Italy plays an important part in European higher education, and was influential in starting the higher education reform, known as “Bologna Process” (Bologna Declaration, June 1999) which is now being implemented all over Europe. Its higher education system includes 83 universities (58 of them sponsored by the State), as well as numerous non-university institutions such as academies of art, design and music, and institutes of technical education and specialized training.

Studying in Italy gives students access to some of the most influential art, architecture, and history in the world. The options for study abound. Italy is home to the Università di Bologna, which is said to be the oldest university in the western world. Historians cite the university as having been created in 1088. The university boasts many famous historical figures as alumni, including Dante Alighieri. The Italian cities like Rome, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Turin etc has a great historical value which students can observe during their study period in Italy.

International students can choose from a wide variety of Italian universities, and many are top in their fields. La Sapienza University in Rome is rated among the top 100 in the world, its strength lying in social sciences and humanities. The Politechnico di Milano and University of Torino are two of the top engineering and applied sciences universities in Europe. Centuries-old universities including those in Bologna and Padova have a long tradition in legal studies, politics, and international affairs. Florence and Venice naturally are incomparable places to study art and art history.

The education system of Italy is divided into three groups according to grade. They are 1st cycle, 2nd cycle, and 3rd cycle degree programmes. 1st cycle is undergraduate level, 2nd cycle is post graduate level and 3rd cycle is doctorate level.
Each and Every foreign citizens wishing to attend Higher Education Programmes in Italy must have to pass an Italian Language exam devised to check their level of competence in the language. The exam is usually organised and administered by individual institutions in the first days of September every year.
To study any level students must be competent in Italy.

Admission in Undergraduate Level (1st Cycle Degree Program)

To study undergraduate level in Italy students will need to hold a School Leaving Qualification.
To join any educational institution in Italy students will be examined by the respective educational institution to permit entrance into a university or a college. This exam is a entrance examination from which the educational institution chosen by students will evaluate the quality of students and decides either to admit him/her or not in the university/college.

Admission in Postgraduate Level (2nd Cycle Degree Program)

Students must hold Undergraduate Level Qualification to get admission in Postgraduate Level at universities/colleges of Italy. The course that the students had studies in their Undergraduate Level must be eligible to study the course they choose in Postgraduate Level.
As in Undergraduate Level you may need to pass the entrance examination before getting admission in specific university/college of Italy.

Admission in Doctorate Level (3rd Cycle Degree Program)

Students must hold Post Graduate Level Qualification to get admission in Doctorate Level.
The universities/colleges that the students have chosen will evaluate student’s foreign degree, and decide if students meet the general requirements as well as the specific conditions for admission to the respective course of student’s choice.

Every Foreign student intending the study in Italy must obtain a Italian student visa before entering into the Italy.
In order to assure a timely processing of visas, the student (or his/her parents on their child’s behalf) should begin the visa application as early as possible but no sooner than three months prior to the program’s initiation.We strongly recommend that students mustn’t wait until the holiday period to go to the Consulate. Not only can the wait be lengthy, but it also makes the turnaround time for visa issuance longer than usual.
Students should contact your nearest Italian consulate and follow the directions for obtaining a student visa.
The visa will not be issued the same day; the process can take up to 60 days.
Italian institutions will provide the necessary Letter of Acceptance, Letter of Enrollment, Insurance Letter and Course Schedule to complete your visa application materials.
Student visas will be issued only for the length of time you are enrolled in the program.
Only a visa issued for study purposes is valid for your final enrollment at an H.Ed. institution in Italy.
No other type of visa will be accepted. Therefore you have to apply to the competent Italian diplomatic authority and ask for a study visa in your name. The competent Italian Embassy/ Consulate is the authority responsible for accepting your pre-application and checking if you meet the requirements for the visa.


The study visa will be issued only against demonstration that you:
1.Have a suitable accommodation in Italy.
2.May dispose of enough financial means to support yourself.
3.are entitled to medical care in Italy.
4.Possess the amount of money necessary to travel back to your country, or have already purchased a valid return-ticket.
Stay Permits (non- Eu citizens)

First issuing

Within 8 days from arrival, all non-Eu citizens who hold a study visa for Italy must apply for a stay permit for study purposes.
The stay permit is issued by the local police station (Questura – Ufficio Stranieri) of the applicant’s place of residence in Italy against presentation of:
• a valid passport bearing a study visa for Italy.
• proof of enough financial means to support herself/himself.
• a document giving evidence of her/his right to medical care in Italy.


• When candidates to matriculation decide to move, even if temporarily, to another Italian city (e.g. to attend programs in the Italian language), within 15 days they will have to apply to the competent police station (Questura) to report their change of address.
• Those students who leave the Italian territory are allowed to enter again only if they already hold a stay permit.


After matriculation, and at least 30 days before the expiration of their stay permits, all non-Eu students coming from abroad have to apply to the Questura for such permits to be extended for the whole year. On the occasion, each student must demonstrate to have the necessary financial resources to support herself/himself, a certificate of enrollment issued by an Italian H.Ed. institution, as well as to meet all the other requirements needed for the issuing of the stay permit.
Both study visa and stay permits are renewed to the students who have passed one exam in the first year of their degree programmes, and two exams at least in the following years for the earning of such a credit number as determined by the institutions.
The stay permit may be renewed also to a student who has passed only one exam against documentary evidence of a state of very poor health or of other serious reasons. All that without prejudice of the dispositions concerning the global number of possible renewals; in fact, stay permits cannot be issued for more than 3 years beyond the legal length of the degree course concerned (Art. 46, § 4 of the Presidential Decree No. 394 of 31st August 1999).

