Italy, a European country with a long Mediterranean coastline, has left a powerful mark on Western culture and cuisine. Its capital, Rome, is home to the Vatican as well as landmark art and ancient ruins. Other major cities include Florence, with Renaissance masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s "David" and Brunelleschi's Duomo; Venice, the city of canals; and Milan, Italy’s fashion capital.

  • Capital:Rome
  • Dialing code:+39
  • Currency: Euro
  • Prime minister: Giuseppe Conte


Some of the first universities in Europe were founded in Italy during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. For example, the University of Bologna, founded in 1088, is recognized as the oldest university in continuous operation. Today, Italy is the home of many prestigious universities and other institutions of higher education. Many of Italy’s universities perform well in the QS World University Rankings, such as the Università di Bologna (194), The Sapienza University of Rome (216), Politecnico di Milano (244), Università di Roma in Rome, Università degli Studi di Milano, Università degli Studi di Padova in Padua, Università degli Studi di Firenze in Florence, and the Università di Pisa in Pisa.

Italy has played an important role in recent reform of higher education known as “Bologna Process”, as one of the four countries that created the European Area of Higher Education, formed by signing the Sorbonne Declaration in 1998, which was to be the first step in the higher education reform. Today the Bologna Process is now being implemented throughout Europe.

Italy has 89 universities, which are divided into several categories:

  • • State universities: These are state funded public universities which comprises of most of the universities in Italy, particularly the larger universities.
  • • Other publicly funded universities: Funded by Province rather than state.
  • • Private universities: Non state funded.
  • • Superior Graduate Schools (Scuola Superiore Universitaria): These are independent institutions that offer advanced training and research courses specialising in postgraduate studies.

The academic year is made up of two semesters. The first semester starts in September/October and ends in January/February. The second semester starts in February and ends in July. The actual start and finish dates of degree programs in Italy vary in every university, but each academic semester lasts for roughly 20 weeks, made up of a 14-week teaching period and a 6-week examination period.

Types of schools

Based on the Bologna Process, education system in Italy was reformed in 1990 to create a compatible system of education throughout Europe. Since then, Italy has implemented a 3-cycle system consisting of the following:

  • • First Cycle: Bachelor degrees (3 years) and single-cycle degrees
  • • Second Cycle: Master degrees (2 years) and 1st level vocational masters
  • • Third Cycle: Doctorate (5-6 years) specialization school and 2nd Level vocational masters

The education system in Italy is structured in a binary system consisting of two main articulations: the university sector and the non-university sector.

University Sector

The university sector is made up of 89 university institutions classified within the following categories:

  • • 58 state universities – public entities endowed with scientific, teaching, managerial, financial and book-keeping autonomy
  • • 17 non-state universities – legally recognized by the state
  • • 2 universities for foreigners – specialized in teaching/ research for development of Italian language, literature, culture
  • • 6 higher education schools – specialized in postgraduate university studies
  • • 6 telematic universities

Non - University Sector

The non-university sector includes four education typologies and their education institutions:

  • • Higher schools of design: polytechnics for the arts, academies of fine arts, national academies, higher institutes or applied arts, higher institutes for musical & choreographic studies
  • • Higher integrated education (FIS): programs of higher technical education & training (IFTS)
  • • Higher education in language mediation: education institutions for language mediators
  • • Specific fields (e.g. archiving, military studies, restoration)


Eligibility Criteria

  • To apply for the 1st cycle degree programs (undergraduate courses) in the Italian universities, the student must hold a foreign school leaving qualification or certification (higher secondary qualification) with minimum 12 years of indispensable former schooling.
  • To apply for the 2nd cycle degree programs (graduate courses) in Italian universities, the student must hold a 1stcycle higher education qualification (bachelor’s level) from an Italian university or equivalent qualification gained in home country or elsewhere.
  • To apply for 3rd cycle degree programs (doctoral courses) in Italian universities, the student must hold a 2nd cycle higher education qualification (master’s level) from an Italian university or equivalent qualification gained in home country or elsewhere.
  • Foreign students seeking an admission in Italian universities should possess fluency in all forms of Italian language: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

Application Forms

It’s best that the application forms too should be submitted 8-10 months prior to the closing date of acceptance. The application form can either be downloaded or printed from the university’s official website or can acquire it directly from university’s representatives based in student’s home country, although, only handful Italian universities have representatives or agents located in parts of the world other than in European nations. Apart from this, students can request for the application form from the university’s website that be filled and submitted online.

