by Mario Villani
Have you ever thought about studying in a country where you can have almost everything just around the corner such as skiing, beaches, and maybe the most amazing historical sites and art creations in Europe?
Did you often think you’d like to go further with your language skills and not just talk in English with everyone? Just going to a place where you would have to learn to speak the local language? Well then, you should look for a study option in Italy!
Here are some of the best 10 reasons to choose Italy as your international study location:
1. Plenty of top universities with an impressive international environment
Italy is a popular international study location not just due to its high multicultural ambience, but the country also has several top public and private universities.
The University of Bologna is a prestigious institution that marks the origin of the current Western higher education system as the oldest university in Europe. In addition, Bologna is on the list of top European cities that welcome the largest number of Erasmus students.
There are many other quality public universities available in Italy, such as:
- Politecnico Di Milano
- European School of Economics
- Sapienza University of Rome
- University of Macerata
- Ca' Foscari University of Venice
- Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
2. Italy is an affordable destination for international students
Italy is one of the most affordable countries in Europe where you can study abroad and that goes for tuition fees and living costs as well.
- Average tuition for all degree types: 850 to 1,000 EUR/year
- Average living expenses: 700 to 1,000 EUR/month for housing, food, transportation and fun
- Most expensive cities: Rome, Milan and Bologna
- Cheaper cities: Pisa, Padua, or Turin
Find out more details about living costs in Italy.
3. Easy ways to travel the country
Italy allows you to ‘jump’ a bus or train for just a few Euros to escape from the cold and foggy Milano, or from the chaotic Bologna, to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Almost every big city is also perfectly connected to European and non-European countries with 87 airports. You can easily travel by train, all the bigger Italian cities are interconnected with 77 (main-) railway stations. That makes life easier for many students that do not like travelling by car or by plane.
4. A country full of wonders
While you’re enjoying the international student status in Italy, it would really be a shame not to take advantage of the privilege of living close to numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Yes, Italy beats any country at this, counting 51 heritage sites that speak about the cultural and historical past of Italy.
Imagine first-hand how the gladiators fought in the Colosseum, take a picture holding the Leaning Tower of Pisa, get lost on the streets and canals of Venice, and explore the centre of the Catholic faith in Vatican City. Learn a little Italian history and geography and visit Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius.
Check out what these students thought about their study experience in Italy:
- Purna studied in Bolzano
- Veronika studied in Bologna
- Sebastian studied in Rome
- Ida studied in Milan
- Esteban studied in Naples
5. No pineapple on your pizza!
Italians are famous for their pizza; sure, you can eat pizza anywhere in this world but you can only find “the real pizza” in Italy. I’m not sure anyone discovered the secret ingredient but the truth is you’ll have to taste it to convince yourself that it is unique. Pizza in Italy is also more refined so don’t expect to see tons of toppings over it and don't even think you'll find pineapple on it, either!
As for pasta, you can enjoy them in all sizes and forms, cavatelli, ravioli, orecchiette, tagliatelle and most restaurants will serve homemade pasta.
Italians take great pride in their coffee and as for beer, leave it to the truck drivers. Start enjoying good Italian wines instead. A good bottle can start for as little as three Euros.
6. Late nights are a given in Italy
Compared to other countries in the southern part of Europe, life in Italy starts and ends late in the evening. At 8 p.m. the streets are full of life, and sometimes this is the time when life just begins. In many other European cities, at 6 p.m., the city looks like it switched off all of a sudden. There are no people around anymore and the ambient was really driving us to depression. This is definitely not going to happen in Italy!
In an Italian university city, going for a walk at 9 or 10 p.m., especially in spring-summer-fall, makes you feel ‘in good company’, always surrounded by people. In the southern part, most shops have the closing time at 8:30 p.m. and that makes life easier for students who always forget to get food before closing time.
7. So many English-taught degrees you won't know what to choose
In Italy, you can find a suitable study programme in any field you can imagine, from Arts to Computer Science, many of which are English-taught. See which are the most popular study programmes taught in English. Here are a few options you can consider, depending on your chosen university:
- International Relations in Italy
- MBAs in Italy
- Electrical Engineering in Italy
- Computer Science in Italy
- Architecture in Italy
- Fashion Design in Italy
You would have to pass around 20 exams to successfully complete a degree (around eight exams in each academic year) and most of them are oral exams. In some specialised fields, such as medicine or engineering, you will be required to pass 40 or 50 exams. Oral examinations make life easier for a lot of students, but if you’re shy you might feel a bit uncomfortable with this kind of examination. But adjusting to this type of exams is a good exercise for developing your communication abilities.
8. The ridiculous graduation ritual
In Italy, graduate students have to go through a ridiculously funny ritual. After the official ceremony, students dress up in goofy costumes (usually a giant diaper, a hula skirt, or a funny hat), sit on a bench and wait for their peers and family to clutter them with either ketchup, eggs or other food substances. Students also hang around posters representing caricatures with an embarrassing anecdote of their colleagues.
9. Surrounded by arts, architecture and fashion
Particularly students who chose Italy to study a degree in fields like art, architecture or fashion will never regret their decision. Even if you came to Italy to study anything else, you will surely appreciate these emblematic features of the Italian culture.
Italy is the birthplace of Renaissance art, everywhere you go in Italy, you'll see nothing but architectural wonders that stood the test of time and as for fashion, what else is there to say? It's a well-known fact that Italians are elegant and sharp dressers and they owe it to several famous fashion brands and houses.
10. Great place to meet your soulmate
Italy is one of the most romantic places on earth. After all, Shakespeare’s most famous work ‘Romeo and Juliet’ talks about a love story that happened in Verona, Italy. Leaving the tragic part aside, finding your true ‘amore’ in Italy is quite possible. Italian guys chase after girls easier than in other countries, using their charms to complement them.
The specialists can be found in the biggest cities frequented by tourists. And let's not forget how romantic the Italian language sounds! There are plenty of language courses to help you master the language of Latin romance.
Apart from that, Italy is filled with wonderful and charming attractions that will make you dream with your eyes open and even if you won’t find your soul mate, you’ll certainly fall in love with Italy.
Still not enough? Check out some reasons why Bachelor's students should go to Italy.
Student visa requirements for Italy
Just before you fall in love with Italy, don't forget to check student visa requirements. EU students have free passage to this land of wonder, and if you are from outside the EU/ EEA you'll need to do a bit of visa applying first, with a bit of help from an Italian embassy or consulate in your country: