Italy or officially the Italian Republic is a European country consisting of peninsula  delimited by the Italian Alps and surrounded by several islands. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea and traversed along its length by the Apennines, Italy has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. The country covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and shares open land borders with France, Slovenia, Austria and Switzerland. With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.

Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world’s most culturally and economically advanced countries, with its economy ranking eighth-largest in the world and third in the Euro zone by nominal GDP. Italy has the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth, the third-largest central bank gold reserve, and a very high life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military, cultural and diplomatic affairs; it is both a regional power and a great power, and is ranked the world’s eighth most-powerful military. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Schengen Area and many more. The country have greatly influenced and contributed to diverse fields, notably the arts, music, literature, philosophy, science and technology, fashion, cinema, cuisine, sports, as well as jurisprudence, banking and business. As a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy is home to the world’s largest number of World Heritage Sites and is the fifth-most visited country.


In the last few years, Italy has become increasingly popular among international students, who go to the country to take advantage of its high standard of education and multiple academic options that are available.

English Language

This is bound to shock most of you, as there is the very common misconception that one cannot pursue higher education in Italy if one does not know Italian language. This is simply not true! Yes, there was a time when one needed to learn Italian language to be able to study in Italy, but today, the colleges and universities conduct their classes, programmes and courses in English. This means that international students, whether their Italian is decent or poor, can now study in any of the universities in italy.

Joy of Living

Italy is a country of food, fashion and football. And we all know how dull and monotonous life gets if there is no scope for refreshing and rejuvenating ourselves every once in a while. The famous proverb of “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” sums up the lesson quite well. So it is important that along with working, one gets the opportunity to enjoy the living of life. Italy owns a culture where work is worshipped, but living life is never sidelined. So an international student who wants to study abroad Italy will get plenty of options to enjoy his or her stay in the country, along with working hard for building a bright future.

A refined research venture

Italy has traditionally produced a large number of scientists and researchers. It has one of the best infrastructure for research and development. Every year, it invests a huge amount of money to ensure that the quality of research done in its labs remains one of the topmost in the world. It is this dedication and determination that has helped Italy bring home the prestigious Nobel a number of times. Italy, particularly is very well known for its research and development activities in and contributions to the automobile industry.

A world-class monetary power

Italy has a highly advanced capitalist mixed economy, which is the third-largest in Europe and the eighth-largest in the world. It is one of the world’s most industrialised nations, and one of the leading countries in trading and export. It is the sixth-largest manufacturing country. The automobile industry has over one 1,44,000 firms, and employs a staggering 4,85,000 people, contributing 8.5 percent to the Italian GDP. Italy is home to top automobile brands like Fiat, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, etc. Naturally, Italy is ranked eighth in the highest quality of life index.

Academic Stature

The reason why Italy has traditionally produced Nobel winners, and is one of the top manufacturers in the automobile industry is that the country invests a large amount of money every year in research and development. Free education is an initiative that has bolstered its academic standard in a major way. Also, education is mandatory till the age of sixteen. The country’s world-class infrastructure and firm resolve to promote the best talent, whether home-grown or foreign, ensures that it maintains its high academic standard even today, amidst stiff global competition.

Education System in Italy

Like many countries, Italy consists of an education system that is of three levels. Whether you have just completed your schooling, or a graduate student, you are covered. Italy always maintains the parallel international standards when it comes to Education.

General life as a student in Italy

Since a large number of students go to study in Italy every year to pursue higher studies, an international student never feels isolated and alone. Study abroad Italy therefore means the chance to meet a lot of new people from different countries, and making friends. This broadens one’s horizons and prepares him or her for a bright future in any part of the world. Other than educational facilities, one can get involved in sports, and other co-curricular and extracurricular activities. Plus, education in Italy costs lesser than in most European nations! Overall, student life in Italy is a memorable one.

Working while studying in Italy

This is the best aspect of studying in Italy. Whether a student is studying to become a graduate, or is pursuing Masters, he or she can find employment that will help him or her to earn while studying for a degree. Living in a foreign country requires money, and working while studying is a great way to earn it. In fact, one can continue working after graduation. The government allows that if the students seek the necessary permissions.

Hence, whether a student wants to pursue graduate or post graduate programmes in Italy, the country will offer the best infrastructure and scholarships to ensure that the process of education is not hampered in any way. Italy, therefore is one of the most suitable countries for pursuing higher education, for Indian students. For more information on the why and how, as well as other requirements to study in Italy, one may get in touch with the Italian embassy, or simply give us a call!

