includes:
- Why Study in Italy?
- Italian Higher Education System
- Language Proficiency
- Where Can You Study in Italy?
- Popular Intakes
- Popular Courses in Italy
- Popular Specialisations
- Study in Italy for Free with these Scholarships
- Study in Italy in English
- Study in Italy without IELTS
- Tuition Fees and Cost of Living
- University Enrollment
- Visa Application
Why Study in Italy?
Standard of Living: Italy has been a cradle of the Roman civilization and has managed to restore and maintain most of its historical monuments. UNESCO recognizes most of its cultural sites. Italy also dominates 50% of the art industry in the world. Italians share their core values of family, generosity, honesty and take pride in their culture. The Italian government can be credited for its good healthcare system and low crime rate in the nation. CIA World Factbook 2015 statistics have shown that Italian people are expected to live till the age of 82.
Affordable: If we pick out the most affordable study abroad among European countries, Italy will appear among the top contenders. Tuition fees and living costs are both affordable. Yes, when you study in Italy you don’t have to worry about the affordability. If you’re low on budget, we recommend that you stay near Padua, Turin, or Pisa. Otherwise, cities like Rome, Bologna, and Milano can become an expensive option.
Travel Across Europe: Just by spending a few Euros, you can travel from Milano to the Bologna, Turin to Rome, and so many other heartwarming locations of Italy. All cities are connected by railway stations. You need not bother yourself for anything else, just simply travel by trains. In addition to this, more than 80 airports are available and functional. So you are well connected to other European and non-European countries. Yeah, right while you study in Italy you indeed can travel to a lot of beautiful places conveniently.
Electric Lifestyle: Students start their day here late in the evening. Around 8:30 p.m. streets shine just like they do in the day time. If we look at other European countries, we will notice that they wind up by 6 p.m. but not here.
Weather: Both the Southern and the Northern regions have a totally distinctive climate. You will find north regions colder than in the south. In May, you will experience around 15 to 25 degrees Celsius. However, summers are very pleasant here.
Study in English: When you plan to study in Italy, you will have various programs in the English language. It doesn’t matter whether you want to study arts or computer science; every program will be available in English. You will have to qualify for 20 exams to get a degree. And out of these 20 exams, most of them are oral. Moreover, students from the field of medicine and engineering are expected to pass around 40-50 exams. Such exams will definitely boost up your confidence and help you to gain quality knowledge.
Italian Seven: Okay, the reason behind writing “Italian seven” is the language. Out of the 7 most studied languages in the world, it ranks at the 4th position. Most of the international students have a strong desire to learn Italian to immerse themselves in the funny, musical, and romantic culture of the nation. You can do so here as the universities provide an opportunity for students to learn the language.
Italian Higher Education System
Those aspiring to study in Italy, should know that the higher education system includes:
These are private and publicly funded institutions with comparably high educational infrastructure. Universities strongly focus on theoretical and academically-oriented degree courses across several disciplines. Some may offer, polytechnic courses in certain subject areas. Courses are divided among the following:
|Undergraduate Degree (Laurea)||Students with a high school diploma or another qualification from a recognised board are admitted to the bachelor’s degree courses.||3 years|
|Graduate Degree (Laurea Magistrale)||Aims to provide rigorous and advanced training in specific sectors.||2 years|
|Postgraduate Degree or PhD (Dottorato di Ricerca)||Highest level of university education that requires students to pass an examination and complete original research leading to a dissertation. These prepare students for research scholar positions.||3 years|
|Specializing Masters and Continuing Education Programs||Aims to provide the knowledge and skills essential for carrying out professional activities. However, these are not always internationally recognised.|
Note: There are single-cycle master’s degrees offered by universities in Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy, Architecture, Law that lasts for 5 or 6 years.