Every international students are entitled to the same student assistance services as Italian students, on basis of the same requisites of financial means and/or merit. This applies to scholarships, student loans, housing assistance, refectory meal tickets and fee waivers.
These services are managed by the DSU office (Diritto allo studio universitario).
Alongside scholarship and financial aid information, DSU offices will also provide other services such as counseling and information on extra curricular activities, sport, transport and other practical matters.
You should contact the office at the university where you plan to study to find out what services are available to you.
Special scholarships (non-EU citizens)
Those non-EU citizens living outside Italy who benefit of:
• a scholarship allocated by the Italian Government on the basis of protocols executing cultural agreements, or of development cooperation programs, have to follow specific enrollment instructions issued by the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Ministero degli Affari Esteri – DGPCC, Ufficio VI, and DGCS Ufficio. IX).
• of scholarship granted by their respective Governments to cover the whole duration of their studies in Italy, in the framework of agreements between Italian universities and those of their own countries, have to meet the admission conditions included in such agreements.
Candidates from both the above categories have access to the Italian programs concerned in addition to the quotas reserved by individual institutions.

European School of Economics
• European University Institute
• Institute of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology
• International School for Advanced Studies
• Istituto Universitario di Architettura (Venezia)
• Istituto di Teologia Ecumenico-Patristica Greco-Bizantina «San Nicola»
• Libero Istituto Universitario Carlo Cattaneo
• Perugia University
• Politecnico di Bari
• Politecnico di Milano
• Politecnico di Torino
• Scuola Normale Superiore
• Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento Sant’Anna
• Universit degli studi di Brescia
• Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi
• Università degli Studi “Federico II” di Napoli
• Università degli Studi “Tor Vergata” (Roma)
• Università degli Studi dell’Aquila
• Università degli Studi di Bologna
• Università degli Studi di Camerino
• Università degli Studi di Catania
• Università degli Studi di Chieti “G.D’ANNUNZIO”
• Università degli Studi di Firenze
• Università degli Studi di Lecce
• Università degli Studi di Messina
• Università degli Studi di Milano
• Università degli Studi di Palermo
• Università degli Studi di Pisa
• Università degli Studi di Reggio Calabria
• Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”
• Università degli Studi di Siena
• Università degli Studi di Torino
• Università degli Studi di Trieste
• Università degli Studi di Udine
• Università degli Studi di Verona
• Università per Stranieri “Dante Alighieri” Reggio Calabria
• Universita G.d’Annunzio
• Universita di Cagliari
• Universita’ degli Studi di Pavia
• University Institute of Architecture
• University of Ancona
• University of Catania
• University of Modena
• University of Padua
• University of Parma
• University of Pisa
• University of Trento
• University of Venice

Best Italian Universities

1. Università di Bologna
2. Università degli Studi di Roma Sapienza
3. Università degli Studi di Padova
4. Università di Pisa
5. Università degli Studi di Firenze
6. Politecnico di Milano
7. Università degli Studi di Trieste
8. Università degli Studi di Pavia
9. Università di Siena

In Italy, Universities and other Higher Education Institutes establish their own fees but in the case of university education there is a legal minimum fee for enrolment and maximum level for student contributions to costs and services, which cannot exceed 20% of state funding.
The average fees a student has to pay is somewhere between 850 euro and 1,000 euro per year since this varies from one university to another and also depends on the chosen course of study. Private universities are clearly much more expensive.
Admission to “master universitari” and other specialization courses also have much higher fees. Doctoral students who receive a grant from the university do not pay fees, but non-grant holders are required to pay the fees, which will vary again according to the university chosen.


Spring or Fall
About $6000 to $8000 will be required depending on the location and university which includes tuition (15 credits), orientation program, airport pick-up, meals, personal expenses, transportation only for two faculty-led excursions, academic and personal advising, student activity and technology fee, mandatory public health policy and permit to stay processing. Health insurance charge shall be charged separately.
About $4000 to $5500 will be required depending on the location and university which includes tuition (6 credits), housing, orientation program, airport pick-up, meals, personal expenses, transportation for one faculty-led excursion, academic and personal advising, student activity and technology fee. Health insurance charge shall be charged separately.

Housing Options

Students contract to share a rented apartment organized through the student’s university’s approved real estate agency. Apartments are furnished and usually consist of 2-3 double-occupancy bedrooms, a living area, kitchen and bathroom. Telephone, linens, and access to a washing machine are provided.
Options for social activities will depend very much on where you study. Obviously the bigger cities like Rome, Venice, Florence etc and towns have more on offer but small towns often have very active student associations and a wider choice of outdoor activities. The best way to find out what is going on is to check with local students and student associations. The local papers will cover information on events taking place in the town or region.

Capital: Rome
Population: 57,998,353
Area: 301,323 sq km
Language: Italian, German
Religion: Roman Catholic
Continent: Europe