Italy is a vibrant and historical country, set at the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. Its history, art, culture, cuisine and architecture are richer than most European nations. It is the country where Renaissance began. Italy has given the world a large number of legends in the fields of scholars, artists, explorers, etc. It was the home to Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Michelangelo, Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, and many more. Even today, the country is a major economic force in the world; it has the eighth largest GDP in the world.

Top student cities and Universities in Italy:

Not only Rome and Milan, Italy is home to some of the world’s most historically significant places. All you need to do is to find the right balance of excellent education and tremendous quality of life. Italy will not only take care of your academics, but will help you with the wisdom of its own. What are the best places you can go and study abroad in Italy? Find out here:Top student cities and Universities in Italy


Italy is located in Southern Europe, between 35 and 47 degree north latitudes and 6 and 19 degrees east longitudes. On its north, Italy has France, Austria, Slovenia and Switzerland, and on its south it has the entire Italian Peninsula, along with the Mediterranean islands of Sicily and Sardinia. There are a few other smaller islands, in addition to the two already mentioned. San Marino and Vatican City are sovereign states that are enclaves inside Italy. The country’s total area is 3,01,230 square kilometres, of which 2,94,020 square kilometres is land and 7,210 square kilometres is water.


While inside Italy, one has plenty of options to move around the country. There are trains, buses and airways. Flying saves a significant amount of time, so many prefer air-travel while inside the country. Alitalia is the major airline. For domestic flights, one can also avail the services of Meridiana and Blue Express. Italy also has an excellent network of trains. Trenitalia is the national carrier, and a dedicated website eases travel for its large number of customers. Italy offers high-speed rail options for travelers between major cities. Trenitalia has Freccibianca, which travels at two kilometres per hour, Frecciargento, which travels at two hundred and fifty kilometres per hour, and Frecciarossa, which travels at three hundred and sixty kilometres per hour. A tourist will also have the option of hiring a private train, which has attractive interiors, Wi-Fi and movie theatres. One can also avail the services of boats, as the country has a four thousand mile coastline, some major lakes and islands, and the entire city of Venice on water. Also, one can rent cars, travel by bus, and rent a Vespa.


Roman Catholicism is the largest religion of the country. In the year 2010, the Roman Catholic population in Italy was roughly eighty-one percent. However, from 1985, Roman Catholicism is not the official state religion. There are other minority Christian faiths like the Eastern Orthodox, Waldensians, and some Protestant communities. Judaism is also a very popular faith in Italy, as Jews have been living in Rome since before the birth of Christ. Italy has always been very welcoming to Jews; even the ones expelled from other countries.

Politics and Economy:

Italy has a parliamentary government based on the system of proportional voting. The parliament has two houses- the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic and these have the same powers. The Prime Minister is the President of the council of Ministers and heads the government. He is appointed by the President of Italy, and needs to pass a vote of confidence to take the high office. The three major political parties in Italy are Democratic Party, Forza Italia and Five Star Movement.

Italy has an advanced capitalist mixed economy, which is the third-largest in Europe and the eighth-largest in the world. It is a founding member of the G7. Italy is a very developed country, and the world’s sixth largest manufacturing nation. It is also the seventh-largest auto-maker. Fiat, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati are the country’s top products from the automobile industry.


Study abroad Italy effectively means gathering credits to finally earn an undergraduate degree. Education in Italy is free and mandatory for students aged six to sixteen. Students who have passed high school in their home countries can pursue a wide range of courses across disciplines in the country to become a graduate. One may also opt for a post-graduate, or a similar degree programme, commonly known as Masters, to establish oneself in a prosperous career in future. Living in Italy is a culturally rich experience, because the country has been a hub of inspirational art and architecture for centuries. After completion of studies in Italy, and even while pursuing higher education, one can choose to work part time or full time. This, along with the fact that most of the courses in the colleges and universities are conducted in English makes Italy the perfect destination for South Asian students.

Since the first modern University in Europe was founded in Bologna in 1088, Italy has generated a vast expertise in applied sciences, such as Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo Galilei, fathers of the scientific method. Later, when the modern world was learning the language of industrialization, Guglielmo Marconi was setting the roots for what years later would become wireless communication. And today, while the whole world speaks the digital language, Italy developed the first commercial desktop computer, known as P101, and soon after the Italian physicist Federico Faggin was inventing the first commercial microprocessor.