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Institutes for Higher Artistic Education
These include a wide range of courses in artistic fields and institution are divided into:
- Higher Schools of Design
- Higher Institutes for Musical Studies
- State Music Conservatories
- National Academy of Drama
- National Dance Academy
- Academies of Fine Arts
Higher Technical Institutes
These are strongly practice-oriented programs providing both theoretical and practical background to prepare students for real-world requirements. At least 50% of the teaching faculty come from companies to share their expertise with students. The courses cover areas of energy efficiency, sustainable mobility, new technologies, communication & information technology and innovative technologies for cultural activities and tourism. Upon completion of 2 to 3 years, of course, students are awarded a Diploma of Higher Education.
Your study in Italy is paced with learning another language “Italian”, which is the national language of the country. Having fluency in multiple languages definitely looks great on your CV. Besides, if you plan to take up a course in Italian, you will have to take CILS or CELI. But if you choose to study in English, then you need to first give an English Proficiency test like IELTS or TOEFL.
Where Can You Study in Italy?
Italy has a history of leadership and innovation – a place for explorers like Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus; famous scientists like Archimedes, Amedeo Avogadro, Enrico Fermi, Galileo Galilei; and notable artists like Giorgione, Tommaso Masaccio, Raphael, Leonardo Da Vinci. The list of famous Italian inventors and thinkers goes on and on. Those who wish to study in Italy will be surprised to know that the word ‘university’ is also attributed to Italy, with the University of Bologna regarded as one of the oldest in the world. Let us find out which are the top 20 universities to study in Italy and their world rankings:
|University||QS World University Rankings 2020||THE World University Rankings 2020||Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019|
|Polytechnic University of Milan||149||301–350||201-300|
|University of Bologna||=177||=168||201-300|
|Sapienza University of Rome||203||251–300||151-200|
|Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa||204||=152||401-500|
|University of Padua||=234||201–250||201-300|
|University of Milan||=302||301–350||151-200|
|Polytechnic University of Turin||348||501–600||501-600|
|University of Trento||=389||301–350||401-500|
|University of Pisa||=389||351–400||151-200|
|University of Naples Federico II||=424||351–400||301-400|
|University of Florence||=448||351–400||201-300|
|Catholic University of the Sacred Heart||501–510||501–600||401-500|
|University of Rome, Tor Vergata||511–520||501–600||501-600|
|University of Turin||541–550||401–500||201-300|
|University of Pavia||581–590||401–500||301-400|
|University of Milano-Bicocca||591–600||401–500||401-500|
|University of Genoa||651–700||401–500||401-500|
|University of Siena||701–750||401–500||501-600|
|University of Trieste||701–750||401–500||601-700|
|University of Modena and Reggio Emilia||751-800||401–500||701-800|
Sapienza University of Rome
Generally, known as “Sapienza”, Sapienza University of Rome is one of the largest European and excellent collegiate research universities in Italy. The university was established in 1303. The University is home to students hailing from different parts of the world. They leave no stone unturned in providing world-class education. The University boasts of its modernity, recognized and qualified faculty and intellectually conducive environment.
Study in Italy at SDA Bocconi
When considering to study in Italy, you can’t miss out SDA Bocconi. “Scuola di Direzione Aziendale” or the School of Management is one of the most distinguished business schools in Italy. It is also recognized by international associations like AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS and CSQNet. At present, the university is well established and provides long-lasting creativity, knowledge, and skills to its students. Very few universities in Italy provide job security to its students and Bocconi is one of them. Students who have entrepreneurial dreams should aim for this university. Read our detailed blog to know all about Bocconi University, its offered programs and entry requirements.
University of Milan
One of the largest universities in Italy, it has around 60,000 students. It is a public research university with around eight faculties, two schools, and 2000 professors. The university is famous for its scientific productivity, art, and culture. The University is located in buildings with modern infrastructure known as “the City of Studies”. This university provides a comprehensive learning experience to its students and is the only one in the city of Milan, which is also known as the Fashion Capital of the world. Majority of students here are either from Asia or Latin America and they feel right at home here.
