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Study in Italy

If you are looking to begin your higher education or expand the one that you have already began then Italy is the destination for you. As the home of Renaissance artists and polymaths like Da Vinci and Michael Angelo, Italy is considered as the cradle of modern education. 

Courses offered by the Italian education system is spread across the spectrum, as it covers courses from arts and music to all the way to research and technology. All of this and more is available at an affordable tuition fee, the lowest among all the other sister European countries.

The affordable tuition, refined education system, and local culture attract a student force of 32,000 international students, which includes students enrolled independently and also the ones traveling as part of an exchange program. 

Study in Italy intro

Italy is home to the oldest university, University of Bologna established in 1088, and many more renowned institutes, many of which find themselves in the 200 lists of QS World University Rankings. As education reformers, the city of Bologna, Italy has come up with ‘Bologna Reform’ to advance and better higher education all across Europe. The 97 universities of Italy are divided into many sub-sections. State Universities are funded by the state, whereas Publicly funded universities are funded by the province. Then there are the Private universities and the Superior Graduate Schools. The latter are considered to be great for post-graduate studies and advanced research work.

Though Italy would be a big no for students who would find the language barrier a problem. However, there are many institutes that offer courses in English for ease, and this should be treated as an opportunity to learn a new language, which is always a plus point. Bachelor’s degrees (Laurea) in Italy have a span of 3 years, after which you can pursue your masters (Laurea Magistrale) which would be a 1-year course. If you are ambitious, there are many 3-year Ph.D. courses that you can apply for. 

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Cost of Living while Studying in Italy

Study in Italy Cost living

As discussed above, education prices in Italy are the lowest compared to the other countries in Europe. In fact, they are considered to be lower than the universities present in the continent of North America. The universities are subdivided into different categories based on additional funding they get from varying sources. Therefore, it makes sense that universities that are funded by the state or the province go onto have lower tuition fees than privately owned universities. 

The average cost of a bachelor’s course in Italy can cost you anywhere from 1000 euros to 4000 euros for the academic year in state and province funded institute. At a private institute, however, the fees start at 6000 euros and go easily go up to 20,000 euros based in university and course applied for. The citizens of the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) will be in luck as their expenditure would be somewhere in the vicinity of an Italian citizen. International citizens, whose countries do not belong to the EU or EEA will end up paying higher.

It isn’t all gloom for the international students, as the universities in Italy have good financial aid plans which can help you bridge the pay gap. To have a better idea as to how the university can help you, contact the admissions department for further information. The financial aid provided by the universities depends on your financial situation and academic prowess. It is advisable to keep good academic scores as it may affect the amount of financial aid you become eligible for.

As the universities in Italy do not have campus housing, they do own housing off-campus which will be provided to the students depending on availability. The universities are really helpful this way and will accommodate you in whatever way possible. This may include finding private housing for you. Private housing isn’t cheap, so bunking in with a few roommates makes it easier on your wallet. The housing cost is also affected by which city you are in, as housing in Milan is costlier than what you would pay in Naples. 

Visa and Immigration for studying in Italy

Study in Italy Visa Process

The need for Visa would differ based on which country do you belong to. If the country you belong to is a part of the EU or EEA (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland) then you are in the clear, as you do not require a Visa. If hailing from a country other than mentioned above, a visa is mandatory. 

In order to apply for a visa, all students must provide accommodation details and comprehensive health insurance. More information on the visa application procedure can be found on the MAECI website. It’s a helpful tool that provides the necessary information based on the information you provide to it.

Non-EU and EEA students will have to apply for a residence permit at your local post office within 8 days of your arrival. EU and EEA students will have to do the same at the registered office, but only if they plan on staying for more than 3 months. If the process seems tedious, worry not as the university will help you through it.

In order to apply for a residence permit, the student must have health insurance. EU and EEA students can apply for the National Health Service (SSN) which will clear you for the same health coverage as an Italian citizen. Submit the application at the Local Health Authorities (ASL).

Non-EU and EEA students have three options for health insurance. 

  • Register with Italian Health Service after coming to the country
  • Private health insurance of your country, validated by the Italian embassy
  • Private health insurance in Italy, which can be applied for before you come to the country

Working while Studying in Italy

Working while getting an education can be stressful, but if managed well it can help you put some extra cash in your pocket. It also goes to look well on your resume and also give you an idea of good work ethics. Rules for students working in Italy depends on your nationality. As a national of EU or EEA getting work is easier as a student. You do not require a working permit and can be hired with ease. However, there is a restriction of 20 hours per week work time applicable when the university is in session. During breaks, this restriction is waived.

For students from any other countries getting work may be tough, but not impossible. The authorities will decide whether you are allowed for paid employment while your stay in Italy. If allowed, you would have a similar 20 hour per week restriction as to the EU/EEA students. Other than this, you won’t be allowed to be self-employed or own any business. If the planned stay in Italy is less than 6 months, then you are not allowed to work in any capacity. If you plan on working then learning Italian would work in your favor.

Study in Italy Work opportunities

Work after Studying in Italy

Italy has many job opportunities for students who have finished their higher education in the country. It would be advisable to have a good grasp of English and Italian by the time you start applying for work, as it will be a major requirement in you getting hired. For students of the EU, a residence permit will be a must to look for work. This can be extended for the duration of their work in Italy. But a specific work permit will not be required to look for work.

For non-EU students work permit as well as residence permits will be necessary. As a Ph.D. and second-degree Masters student, you can apply for an extended temporary residence permit after the course is finished. The student will have to be employed before the extension is over which will last 6 months, 12 months if the student works as an intern.

Top 5 Universities for Studying in Italy

1. Politecnico di Milano

Ranked 170th in the world, this prestigious university is primarily known for its engineering program and revered for its arts courses. The school is recognized for its art and design, architecture, mechanical and civil engineering, all of which ranked in the top 30 in QS World University Ranking by Subject (2017). The reputation of this University is best reflected by Giulio Natta, a Nobel Prize-winning laureate.

2. Universita di Bologna

One of the oldest universities to ever exist, the University of Bologna came to existence in 1088 and is ranked at 188 in the world ranking list. The institute has been a standard for higher education for decades and provides courses on engineering, architecture, business, medicine, surgery, etc. An institute which is renowned for education reform, they gave us the Bologna Reform which is today implemented all over European institutes.

3. Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa

 This institute was created under the instructions of Napoleon back in 1810. Today it holds the 192nd place in the world ranking of universities. It is a small institute and holds a student force of only 500, most of which enroll in their world-renowned physics and astronomy department. They hold the 18th place in the world for their research citations per faculty member.

Study in Italy Top Schools In Italy

4. Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna Pisa

This school is a part of the same university system as Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa and is also located in Pisa. This is a comparatively younger establishment, founded in 1987, however, it holds the same ranking as its parent university. The university is primarily known for there programs in applied sciences and research. 

5. Sapienza- Universita di Roma

Universita di Roma is yet another old university, though younger to the University of Bologna, established in 1303. Ranked at 223 in the world, this is the largest European university with a student force of 110,000, including 6000 international students. The university was the stomping ground of 6 Nobel prize winners.  

Italy has established itself as a home for the ones seeking knowledge ever since the 15th and 16th centuries. They have changed the way education is approached by institutes all over Europe. Choosing Italy for your higher education will not only benefit you academically but also expose you to a vibrant culture.

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