Italy reveals its fluency also in the language of physics, thanks to extraordinary personalities such as Fabiola Giannotti who led the project which brought to the discovery of the Higgs Boson, as well as in the language of neuroscience, through the discovery of mirror neurons by the outstanding neurophysiologist Giacomo Rizzolatti.

Such incredible achievements are the result of an exceptional educational system based on solid notions, rigorous scientific method and creative approach which together foster critical thinking, flexibility and the ability to solve complex problems. The Maria Montessori method and the Reggio Children approach are landmarks of a child-centered education methodology that have been implemented in 20,000 schools all over the world.

It all started under the arcades of Italian Universities that have always been driven by its passion for Research and Innovation. Italy proudly holds the highest rate record of academic publications on research magazines of excellence in Europe, with a focus on biology, natural sciences, physics, pharmacy, medicine, mathematics and computer science. Italian researchers and professors are highly appreciated and hired in the most renowned International Universities.

With 61 vibrant public universities, 30 private universities and 11 public research organizations, groundbreaking university programs, AFAM (Centers for higher artistic education) and 339 courses held in English, Italy will teach you more than Italian.


Tuition fees at Italian universities are generally more affordable than in other parts of Western Europe or North America. Italy is renowned for an excellent higher education at an affordable cost mainly because of publicly financed universities. The cost of tuition fees depend upon several factors. Public universities have much lower tuition fees than private universities. The quality of education, however, is comparably high at all institutions of higher education.

Regular fees for EU and Non-EU students depend on the students family income and on the program you are applying for, from a minimum of 900€ to a maximum of 4.000€ at a public University. For private universities, fees range from 6.000€ to around 20.000€ per year .The tuition fees may be waived by the merit based scholarships offered every year by the Universities to talented international students. Fees, however, do not include accommodation and books.


The Italian Higher Education System includes:

  • Universities
  • The Higher Education for Fine Arts, Music and Dance sector (AFAM- acronym for Alta Formazione Artistica e Musicale)
  • Higher Technical Institutes (ITS – acronym for Istituti Tecnici Superiori)

Universities are also divided into privately and publicly funded institutions. The quality of the education, however, is comparably high at all institutions of higher education. International students can apply to Italian Universities only if they have an educational qualification that allows them to enroll. This qualification of secondary education has to be awarded after a study period of at least 12 years. If the educational qualification has been awarded in less than 12 years, it has to be accompanied by the academic certification of the examinations taken or a post-secondary title to compensate for any missing years of secondary education (check


Universities offer strong theoretical and academically-oriented degree programmes and a broad range of disciplines. Some universities are specialized in certain subject areas, such as Polytechnics. The University sector is organized as follows:

Undergraduate Degree: Laurea

Graduate Degree: Laurea Magistrale

Postgraduate Degree (PhD): Dottorato di Ricerca

Specializing Masters and Continuing Education Programs

Undergraduate Degree: Laurea                         

The Laurea, which is equivalent to a Bachelor of Science in the European university system, is an undergraduate degree obtained after a three-year programme of study. The requirement for admission to first cycle degree (laurea triennale/corso di laurea di primo livello) is the diploma awarded at the end of secondary school.  Students are admitted if they have a high school diploma or another qualification taken abroad and recognized in Italy.

Entry to undergraduate degree programs can either be restricted or open, or can be subject to a motivational test or entry examination. Once the student obtains the Laurea, he can either directly enter the job market or continue his studies applying to the Laurea Magistrale (equivalent to Master of Science) or to a 1st level university Master’s Degree.

Graduate Degree: Laurea Magistrale

The Laurea Magistrale degree, which is equivalent to a Master of Science in the European university system, is obtained after two years of graduate studies and aims to provide rigorous, advanced training in specific sectors. A first cycle degree is required for admission. They offer training in specific sectors and have a focus on professional skills. Those who already hold a Laurea in a different field and want to obtain a Laurea Magistrale certificate must first obtain the necessary credits. Students are admitted with a degree or a qualification taken abroad and recognized in Italy. Once completed, the Laurea Magistrale program gives access to a Doctoral program. The University sector also offers Lauree Magistrali a Ciclo Unico, they can be five or six year degree program. Lauree Magistrali a Ciclo Unico is usually offered in the following fields of study: Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy, Architecture, Law.