University of Bologna
It’s recognized as the oldest university on the planet. They say it was the first university which coined the term “Universitas” to define an institution. Buildings of the university are modern and well designed. A majority of professors here have an outstanding career within their own fields. You will be taught by one of the most passionate teachers of the world here who can speak English fluently. The interactions with teachers, peers and most members of this university are not only friendly but also abundant in knowledge.
University of Turin
Another option to consider to study in Italy is the University of Turin, this is one of the highest-ranking universities in Italy as well as in Europe. Generally, locals call it UNITO. The university was established 615 years ago and is one of the oldest Italian universities. At present, it provides more than 140 undergraduate and postgraduate programs in various fields. Most of the courses taught here are in English. The city has a lifestyle rich in culture and organizes the Biggest Bookfair of Italy, every May.
There are two popular intakes in Italy- September and February. September Intake is the most popular intake as most international students apply during this period and universities offer maximum programmes to students. February is the second popular intake in Italy as the number of courses and students applying are relatively less and the competition is less fierce. Here is the timeline for the two intakes in Italy-
|Intakes||Application Begins||Classes Start|
|Primary Intake||April to June||September|
|Secondary Intake||September to October||February|
Popular Courses in Italy
- International Relations
- Fashion Design
- Fine Arts
- Business and Commerce
- Bachelor in Fashion Art Direction
- BA in Performing Arts
- Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Management
- Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistic and Cultural Mediation
- Bachelor in Business Studies
- Bachelor in International Politics and Government
- Bachelor of Arts in Sports Management
- Bachelor of Arts in Tourism Management
- Master in Automobile Design
- Master in Transportation and Car Design
- Masters in Economics
- Masters in Area & Cultural Studies
- Masters in Architecture
- Masters in International Relations
- Masters in Fashion Design
- Masters in Business Administration
Study in Italy for Free with these Scholarships
Italy is a great option for pursuing higher education, from Engineering to MBA to Natural Science, students can pursue a number of specialisations and build a strong career in the country. Various universities offer international students financial assistance in the form of scholarships, bursaries and grants to ease the burden of international cost of attendance. Here are some scholarships to study in Italy for free!
- Scuola Normale Superiore PhD Scholarships
- Bologna University Study Grants for International Students
- Bocconi Merit and International Awards
- Politecnico di Milano Merit-Based Scholarships for International Students
- Italian Government Scholarship Program for Foreign Students
- Padua International Excellence Scholarship Programme
- EDISU Piemonte Scholarships
- Università Cattolica International Scholarships
- Politecnico di Torino International Scholarships
Study in Italy in English
Italy offers a number of programmes in two languages- Italian and English. Top universities in the country offer over 500+ English taught programmes at every entry-level. From Architecture to fashion studies and MBA, students can find quality subjects in English as the medium of instruction at universities like the University of Bologna, University of Florence, University of Milan and many more.
Study in Italy without IELTS
Studying in Italy is not just fun but also extremely easy! Italian Universities allow international students to study in the country without the hassle of giving entrance exams like IELTS or TOEFL. Though IELTS is the most common proof of English proficiency, many universities accept the following alternatives-
- International students who have completed their previous degrees in English language and can provide a Medium of Instruction Certificate are eligible to study in Italy without taking the IELTS test.
- Students applying after 12th can submit proof of studying English from classes 8 to 12 in order to be eligible for the IELTS waiver.
- The Italian authorities make exceptions for students applying without IELTS by conducting interviews.
Top Universities in Italy Without IELTS
- University of Bologna
- University of Milan
- University of Florence
- University of Pisa
- University of Padua
- University of Naples Federico II
- University of Trento
- John Cabot University
- Sapienza University of Rome
- University of Verona
Tuition Fees and Cost of Living
Your study in Italy is generally more affordable than in other parts of the Western EU or North America. The country is known for excellent quality education at publicly financed universities. The regular tuition fee for international students depends on your family income and the program you are applying for, from €900 to €4,000 per year at a public university, while it may be somewhere around €6,000 to €20,000 per year in private institutions.
