Why study a Bachelor or Master in Italy

Find all the study programs in Italy

  • About
  • Study
  • Living
  • Universities
  • Student Visa
  • How to Apply
  • Scholarship

About Italy

Italy is the land of art, literature and splendid architecture. It was also the country where 13 of Shakespeare’s 38 plays were set, a tribute to how magical it truly is. For example, Romeo and Juliet is set in the city of fair Verona, and you can even visit “Juliet’s balcony” there. Julius Caesar takes place in Rome, while Othello and The Merchant of Venice are both set in Venice. This makes it the perfect country for literature, art and theatre majors to study in Italy! 


Italy also has more World Heritage sites than any other country globally, boasting 55 of them that span the entire country. From Mount Etna to the Colosseum, history and great architecture are everywhere in Italy. This also makes it an excellent backdrop for architecture, history and political science students to study in, while they take in the rich historical sites. 


However, these aren’t the only subjects that you can study in Italy. Italy has some of the oldest universities globally that are also highly ranked. It’s also the land of Michaelangelo, Leonardo Davinci, Mussolini, Dante and many other famous figures. Find out more about studying in the land of these great people, as you will be among good company and yummy, delicious food! 


Italian is obviously the official language in Italy, with 93 per cent of the population speaking it. There are many dialects of the language, with 50 per cent of the population speaking a regional dialect as their primary language. 


Because Italy is part of the eurozone, the official currency in Italy is the euro. The Vatican City also uses the euro as its official currency type. In Italy, it’s common to see the euro symbol written after the number (as in 10€.), unlike in some other European countries.

Geographical information

Italy is situated in Europe, as one of the biggest islands in the Mediterranean sea, with Sicily and Sardinia attached. Part of Italy is located in Southern Europe, sharing borders with the countries of France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. 


The most popular religion in Italy is Christianity, with over 80 per cent of the population following it. Twelve per cent of the people don’t identify with any religious beliefs, while 4 per cent are Muslims. The remaining percentage, with less than 0.5 per cent of the Italian population pertaining to it, are Buddhists, Hindus and other religious minorities. 


Political stance

Italy is considered a parliamentary republic, with multiple political parties involved. Italy was established as a democratic republic in June 1946, when a referendum voted to get rid of the monarchy. An assembly was then elected to write a democratic constitution that was later adopted in January of 1948. 


When it comes to tourism, Italy is one of the countries most people have on their bucket lists. This is due to the breathtaking landscapes, incredible architecture, warm and generous people and cultural norms that pertain to the Italian culture that everyone wants to be immersed in. 


Some of the most famous landmarks that tourists or international students like to visit are the Boboli gardens, the grand canal and Lake Como, among many others. The Boboli gardens which are located in the city of Florence took over 400 years to build and are one of the best and biggest natural museums worldwide. They are located behind Pitti Palace and have an area of 44,515 meters squared. 


Another famous landmark, the Grand Canal, is one of the biggest water canals in Venice. It divides the city into two parts and has a depth of 5 meters. Lake Como is the deepest lake in Italy, reaching a whopping depth of 410 meters. Many tourists flock to visit this lake which is located 50km from Milan.



Italian food is one of the staple cuisines around the world, with Italian restaurants in every country. Everyone loves Italian food from Risotto to Pizza to different kinds of pastas.


Risotto is a dish that originated in Northern Italy and is creamy and full of cheese. It can also have different varieties with some of them being cooked with cheese and some cooked in vegetable or meat broth. 


Pizza is the most popular Italian food known all over the world, with many different variations and differences in toppings and crusts. It’s an Italian national symbol, and UNESCO has recognized it as being an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.


Pasta is another national Italian food, loved all over the globe. Originating in Sicily then spreading to Naples and Imperia, there are many variations of it from carbonara to lasagna to ravioli, to simple penne. International students can enjoy all types of delicious pasta, straight from the origin.

Study in Italy

Many international students choose to study abroad in Italy and experience the world-class education and great culture that is welcoming to foreigners. There are also many reasons why you should study in Italy. Read on to find more about why you should study in Italy and how much it costs international students to study there. 

Why should you study in Italy? 