Admission Tests

  • All international students who want to take up higher studies in Italy have to appear in an Italian exam organized and administered by individual institutions in the first days of September every year. The exam is designed to check a student’s level of competence in the Italian language and is mandatory to take admission in any degree program.
  • If the admissions in certain degree programs are subject to certain limitations, admission exams or other aptitude tests may be conducted; scoring successfully in which will make the applicants eligible. These exams may either be decided by individual institutions or nationally by central authorities.
  • Admissions to the 3rd cycle degree programs are always subject to passing of a competitive admission examination. These admission examinations that are organized by individual universities or central authorities are administered in Italian language.

Application Requirements

  • The students are required to provide the university or visa authorities with the documentary evidence in support of proficiency in Italian language. In case the students provide any documental support, they’ll have to take an obligatory Italian language exam conducted and administered by the Italian universities or institutions.
  • The scores of the mandatory Italian language proficiency test will be assessed along with the scores obtained in aptitude or other competitive examination conducted by the universities or central authorities. If a student doesn’t pass the Italian language exam, admittance in following competitive exams may not be allowed. It’s only after passing these examinations that admission in an Italian university will be allowed.
  • All relevant transcripts required to take up 1st, 2nd, or 3rd cycle programs in Italian universities need to be submitted to the university and visa authorities, along with any other certificate(s) that the student may possess.
  • Even if it’s not asked by the university, it’s recommended that the student should submit all the relevant transcripts, translated in Italian language with the certified, or original if asked, to the university. The copies should be certified by a person or agency that is recognized by the law or government of the student’s home country.
  • The grading system that is followed in Italian education system is different from what is followed in many other countries. Therefore, students should convert the previously obtained marks or grades in accordance with the Italy’s grading system.
  • A detailed CV, a statement of purpose or personal essay, and a letter of recommendation should also be attached with the application form even if not asked so.
  • The students are required to choose one of the provisions listed under the health insurance criteria fulfillment for the non-EU students.


Italy is a wonderful place to pursue higher studies from. It does not imply high costs like the other countries and has some of the famous attractions with history and culture at an affordable price. Italy offers high-quality education and many international students choose to study in Italy. It is one of the most developed and industrialized countries. Not to mention, the high living standards along with all the basic amenities and services in place. Below is the information regarding the various costs that are incurred while studying in Italy.

The tuition fees in the Italian universities are very affordable, especially in the public universities. The tuition fees differ according to the level of degree, university, and the study program. Irrespective of the different tuition fees the average ones range anywhere between 850 and 1,000 EUR per year talking about the public universities. They are even higher in the private universities. There are also some public universities in Italy that have tuition fees that exceed 1,000 EUR each year.


The cost of accommodation in Italy range from 200 to 300 EUR per month. The students who stay alone pay around 266 Euros a month, those who live in student accommodation pay up to 257 Euros per month and those living with either a spouse or child spend less i.e. 133 Euros per month. The costs associated with the various options are listed as follows. Student Residence Halls: - b/w 200 and 300 EUR per month. ; Renting or sharing a flat: - b/w 250 and 600 Euros per month. Staying with a host family: - 450 Euros per month including meals. Youth Hostels: - ranges between 20 to 30 Euros per month. The universities have a housing department or office which manages accommodation for the students. These departments help the students in finding a proper apartment with better discounts.


The most convenient and easiest way of traveling in Italy is the public transportation. The public transportation is affordable in Italy and if you have a student card then you have to pay even smaller rates. A monthly ticket for students for bus, tram or metro is somewhere between 25 to 35 Euros per month. The metro is efficient and one can easily navigate the maps. You have to be careful during the rush hours, though. Taking taxis is a little expensive and is not recommended in the large cities due to the traffic jams. Booking a ticket early is the key and you could save a lot of money by doing so. You can also rent a bike for a daily 2.50 Euro or weekly 6 Euros.