Student housing in bigger cities in Italy can be somewhere between €300 to €600 per month. In most of the EU countries, the cost of living highly depends on where you choose to study. So, on average, the living cost will be roughly around €12,000 per year to cover accommodation, food, transport, entertainment and other expenses.
As per the Italian university system, to start your study in Italy, students must be at least 17 years and complete 12 years of schooling. You can enrol directly at the university’s official website. Once registered, you will receive an “identification number” that can be used to pay university tax and to register for any exam.
Now, that you have selected your study program, check if it requires any admission test. Majorly, a national entry test is required for courses in Architecture, Medicine and Surgery, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, Health Care Professions and Educational Sciences. However, any higher education institution may require admission tests for other courses in addition to those listed.
- Submit pre-enrollment application usually from February to the end of July
- Original high-school diploma certificate
- LOR, SOP, essay, CV, transcripts
- Two photographs
- Proof of academic eligibility
- Language proficiency
Need help with admission queries about study in Italy and support during the pre-enrollment procedure? Talk to our admission experts at Leverage Edu, we can help you with everything you need.
As a non-EU student, you will have to first apply for a student visa at the Italian consulate of India. Before applying for a visa, it’s necessary to check which type of visa do you need. Basically, there are 2 types of visas:
- Type C Visa: If your course doesn’t exceed more than 90 days, go for this visa.
- Type D Visa: This type of visa is for those students who have a course duration of more than 90 days. We recommend you to fill the application form early for such a visa because the procedure for a student visa in Italy tends to change.
Following are the important documents required to apply for the visa:
- Visa application form
- Recent passport-sized photo
- Travel documents valid for at least 3 months after the visa.
- Proof of financial stability of at least €40,000 per month for the academic year.
- Details of accommodation in Italy.
- Enrollment or pre-enrollment at the Italian university
- Comprehensive health insurance policy
- IELTS or TOEFL scores
- In case of a minor, consent of expatriation signed by the parents or a legal guardian
Note: Possessing the above-listed documents does not automatically guarantee visa issuance. However, border authorities can recheck the documents upon entering Italy or the Schengen area.
Do not forget to apply for the residence permit at least within 8 working days after your arrival in Italy. You can apply at the post office of your city of residence along with the following documents:
- Application form
- Copy of passport, visa and personal data page
- Copy of health insurance policy
- Letter of acceptance from the university or exchange programme.
At the post office, you will receive a receipt certifying your PR request. Upon completion of the registration process, you must submit a request for a PR for “study – university” at police headquarter in your city of residence. If you have a valid permit of stay, you are allowed to work for a maximum of 20 hours a week and 1,040 hours a year
The regular tuition fee for international students depends on your family income and the program you are applying for, from €900 to €4,000 per year at a public university, while it may be somewhere around €6,000 to €20,000 per year in private institutions.
Students can study in Italy for free with scholarships and grants offered by different universities Scuola Normale Superiore PhD Scholarships
Bologna University Study Grants for International Students
Bocconi Merit and International Awards
Politecnico di Milano Merit-Based Scholarships for International Students
Italian Government Scholarship Program for Foreign Students
Padua International Excellence Scholarship Programme
Yes, Italy is cheaper than other European destinations like the UK and France in terms of tuition fees and cost of living.
International students must maintain a balance of 5824 EUR (INR 513441) monthly in their accounts to provide proof that they can sustain themselves in the country.
To make an impact, we need opportunities. Right? There’s not a single human on this earth who has achieved success without chances. Do you know? They take fees based on the financial situation of the students’ family. And when it comes to subsidizing academic expenses, the government of Italy is the undisputed king. What? Is that what you were dreaming for so long? Want to study abroad inexpensively? Go ahead, study in Italy and live the life you have always dreamt of!