Indulge in Rome’s splendour and get a degree abroad in a city more exciting than any history book. From gladiators to gelato, the Eternal City is famous across the world for its history and architectural recipes (the Colosseum, Pantheon, and Roman forum, to name a few). From Michelangelo’s artistic masterpieces to modern accomplishments of fashion, art and design are not lacking. This caput mundi also inspired several volumes of literature and has a long commerce background. In short, no matter which degree program you’re looking at, all roads lead to Rome.
Degree Programs in Rome
Rome is a perfecto place for international students thinking about earning a degree abroad. It is home to some of the top universities in Italy, one of the first universities to offer master degree programs entirely in English, and Europe’s largest public university. Between all of the degree programs and universities to choose from, you’ll have more options than there are pizza toppings in the Piazza Navona (that’s a lot).
Bachelor degree programs in Rome are not difficult to find either. There are two popular American universities (John Cabot University and the American University of Rome) that offer bachelors and masters degrees in several disciplines. For history and art lovers specifically, the British University of Kent at Rome offers master’s degree programs with a particular focus on medieval, renaissance, and baroque art in Italy. If you’d like to study in Rome but to keep classes in English, this holy trio of schools will not let you down.
Other popular degree programs in Rome include fashion, design, and photography. At international universities, classes are usually conducted in English, but at local universities, you might need to sign up for a couple of language courses before enrolling.
Important Note: be aware that at Italian universities, class and study structures are going to be different than back home. There’s particular attention given to oral examinations and discussions, and grades are on a completely different scale. Don’t be horrified if you get a 25 on your next exam!
Life in Rome
Even though it is an ancient city, Rome is a modern and cosmopolitan capital. It is the third most visited tourist destination in Europe and a city of both cultural and political importance. Living in the heart of Rome, within walking distance of many ancient remains, you can’t miss the countless museums: Capitoline Hill, the Vatican, and the Museo Nazionale Romano (Mus-eum like heaven, huh?).
Festival lovers will find countless national and international events on a daily basis. From music to cinema, from art to fashion, from literature to food movements, there’s something for everyone; don’t be afraid to experience a taste of something new while earning a degree in Rome!
Wanna come across as a local? Then get ready to worship your food and drink. Sharing meals is central to Roman social life. People are passionate about spending long evenings in one of the pizzerias or trattorias of the city or walking through food markets, the most famous one is Campo dei Fiori. Contrary to the rest of Italy, there is a little flavor of everything in Rome, so tuck in! #nom
Accommodation & Visas
Most international students earning a degree in Rome live in accommodations provided by universities, either homestays or dorm rooms. These prearranged options give students the opportunity to settle into student life with greater ease. From picking locations to getting housing assistance, if you choose university provided housing you can forget about the nitpicky and focus your efforts on more fun things. Aperitivo, anyone?
If your university or degree program doesn’t include accommodation, don’t panic! There are as many rooms to rent as there are pigeons in Rome. It might take some extra effort, but you will be rewarded with greater independence and the opportunity to pick your own roomies. There’s many useful websites and plenty of listings around university bulletin boards to help you get started.
Make sure you have your finances and documents organized before you head to Italy. EU students are able to come and study in Italy with mere proof that they will be studying at an approved institution for more than three months. However, non-EU students will need to apply for a visa, with specifics depending on their nationality. Check out GoAbroad’s Italian Embassy Directory for more information on visa processes. Things might seem daunting at first, but it’s not as complicated as it seems (most of the time); just read all the details carefully and be sure to start plenty of time in advance!
Benefits & Challenges
Rome can be noisy, chaotic, and loud. From the madness of the ruthless traffic to queues without a proper start and finish, it is not an easy place to live. Even a simple task such as taking the bus could turn into a nightmare! Day-to-day life in Rome is an adventure you might find overwhelming at first, but it’ll all be worth it. And while the limited opening times and inefficient services might never become “endearing”, and you will still get a little bit intimidated every time you need to hop on a bus, you’ll learn to appreciate the unorganized confusion, navigate like a pro, and +1 your character.
You might also learn that spaghetti does not come with meatballs, and other crazy realizations. While Italians do love to start conversation with anyone in the streets and a lot of hand gestures are usually involved, many Italian stereotypes will be broken (and a lot more will be formed). Students who decide to get their degree in Rome will find themselves immersed in a cultural heritage that only gets deeper with time. There’s more than just art and architecture in Rome; there’s a whole world of social norms and quirky traditions that take a lot of studying to understand.
You’ll return home with a lot more than merely a degree earned abroad. You’ll have developed your own Italian persona: elegant and proper, yet tough and determined. You’ll have picked up a few century-old recipes. And, with a toss of the coin into the Trevi Fountain, you’ll have discovered the ability to adapt to foreign situations and use your new knowledge in global situations.