Living Expense

The living expenses in Italy range between 1,000 to 1,500 EUR per month. This includes accommodation, public transportation, food costs, local travel, and entertainment. As compared to the other cities, Rome is just a little more expensive. Talking of living expenses, students have to spend between 700 and 800 Euros per month. In other cities of Italy like Turin, Padua, Pisa or Bologna an average student spends between 550 Euros per month to 750 Euros per month.


The Italian government offers scholarships at the regional and national level. The scholarship offered is usually between 5,000 to 12,000 EUR per year. The scholarships and student grant opportunities that the international students can apply via the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Health Insurance

The international students applying to study in Europe need to take out a private health insurance.

Working Options

Necessity of Jobs

Students require a job for various reasons. In some cases, the students will want to pursue certain jobs to gain work experience in their chosen field. Some students need jobs to ease the financial strains associated with studying in a foreign country. By working in Italy, international students can ensure that they get extra money to use in their daily expenses.

It is a fact that the job opportunities will not be particularly rewarding financially for a student compared to a professional. The amount earned by the international students will not be enough to cover the tuition expenses. On an average, the hourly pay for international students in Italy is € 5 to € 15.

Nonetheless, international students in Italy can make use of a number of employment opportunities to earn money. The students will need to ensure that they follow the applicable rules while getting work in the country. There are quite a few rules that govern the employment of international students in Italy.

Rules for Students from NON - EU Countries

If the student is not from a country that is a part of the European Union, then there are different set of rules that need to be followed. Their working status is governed by different regulations. First of all, the immigration authorities will place a restriction stamp on the passports of international students that are going to be studying in Italy for a long period of time.

These international students are not allowed to become self-employed in Italy. They cannot own businesses nor are they allowed to represent Italy in sports in a professional capacity. If the course of the international students lasts less than 6 months, the immigration authorities will put a prohibition stamp on their passports. This bars the students from working in any capacity in Italy. International students who break these rules are liable to pay a fine of up to € 1,000.

Employment opportunities in Italy

There are various kinds of part-time as well as full-time job opportunities in Italy. However, it is compulsory for an individual to know the Italian language because working here will require conversing and communicating in Italy mostly and there is not much of scope for English language here.

While studying here, one can easily find part-time working opportunities in the restaurants, bars, supermarkets, newspapers, pamphlets and magazine offices while studying in Italy, provided, the working hours limit do not exceed more than 20 hours per week. It becomes easier if some local Asian contacts are found here in Italy so that they can assist in finding some appropriate working opportunities.

The study and work opportunities in Italy

  • 1. There are some full-time career prospects as well but at first, it is vital to get a valid work permit in case of non European immigrants.
  • 2. In this regard, it will be wise to state that Italy is always in need of English speaking professionals. In fact, English tutors are always held in high esteem and they have a high demand in Italy.
  • 3. Apart from these, other career domains include fashion designing, journalism, media and mass communication, arts, tourism, finance and international business in the various cities of Italy that include Florence, Rome, Milan, Bologna, Sardinia and Aquila that have got the highest number of employment opportunities in Italy.

Other aspects of study and work opportunities in Italy

  • 1. There are different consulting agencies that will provide perfect guidance regarding study and work opportunities in Italy.
  • 2. Short-term placement cells are available and various online job portals are present that will help any foreigner to find some job opportunities in Italy. Although at first, one may not get the ideal job and might have to start off with a moderately paid part-time job, yet, this will help to gain an added advantage by getting to know about the work culture of Italy and also develop networking.
  • 3. One may even have to do many odd jobs as well but with hard work, perseverance and tenacity, it will not be impossible to find rewarding career prospects in Italy as the scope of flourishing here is immense, especially in the domain of mass communication, media, journalism, fashion, finance and management.
  • 4. With years of work and experience, one can even ride up the corporate ladder and get to an executive ran position too.

Some of the jobs open for international students are given below.

  • Waiters
  • Assistants at trade fairs
  • Call centre agents
  • Jobs in the media sector
  • Jobs in the IT sector
  • University jobs such as library assistants
  • Students can apply for a suitable job as per their interest, understanding and need.


pending content table