Study in Italyby Amanda Fornecker
You've seen them in textbooks since you were young. The Roman ruins, paintings, and Italian cuisine have always been a point of interest for many. So why not make an Italian city your home for a semester abroad to experience a unique culture and the Italian language?
Fashion, Art & Architecture Students Love Italy
If you're eager to study fashion in Italy, you may delight in the offerings of a city like Milan. This Northern Italy city is one of the fashion capitals of the world. With fashion shows, high fashion designers, and a great selection of what's hot, Milan is the perfect location to study. Art majors may be in awe of something as famous as Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper.
For a city with a completely different feeling than any other place, a trip to Venice would be especially intriguing. This Italian city is centered completely around water canals instead of roads, a never-dull perks of studying abroad in Italy. You can walk the entire city of Venice and experience all it has to offer, including St. Peter's Square, where pigeons will provide a unique backdrop to your outdoor Italy study sessions. And since Venice is often said to be a city that is constantly sinking, those with an interest or a major in engineering may enjoy observing this Italian city.
Florence is an extremely exciting city, with students flooding the town. In fact, there is often a lot of English spoken in Florence, which makes adjusting to a foreign city somewhat easier. Florence actually has a rich history, as the Medici Family, which began it, ruled for many, many years. As the family appreciated the arts, they commissioned some of the greatest historical painters (Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Botticelli, and others) to create a variety of works that remain in Florence today... a big attraction for those art students eager for an education inspired by the masters.
If you're an architectural or engineering major, you may want to check out the nearby Italian city of Pisa. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is an architectural marvel that began its construction in the 12th century and ended up sinking into the ground once construction began on the 3rd level. It continues to stand slanted today in this picturesque town.
A Lesson in Italian Culture and History
Perhaps one of the most well-known cities in Italy is Rome and it's also a big draw for students from all backgrounds and disciplines. There you'll find many Roman ruins that you've always read about. From the Colloseum to the Pantheon to the Trevi Fountain, you'll be studying amidst great culture in Italy's capital city. Additionally, Vatican City is in the area and is a great sight to see, no matter what your religious denomination. Here you'll also find St. Peter's Basilica and the famed Sistine Chapel.
The food is always an exciting part of a culture for students in Italy. Italian cuisine is famous for its pizza, pasta, and pastries. Each region you visit may have a different type of flavor and character, but is well-known for being quite a delight.
There are many different places you can study when in Italy. Language majors will certainly appreciate the Italian language; art majors will love the culture; fashion majors might dress up with the exciting fashions; and engineering and architecture majors will love to explore the different cities. No matter where you study or where your home institution is, Italy presents all with a unique experience that's memorable, rich in history, and that will certainly last a lifetime.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are scholarships available?
Scholarships based on merit as well as financial need may be available from the Italian government, the government of your home country, and individual higher education institutions. Contact a local Italian Cultural Institute to determine your eligibility for financial assistance.
Can I stay in the country after I have finished studying?
You may stay in Italy as a tourist for three months after your studies without applying for permission to stay (permesso di soggiorno). If you'd like to work in Italy after you've completed your studies, you'll need to leave Italy before your study visa expires and return to your country of origin while you wait for your work permit to be approved. This generally three to five months after the permit was filed. Once you've been issued a work visa, which takes about 7 to 15 days, you may return to Italy to work.
Can I work while I am studying?
Students who are citizens of the European Union may work in Italy without a work permit. All other international students need a work permit, which is difficult to obtain due to the country's bureaucracy. It's best to plan on not working while you are studying in Italy.
Do I have to speak the country's native language to study there?
Though you do not have to be fluent in Italian to study in Italy, you must demonstrate a level of competence in the language. Unless you can provide documentation of appropriate prior study, you will have to take an Italian competency exam. Contact an Italian Cultural Institute in your country to learn more about Italian language qualifications.
What are the average tuition and living expenses?
Italian university fees average 850 to 1,000 euros per year, though private university fees can be much higher. Fees vary depending on the course and level of study. You'll also need about 1,000 to 1,500 euros per month to cover living expenses such as room, board, phone, local travel, and recreation. Of course, expenses in tourist areas and main cities, especially in northern Italy, are higher than they are in smaller towns.
What are the housing options available?
Most universities in Italy do not have residence halls but they do rent student apartments, which are less expensive than accommodations on the private market. Student accommodations also offer the option of renting a room rather than an entire apartment. If you prefer to secure housing on your own, you can find listings in local newspapers or through real estate agencies, but you will be charged finder's fees.
What are the visa application requirements?
In order to obtain a study visa for Italy, you must provide evidence of accommodations in Italy, adequate financial resources, international health insurance, and a ticket or sufficient funds to return to your home country after your period of study.
What exams will I need to take to get into schools in this country?
Aside from an Italian language competency exam, you will need to take an admission exam specific to your program of study and degree level. Contact
What is the application procedure to study in this country?
To study in Italy, you must complete applications for pre-enrollment and consular formalization of documents (dichiarazione di valore); these forms are available through the Italian Embassy in your country or online. To be considered for admission to an undergraduate degree program (1st cycle/ Laurea) at a school of your choice, you must have completed secondary studies and you must pass an entrance exam. Admission exams are administered in Italian.