Earn your degree abroad in Italy, the motherland of the Roman Republic, Renaissance, and fine red wines. From the stunning cathedrals of the Vatican City to the rolling hills of Tuscany to the chic fashion districts of Milan, there is a bit of something for everyone in this cultural, culinary goliath of the Mediterranean. Moving beyond the fine exterior of Italy by enrolling full time at an Italian university will take students deep into the complex history and artistically-rich lifestyle of one of the most stunningly beautiful and fascinating countries in the world.
Rome, Milan, and Bologna are three of Italy’s largest cities and also boast some of the top universities in the country, hence these cities can be some of the best places to study abroad in Italy. The University of Bologna, University of Rome, and University of Milan are perennially listed at the top of Italy’s national rankings and all offer at least some English courses and study abroad programs. Studying at large national universities such as these will give the prospective foreign student a top-notch education along with access to the variety of educational, social, and professional opportunities that come with life in a big city.
Florence also features a top public school in the University of Florence, as well as a variety of prestigious arts schools such as the Accademia Italiana, Accademia D’Arte, and the Florence University of the Arts.
The much smaller city of Pisa offers an interesting study abroad destination with unique program opportunities - the University of Pisa is a top-five Italian university and its student population comprises over half of the regional population, making it the archetypal Italian college town.
Every region of Italy has its own unique flavor, so do your research beforehand and try to find the location that is best fit for you. The Italian public education system is quite expansive, so most major cities feature universities where it will be possible to earn an international degree. Regardless of where you land, utilize travel to take full advantage of the tremendous cultural diversity that Italy has to offer!
Academics & Degrees
Italy is host to some of the most premier Fashion Design and Merchandising schools in the world, making these pursuits very popular among those obtaining a degree abroad in Italy. Italian Language, Art, Architecture, Communications, Business, and Economics are other popular areas of study for international students in Italy
Higher education in Italy is generally divided into a three year “Laurea Triennale” degree followed by a two year “Laurea Magistrale” degree. These generally equate to the undergraduate and masters degrees offered by other Western institutions. The academic terms typically run from September to January and February to July, with summer and winter breaks in between.
Classes are for the most part taught in Italian, although many colleges will offer at least some classes in English. Some universities and colleges, such as the American University of Rome, offer entire degree programs entirely in English. Large lecture halls are typical of most Italian classes, and grades are typically based on exams and independent study.
Scholarships & Costs
Public education is made quite affordable for students earning a degree in Italy, with average tuition fees generally hovering around 1,000 Euro for the major state universities. Fees may increase for international students depending on their area of study, however. Private universities will also be much more expensive. It is good to make contact early with prospective universities to inquire more about costs and the application process for earning your degree in Italy.
There are many scholarships, both Italian and international, which are also made available to foreign students. Check out GoAbroad’s Scholarship Directory for financial aid to study in Italy as an international student.
Accommodation & Visas
Throughout your degree program in Italy you will likely have the opportunity to experience both student dormitory housing and apartment living. Different universities vary on the type of housing offered to international students, so it is best to contact your target school early to discuss options. Dormitory living is a great way to embed yourself in the Italian student community and make friends from around the world while you are earning your degree. Apartment living allows for a more autonomous lifestyle and can be a nice way to lead an independent lifestyle in a major Italian city during your degree program.
You should be able to obtain a student visa fairly easy granted you meet the personal and financial requisites. Your degree abroad program or university of enrollment will help guide you through this process. For more information on the visa requirements for your home country, consult GoAbroad’s Italian Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Going abroad to earn a full degree anywhere in the world is a big commitment - you will be taking on an entirely new lifestyle, new culture, and (ideally) new language. Foreign students will soon discover that Italy soars to the top of global refinement in all of the latter categories, making studying in Italy all the more exciting.
Italians are a fun loving, laid back, artistically minded people. Lolling in the warm breeze of the Mediterranean you will also enjoy some of the best food, architecture, and natural beauty that Europe has to offer while earning your degree abroad.
Everyone knows that college comprises the best few years of your life. Make your academic career even better by pursuing a degree abroad and enjoy “la dolce vita” in Italy.