Italy is a country rich in history, culture and beauty. It’s easy to see why someone would want to live there, although many people often overlook how prestigious it can be to study in Italy.
The oldest University in the Western world is the University of Bologna, which was founded in 1088, and still stands as a pillar of higher education. Italian Universities also place a high value on employment, which means they are often geared towards helping you find a job after graduation.
EU citizens simply need to register at the local police station or town hall with their address once settled in Italy, whereas non-EU citizens need to apply for a student visa.
You can do this at the Italian Embassy or Consulate in your home country, and should take around 3 months or more to process. The cost is relatively low (around €60, or $74), though make sure you check with the Embassy to see what documents and proof of finances you will need for eligibility.
With so many universities to choose from, it’s hard to know exactly where you should go. Here’s a list of three fantastic universities to jump-start your decision to study in Italy:
John Cabot University, Rome
This is a private American university, which has its advantages and disadvantages. John Cabot University (or JCU) offers study abroad options for those of you unsure of whether you’d like to complete a full degree there, as well as undergraduate options for full-time study. They have an amazing selection of courses and degree options from art history to computer sciences or international affairs. They also offer archaeological field school options for those interested in developing a career like that of Indiana Jones (though perhaps with less danger).
All courses at JCU are taught in English, and the university’s accreditation will allow you to easily work in another country, like the US or Canada.
The only tough part about choosing JCU is the price tag, which ranges from $7000-$10500 per semester, though this might be far less than what you would pay for the same level of education in your home country. Housing is provided, as are meal plans, and JCU offers an easy transition into Italian life and culture for those who may not have lived abroad previously.
Though not quite as old as the University of Bologna, Sapienza was founded in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII. The main campus opened in 1935 and is close to the city centre, which is perfect for a little lunchtime sightseeing for your first few months.
With 69 departments and 11 faculties, you can study civil and industrial engineering, arts and humanities, and economics just to name a few (all of which are taught in English).
On top of this, they offer researched-based studies and PhD programs. Sapienza is not private, and therefore receives state funding, making its tuition fees significantly lower than those of private universities.
Per year you can expect to pay approximately €2600 ($3200), depending on your degree and the courses you choose. There are also additional fees, like student union and administrative fees, which change from year to year but currently run no more than €140 ($170). This is often calculated into your yearly total.
University of Milan, Milan
The University of Milan has a huge teaching facility with over 2000 professors for 8 faculties, 2 schools of study, and a large student body with over 64,000 students making your learning experience there a unique one.
The university boasts amazing botanical gardens, fantastic, world-renown libraries and an orchestra that contributes to the cultural life of Milan as much as to the cultural life of the university. With only a few programs taught entirely in English, and a great deal more in both English and Italian, having a higher level of Italian will come in handy here.
These English and English/Italian programs include political science, industrial chemistry, international medicine, law, and microbiology, among others. The University of Milan holds even more options for PhD students wishing to study in English with over 50 choices for graduate students.
Tuition ranges in cost from about €700 to €4000 ($855 to $4888) per year depending on scholarships and taxes. Students earning lower incomes, or from poorer socio-economic backgrounds may qualify for more scholarships or reductions in tuition.
Italy is a fantastic place with more to teach the average students than a semester of study abroad can squeeze in, but learning the language is a vital part of tapping into the culture and history of the country. If you’re interested in brushing up on your Italian before heading over, contact us to see what courses are available in your area.