There are several reasons why you should choose to study in Italy. For example, it is home to some of the oldest universities around the globe, offering excellent standards of education to international students. The education system there is renowned and you can be sure that you’ll graduate with specialized knowledge in your field. Here are some more reasons why you should study in Italy:


Moderate Cost of Living 

One of the main reasons to study in Italy is the moderate cost of living. It’s cheaper than other European countries, though it may still be more expensive than others. If you have a low budget for living, be sure to avoid universities in Rome and Milan as they are the most expensive Italian cities to live in while studying. If you choose to live in other cities, you can expect to pay the moderate cost of less than 1500 euros monthly. 

Top ranking Universities 

Another reason to study in Italy is the excellent standard of education offered at top-ranking universities. For example, 27 Italian universities rank in the top 500 universities list in the world. Though some universities may have very high acceptance rates of more than 80 percent GPA fulfillment, you can search for a university that doesn’t have such high requirements, if your grades aren’t paramount. 

Option to Study in English 

Another benefit is that many degree programs are taught completely in English. Italian universities offer you the chance to study either in English or their native Italian tongue. This includes degrees that are undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, so you can study in a great culture in the language you are comfortable studying in. Many universities also offer Italian language courses for students who are studying in English but want to learn the Italian language. 

Great Culture and Food 

A final reason to study in Italy is the unique Italian culture, from traditions and monuments to yummy food known around the world. Italians also love foreigners and are known for being friendly, warm, loud and welcoming. They love talking about their culture, food and habits. That means you’ll find it easy to make friends and fit in there. That means you don’t need to worry about feeling left out or homesick! 


How much does it cost?

A crucial question to ask when considering any study abroad destination is how much it would cost to study there. Public universities charge tuition fees of about 1000 euros annually, while private universities are more expensive with tuition fees ranging from 6,000 to over 20,000 yearly. However, some Italian universities have the option to charge you tuition fees based on your earnings, or what your parents earn. This means the fees are adjusted for you if you can’t afford them. The system is a good option to look into if you can’t afford to pay the tuition fees but still would love to study in Italy. 

Living in Italy

When it comes to cost of living, you can expect to pay an average of 1500 euros a month, including accommodation and other costs of living. However, this will be higher if you live in Rome or Milan, which are considered more expensive cities. Here’s how much you should expect to pay for living costs while studying as an international student in Italy. 



In general, accommodation will cost you from 300 to 600 euros a month, based on many factors like how big it is, where it is and what services are offered. There are three main types of accommodation that international students who choose to study in Italy live in. This section discusses them so that you can better know which one you want to choose. 


University Student Housing 

The first type of housing is the university student dorms or housing. Some universities offer on-campus dorms for students to stay in. This costs students a reasonable cost with an average of 400 euros per month, depending on the location of the dorms and what services are included in the rental costs. 


Shared Student Accommodations 

The second type of housing that many students choose are shared accommodations. Students share apartments or houses with other students, family members or friends, splitting the rest and costs of utilities and other services between them. If you don’t know anyone, you can use online websites and university advertisements to find a shared student accommodation that you can live in. Based on the location, services and size of the house, you can expect to pay rent of anywhere between 250 to 700 euros a month. 

Private Accommodation 

A final accommodation option, though usually the most expensive type, is the private accommodation option. This means that students rent private apartments, either studio or one-bedroom, on their own. This option gives more privacy for students, though it can be costly. You can expect to pay monthly rent anywhere from 300 to over 1000 euros, based on many factors. However, you should keep in mind that usually the minimal rent period for apartments in Italy has a one year period, though you might find exceptions to the rule, especially if you decide to rent a single room in a house. 

Other costs of living

Besides rent, you should factor in other costs of living when seeing how much it will cost you to study abroad in Italy. Main expenses include around 300 euros for groceries a month and utilities for a small apartment like electricity, heat, water and cooling systems costing around 170 euros. You should also set aside around 35 euros monthly for a transportation pass and around 30 euros a month for internet costs. 


Universities in Italy

When it comes to universities in Italy, as previously mentioned, they are world-class institutions that are highly ranked. From the University of Rome to the University of Florence, Italian universities are known for their great educational systems and renowned faculty from all around the world. Read on to learn more about the degrees available in Italian universities and what the top-ranked universities that you should research when applying for universities are. 


