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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 recognised 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 specializing in postgraduate studies.

There are also certain non-university institutions of higher education, such as higher schools of design, schools of higher education in language meditation and schools of higher integrated education.

Italy has several levels of higher education. Completing undergraduate studies (bachelor’s degree – ‘laurea’) can lead to master’s studies and earning a master’s degree (‘laurea magistrale’). Undergraduate studies typically take 3 years to complete and master’s studies take 1 year. Following the completion of your masters studies you can continue with a PhD which usually lasts 3 academic years.

Most of the courses and programmes offered are taught in the Italian language but the number of English language programmes available is growing. This is particularly true for graduate level courses. Therefore, it may be possible to find courses and programmes taught in English if you wish to study in Italy but your Italian language skills are not good enough.

Document Checklist for Study Abroad

  • Copies of diplomas received from a tertiary institution or university (scanned),
  • Graduate Program English Language Requirement (optional),
  • An official transcript of all university-level courses taken in previous university.
  • by 5(cm) passport-sized photographs (two). Documentation of scores received for English and academic proficiency exams/tests. (if available), Photocopy of the student’s international travel passport.
  • Copy of birth certificate,
  • Academic transcripts for masters & PhD students
  • Receipt of tuition payment.
  • Italy language knowledge certificate (if any).
  • A letter of Acceptance issued by the tertiary education institution.
  • Curriculum vitae which must include your name, phone contact details, educational backgrounds, level of professional experience (if any), academic honors, awards and research publications (if any), leisure activities or hobbies, also references should be included.
  • Collegeor school leaving certificate.
  • Signed letter of recommendation from two or more reputable people.
  • Financial stability evidence.
  • PhD programme master thesis.
  • Medical examination report which includes TB, X-Ray, and Hepatitis B etc. Also international students are required to tender a medical examination certificate or report of fitness to the tertiary education institution of interest.
  • A brief not which includes the students’ goals and interests based on research or academic career.
  • A research project proposal which will be done during the doctorate/PhD studies.

Entry Requirements:

For the pre-Masters courses, typical entry requirements are at least 3 years of higher education and UK IELTS 5.5 (minimum of 5.0 in all skills).

If you do not meet the English language entry level but have at let UKVI IELTS 4.5 (minimum 4.0 in all skills) you can do a course that includes extended English and skills (EES).

Language Requirements

If you want to apply for direct entry to a degree at university in Canada, and your native language is not English, you must provide proof of your proficiency.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores are the most common language requirement for American universities. IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam scores are the most common language requirement for Canadian universities. But most universities will accept either test as proof of your English language ability. You can take TOEFL and IELTS exams at testing centers worldwide.

Intake: Students may be able to start in spring (January – April), summer (May – August) or autumn (September – November).


In order to fully appreciate life and study in Italy, you should be able to speak the Italian language. This will help you to get by in day to day situations and may also be important for your studies. Many programmes at Italian universities are taught in English, particularly business related courses, but most of the available courses are taught in Italian.

You may need to pass a proof of language proficiency test before you can start your studies or are able to enroll. If your Italian is not great, there are many language courses offered to international students so you can improve your language skills whilst you study, or before you arrive in Italy.

View all Courses in Italy

    Subjects you may be interested in studying in Italy
  • MBA
  • Sociology
  • Philosophy
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Economics
  • Business Management
  • Accounting
  • Product Design
  • Interior Design
  • Public Health
  • Law
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Environmental Science
  • Biology
  • Fashion Design

Tuition and Living Costs in Italy Costs and funding

Italy is such a great place for pursuing your study abroad dream and amazingly, it does not imply high costs. You can get high-standards education in one of the most renowned universities in the world and also see some of the most famous attractions, steeped in history and culture, all at very affordable prices. Here is some detailed information about costs for students in Italy.1.

University tuition fees in Italian universities

Tuition fees in public universities

    Public universities in Italy set their tuition fees according to the level of degree, and the study programme.
  • Average tuition fees: 850 and 1,000 EUR/year.
  • Tuition fees in prestigious public universities in Italy may exceed 1,000 EUR/ year.

In most institutions, EU students also benefit from lower tuition fees compared to non-EU students and some of the state universities in Italy set the tuition based on the student’s parental income. Tuition fees in private universities

Private universities in Italy usually charge higher tuition fees compared to public universities and most of them have the same fees for both EU and non-EU students.

The average tuition fees in private universities range from 6,000 to around 20,000 EUR/year.

Most affordable universities in Italy

You can now apply directly through Study portals to our university partner in the country, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, without paying any application fee. Free University of Bozen-Bolzano offers 13 Masters in subject areas like Business, Engineering, Computer Science and more, and ranks in top 10 small universities worldwide.

Tuition fees at top-ranked Italian universities

2. Living costs in Italy

The overall living costs for students in Italy range between 700 and 1.000 EUR/month, this including: accommodation, food costs, public transportation, local travel and/or entertainment.

Rome is just a little more expensive, compared to the rest of the Italian cities. Check the average monthly expenses for students in these student cities in Italy:

  • Bologna : around 750 – 1,100 EUR/month
  • Florence: around 850 - 1,300 EUR/month
  • Milano and Rome: between 850 and 1,450 EUR/month

Check the list with average prices in Italy.


