Italy's education system is renowned around the world for it's quality, offering several different options for international students. Italy is particularly well known for it's languages and architecture degrees.
How can you study a degree in Italy?
Italy is home to around 90 higher education institutions, including more than 50 state universities, 17 private institutions and many other specialist learning centres where you can study a degree in Italy. The different kinds of institutions available for undergraduate study in Italy include:
- State universities
- Technical universities
- Telematic universities (universities specialising in telecommunications and informatics)
Universities for foreigners
International students applying to study a degree in Italy will need to show they have successfully completed pre-university education in their home country. You may also be asked to prove your Italian language abilities.
It’s important to know that most exams in Italy are oral, meaning you’ll be asked a series of one-on-one questions by your professor and be expected to answer face-to-face.
Universities and education providers in Italy are free to set their own tuition fees, but in general fees are the same for EU and non EU students alike. Expect to pay between €850 - €1,200 per year for state universities, but private universities may charge much more.
Immigration and visas
EU students are able to come and study a degree in Italy providing you are studying at an approved institution for more than three months and have sufficient income to support yourself. Non-EU students will need to apply for a visa dependent on their nationality. You will generally need to show the following, regardless of your nationality:
- You have a confirmed place on a course at a recognised education institution
- You are not already in the country on a tourist or business visa
- You have paid all relevant visa fees
- You have sufficient funds to support yourself
You have comprehensive health insurance cover
Accommodation and living costs
How much you spend on accommodation in Italy as an undergraduate depends on where you study and the type of accommodation you want. The two most popular types of housing for international students are:
- University accommodation – such as halls of residence
Private accommodation – such as house and flat rentals
Many international students will opt to live in private accommodation on arriving in Italy, although halls of residence are good for meeting fellow students and settling into university life more easily.
Living costs/rent: Italy is one of the more expensive European countries in which to be an international student, so you should expect your rent, food and partying to cost more than most places. The north of the country is generally more expensive than the south, while cities will eat up your cash quicker than towns or villages.
Expect to pay the following:
- 1 bed city centre apartment –€ 600
- 1 bed outside city centre apartment – €450
- 3 bed city centre apartment – €1,200
3 bed outside city centre apartment –€ 800
How safe is Italy?
Italy is a generally safe country for students to live in, despite the media representation of the mafia and gang crime. The most common crimes are burglary and petty theft, such as shoplifting or pickpocketing. Keep your belongings hidden and be aware of your surroundings and you should be fine.
In terms of living, on campus accommodation in dorms means a high level of security and peace of mind, and all universities that accept international students have dedicated support services for them.
Students should always take care to protect their own personal safety in order to avoid becoming victims of crime. They can do this by:
- Avoiding carrying around large amounts of money
- Staying in groups, especially at night, and never walking alone
- Not making valuables obvious
- Always having a route home planned and never getting into unlicensed taxis
- Being wary of strangers
Being careful of traffic
Staying in touch
Staying in touch when your child is studying on the other side of the world might seem daunting – but there are ways you can talk regularly that don’t have to involve long distance phone calls and a nasty bill at the end of the month. Here are a few tips:
- Skype – the free video calling service can be downloaded within seconds, and will allow you to talk face to face anywhere you have an internet connection
- Blogging – maybe encourage your child to keep a blog of their adventures overseas, so that other families members (such as grandparents) can keep up to date
- Local sim cards – it is also a good idea for your child to buy a phone with a local pay as you go sim card when they arrive so that they can text and call home without running up a bill
What to do next
Thinking of studying abroad but not sure about where? You can check our country list or if you would like to get more information about studying in Italy, sign up for our Free Application Service and we'll be in touch shortly.