Degrees available

Degree programs in Italy are unique with Italian higher education following the so-called “Bologna” framework, which is sometimes called the 3+2 system. This means that the first level high education degree, otherwise known as a bachelor’s degree, is the Laurea Triennale, which you receive after three years of studies in universities. After finishing this degree, you go on to study two more years with specialized subjects that are called the Laurea Magistrale. The Laurea Magistrale corresponds to a master’s degree. 


If you want to pursue a doctorate or a post-masters degree in Italy, you have to achieve the Laurea Magistrale degree. Completing a PhD typically takes an additional three years of study to be achieved, receiving the title of Dottore di Ricerca (Research Doctor or Philosophy Doctor) after graduation.


However, you should keep in mind that there is also a five-year degree called the “Laurea Magistrale Quinquennale” (Five-Year Master of Arts) covering degrees like Law, Arts and Music, while for Medical schools, the degree program can last for 6 years. Graduates from these programs receive the title Dottore (abbreviation in Dott./Dott.SSA or Dr.), meaning Doctor. However, this isn’t the same as the Dottore di Ricerca title, albeit lower-ranking. 


Top-ranked universities

When it comes to universities in Italy, most of them are excellent institutions, but some truly stand out that you should consider when choosing a university to apply to. 

University of Rome 

One of the top universities in Italy is the University of Rome, located in the Italian capital. One of the oldest universities in Italy, it was founded in 1303 and is ranked in the top thirty universities in Europe. Popular specializations in the university include are agriculture, science, engineering, economics and pharmacy. 

University of Naples 

Second-ranked in Italy is the University of Naples, which is the oldest public university in the world. It was founded in the year 1224 and has thirteen different colleges with subjects that include architecture, agriculture, economics, law and medicine, among many others. More than 100,000 students study in the university. 

University of Bologna

Founded in 1088 AD, the University of Bologna is located in the city of Bologna. It has twenty three colleges, with many different subject areas offered. The subjects the university is most well known for are agriculture, art and engineering so if you are interested in these subjects, research the university and consider applying there. The university loves and welcomes international students because it is a great Italian landmark. 


Barry University 


Barry University is located in the city of Bari and founded in the year of 1925. Sixty thousand students study at the university and specialize in subjects like arts, philosophy, biotechnology and communication studies. 

University of Turin 

The University of Turin can be found in the Northern Italian city of Turin, and is another highly ranked ancient university. Founded in the year 1404, the school has thirteen schools, with ten institutes in them. Examples of these schools include the School of Applied Psychology, School of Business and Joint School of Automotive Sciences. If you are interested in studying any of these subjects, it’s well worth looking into the universities. 

Examples of other universities

Examples of other good Italian universities to look into for your studies as an international student are the University of Milan, the University of Florence and the University of Pisa. There are many alternative ones to look into but these are some of the most well known and most distinguished in Italy.  

Student Visa - Italy

As in any other study destination, you might need a study visa to study there, depending on your country of origin or nationality. If you are an EU student then you don’t need a study visa, as long as you have a valid passport. If the student isn’t in the EU, then they will need to get a study visa to be able to study in Italy. Read on to learn more about the different visa types and how to obtain the one you need to be able to study in Italy, if you require one. 

Types of Study Visa

There are two types of study visas available for students who want to study in Italy and are from outside of the EU. The Type C visa is a short term visa, which allows students to enter Italy and stay there for up to 90 days. On the other hand, the Type D visa is the long term visa for students who have courses that exceed 90 days, which are all bachelor and postgraduate education degrees. Therefore, this is the type of visa you’ll need to apply for to study in Italy for your higher studies. 

Required Documents 

You’ll need the following documents to apply for a study visa in Italy: 

  • A valid passport that has more than two blank pages for visa renewal, valid for more than three months after the study program is completed. 
  • Acceptance letter from the intended university in Italy. 
  • Filled out visa application form.
  • An itinerary to Italy and back.
  • Proof of good conduct (no criminal records).
  • English or Italian language proficiency proof, based on student’s study degree.
  • Proof that you have enough money to support yourself, at least 450 euros per month.
  • Proof of accommodation, whether Airbnb or hotel reservation or lease.
  • Proof of paid medical insurance. 
  • Proof you’ve paid the visa application fee


Study Visa Interview 

It’s important to note that there will be a visa interview scheduled at the Italian embassy in your home country, 4 to 6 weeks before your intended travel date. You will be asked about your reasons for travel and why you want to study in Italy, and finally, your future goals after graduation. You should prepare well for this interview to ensure that you pass with flying colours.