Out of the total monthly expenses of EU students, they usually pay around 35 % on accommodation, 9% on transportation and around 12% on tuition fees. Rates for accommodation in Italy are in the international range of 250 – 350 EUR/month.

    On average, here are the prices students spend on housing, depending on the type of accommodation:
  • students that live alone: 400 EUR/month
  • students living in student accommodation: 250-300 EUR/month
  • students living with partner/child(rent): around 200 EUR/month.

A small percentage of 2% of the international students live in student halls of residence, the rest choose other housing options. Regardless of where they choose to live, 75% of students are very satisfied with their accommodation, which is above the average of 60%.

Food costs

In Italy, buying food from the supermarkets is not expensive, as you could spend on average 200 EUR/month. Lidl, Penny Market or Esselunga are known in Italy to have the lowest prices.

In Italian restaurants, lunch or dinner start with antipasto, (a sort of appetisers or hors d'oeuvres) a course consisting of various types of cold meat, seafood and vegetable dishes, with prices between 8 and 15 EUR.

In mid-range restaurants, pasta dishes are between 6 and 12 EUR, while the main fish or meat courses will normally cost between 8 and 16 EUR.

You should be aware of an important detail: any Italian restaurant will charge you for the bread and cover that is present on every table; this usually costs around 1–2.50 EUR per person.


The public transportation would be the easiest and most convenient method to travel in Italy.

A monthly bus/tram/metro ticket for students is somewhere between 25 and 35 EUR/month, depending on the city.

The train network in Italy is fast and well maintained, so visiting other cities in Italy is definitely an option. Fares start at around 20 EUR for a trip, but if you book earlier tickets, you could get discounts of up to 70%.

In Milan and other Italian cities, you can rent a bike for a daily 2.50 EUR or weekly 6 EUR

Extra costs

  • The monthly costs for phone bills and other utilities expenses can run to 140 EUR.
  • Entertainment and social activities can add another 30-40 EUR a week.
  • Books and other learning supplies and materials should cost you around 40 – 50 EUR/month.

Visa fee Now that you have an overview of tuition fees and living costs in Italy, you can start applying to universities. While you do that, don't forget to also check Italian student visa requirements if you are from outside the EU/EEA, which costs 50 EUR. Here are more details about it:

3. Scholarships and funding opportunities

In Italy, scholarships are offered by the Italian government at the national and regional level and Italian universities.

Many universities offer study programmes taught in English. Before starting a programme, you need to have a basic knowledge of the English language. Assess your level of English by scheduling the TOEFL® test.

  • Cost of Studying & Living in Italy

Tuition fees at Italian universities vary, but they are generally much lower than in other parts of Western Europe or North America, making Italian universities an enticing proposition for foreign students. Those who wish to study in Italy have a chance to receive a quality higher education at an affordable cost.

The cost of tuition fees depend upon several factors. The most important is whether the university in question is a state or a private institution. State universities have much lower  tuition fees. Tuition fees also depend on your country of origin; they are more affordable for EU students, but even non-EU students may find them more affordable than fees in other Western European or North American universities. Also, fees will depend on your chosen programme and level of study. For example, you can expect to pay around £680-£800 per year (€850 – €1,000) for undergraduate tuition fees.

Also bear in mind that state universities in Italy have a means-tested element to their tuition fees. This means the fees are weighted depending on a student’s parental income.

The next thing you need to consider is accommodation. Most Italian universities don’t have halls of residence, however they often provide accommodation services to help students to find appropriate rental apartments or shared rooms in the private rental market. These options usually come at a lower cost if you use the university services to find your accommodation.

There are various types of financial assistance you may be eligible to receive while studying in Italy. There are some scholarships available and international students are eligible to apply for student loans and grants. However, keep in mind that financial assistance is often merit-based or means-tested so it may not be available to all students. Check the websites of your chosen universities to learn about the scholarships and grants that might be available to you.

Another option you may wish to consider to help with your finances is to seek employment whilst you study. EU students can work in Italy without additional permission, while for non-EU students employment rights are regulated through your study visa status. To increase your chances of finding employment you will find it useful to have good Italian language skills.


The entry and visa regulations you need to complete to study in Italy will depend on several factors; first of which is your nationality.

    When it comes to your citizenship and visa requirements to study abroad in Italy:
  • If you are from EU: You don’t need a visa to study in Italy.
  • If you are from a non-EU country: You will probably need a student visa to study in Italy. For more details, contact the Italian embassy or consulate in your country and your desired university to inform yourself about the details on how to obtain your student visa.

Please note that visa requirements are not the only thing you need to think about. Anyone who wishes to study abroad in Italy, even if they are from the EU, need to have a residence permit. EU students have to apply for a residence permit within 3 months of arrival. For students outside EU, the conditions of your stay will be handled through your student visa.

Some other factors that may come into play are your level of study and the duration of your courses and programme.

All students will need to present details of accommodation, proof of financial stability and a comprehensive health insurance policy. For these reasons, it’s highly advisable to seek accommodation as soon as you’re accepted by an Italian university.

Another thing to keep in mind is your language proficiency. You need a high competency in Italian if your course and programmes are taught and delivered in Italian. You may need to complete a language test or show evidence of language proficiency.

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