Visa Cost

The current cost to apply for a study visa is 60 euros, which you can either pay in cash or transfer to the Italian Consulate General. Keep in mind that processing time for the visa may take at least 1 to 3 weeks. 

Extension of Visa 

If desired, the student can extend their visa and renew it but it must be done before the current visa expires. The student will need to hand in the following documents:

  • Request for extension of visa 
  • Copy of passport and all personal papers
  • Copy of valid health insurance
  • Copy of sustained financial support for the length of the extended visa 
  • Copy of expired visa
  • At least 5,500 euros in the student’s bank account


Students who want to bring family to Italy can do so through applying for the Italian Family or spouse visa, to unify their family.

How to apply - Italy

In order to apply to a university in Italy, there are steps and requirements that should be fulfilled. Read on to learn how to apply to Italian universities and what the requirements are.

University Requirements 


Some of the requirements needed for international students to join an Italian university are: 


  • English or Italian language proficiency, with certificates showing proof of this.
  • High school diploma or previous bachelor degree diploma, depending on the degree program applied to.
  • Passing any admission tests
  • Writing a motivation letter, following the format requested by the university. 
  • Identity document like passport or other identification document.
  • Passport style photograph
  • Academic transcripts
  • University application form filled out. 
  • CV, if needed
  • Letter of recommendations from respected academics
  • Letter of motivation
  • Portfolio or samples of previous work ( for applicants to architecture, urban planning, or any design degree)
  • Official score for SAT or ACT

Application Process 

When applying to universities in Italy, there are several steps you need to follow. First of all, you should check tuition fees and living costs to make sure you’ll be able to afford studying and living there. You should also contact the university you want to apply to and see if you are eligible there. If you pass admission requirements, you should contact the Italian embassy in your home country, and they’ll send the application and documents to the university on your behalf. The Italian embassy will then send a list of accepted applicants at the end of August of each year. 


Students who apply to Italian universities are ranked based on GPA of any prior studies. You should contact the institutions you want to apply to and check the minimum GPA for the degree program you are interested in.  


You might have to pass admission tests if you are applying for majors like Medicine, Architecture and Engineering, as they require students to have prior background knowledge so they are able to succeed and become specialized in the study subjects. 


Language requirements 

Italian universities have study degrees taught in Italian and English, but more study programs are available in English at the postgraduate rather than undergraduate levels. Students will need to show language proficiency in either Italian or English, based on the language of their degree programs. Accepted Italian language tests are the CILS exam, which may be taken in Italy or at any Italian Institutes of Culture around the globe, and the CELI exam which is taken in centers that have partnerships with the University of Perugia.


When it comes to English language proficiency tests, students can present results of TOEFL iBT, IELTS Academic, PTE Academic or C1 Advanced language tests. 

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines for students vary according to the university, but in general, you should start to contact your local Italian embassy from Mid-April to mid-May to request your Letter of Academic Eligibility and Suitability or Dichiarazione di Valoro in Loco in Italian. You can check the website of your program or institution to see if there are any different deadlines. 


Scholarship in Italy

The Italian government has different scholarships for students around the world every year. If you fulfill the conditions, you can be eligible for the scholarship. 


International students don’t have to be living in Italy to be eligible for the scholarship. These grants also include all high education universities that are approved by the Italian government. 


If students are granted the scholarship, the Italian government pays all fees, including registration fees too. They also pay for health and medical insurance, as well as a 900 euros stipend per month for living expenses. 


Conditions for applying 

Any student interested in studying in Italy can apply to the scholarship as long as they fulfill these conditions: 

  • Are foreign students who want to study in Italy
  • Students shouldn’t be older than 28 years if they are applying to bachelor’s or master’s degrees or higher education degrees in the fields of art, music and dance 
  • Students shouldn’t be older than 30 years if they are applying for PhD programs. 
  • Students who are applying for academically supervised research projects shouldn’t be older than 40 years old. 
  • They must provide a B2 level of Italian proficiency to qualify.
  • They must submit the online application form when registering.