Postgraduate Degree (PhD): Dottorato di Ricerca

The PhD degree is the highest level of university education and requires that candidates pass a comprehensive examination and complete original research leading to a dissertation. The PhD academic qualification is obtained after a program of study and research lasting at least three years under the supervision of a Board of Professors. The aim of this course is to provide students with a high level of education in order to prepare students for college faculty and research scholar positions, or for other careers that require advanced knowledge and research skills.

Specializing Masters and Continuing Education Programs

Some universities also offer a specialization or post-graduate degree course aimed at increasing students’ professional education (1st and 2nd level university Master’s Degrees). These courses aim to provide the knowledge and skills required for carrying out the functions required by particular professional activities. They qualify people to work in such professions and aim to train specialists for certain professional sectors. Please remember that this qualification is not part of the European university system as defined in Bologna in 1999 and the qualifications are not always internationally recognized.


University studies are based on a system of university credits (Crediti Formativi Universitari) to evaluate and measure the workload teaching hours and the higher education effort of every single course. 

Credits also measure the student workload.

  1. The credits represent the total student workload which is required to pass the examination and include class attendance, classwork, laboratory work and individual study. It is also possible to obtain credits for other training courses, or project works or theses, internships, foreign languages, basic computing skills, training in communication and public relations and group work.
  2. One credit corresponds to a workload of about 25 hours and the yearly workload for an average study course corresponds to about 60 credits which is equivalent to 1500 hours.
  3. Each subject is assigned a number of credits which the student can obtain after passing the final examination. Exams are graded using a grading scale of 30, where 18 is the minimum passing grade and 30 cum laude the highest grade.
  4. It is strictly necessary to obtain 180 credits (CFU) to accomplish the Undergraduate Degree (Laurea Triennale) and subsequently you must achieve other 120 credits (CFU) to accomplish the Graduate Degree (Laurea Magistrale). Lauree Magistrali a Ciclo Unico require 300 or 360 credits (CFU) to accomplish the Graduate Degree. 


AFAM institutions offer a wide range of courses in the artistic field such as visual arts, musical, dance, drama and design.

AFAM institutions are divided as following:

  • Academies of Fine Arts (State and legally recognized)
  • Higher Schools of Design (ISIA)
  • State Music Conservatories
  • Higher Institutes for Musical Studies
  • National Dance Academy
  • National Academy of Drama

The AFAM system is organized in three cycles:

First cycle

It includes courses of the “Diploma accademico di primo livello” (“First level academic degree”) which have the aim of guaranteeing to students a sufficient command of artistic methods and techniques and the acquisition of specific professional competences. The minimum requirement is the “Diploma di Maturità” or an equivalent foreign qualification and admission is dependent upon passing eventual entry tests designed to verify a sufficient initial competence.

Classification: Bologna process first cycle qualification/EQF level 6

Workload: 180 ECTS

Duration: 3 years

Further studies: admission to Diploma accademico di secondo livello; Diploma accademico di specializzazione (I) and Diploma di perfezionamento or Master (I).

Second cycle

It is composed of “Diploma accademico di secondo livello” (“Second level academic degree”) courses which offer the student an advanced level of education for the full command of artistic methods and techniques and for the acquisition of highly qualified professional competences. Access to these courses is subsequent to the First level academic degree or a comparable foreign qualification and admission is regulated by specific requirements.

Classification: Bologna process second cycle qualification/EQF level 7

Workload: 120 ECTS

Duration: 2 years

Further studies: admission to Diploma accademico di formazione alla ricerca; Diploma accademico di specializzazione (II) and Diploma di perfezionamento or Master (II).

Third cycle

It comprises “Diploma accademico di formazione alla ricerca” courses which have the aim of supplying the necessary competences for research activities.

Access: by a Second level academic degree or a comparable foreign degree.

Duration: minimum 3 years.


Higher Technical Institutes are strongly practice-oriented. Programs provide theoretical background and prepare students for the real-world requirements of professional life. Internships and practical semesters form an integral part of the course: students are asked to work in a private company for at least 30% of the course or to apply for an internship abroad. This requirement creates a strong linkage between students and firms in order to develop innovation skills. At least 50% of teachers come from companies and firms to share their expertise with students.

The courses cover 6 main technological areas:

  1. Energy efficiency
  2. Sustainable Mobility
  3. New Technologies for Life
  4. Innovation Technologies for Cultural activities and Tourism
  5. Information and Communication Technologies
  6. New Technologies for Made in Italy

At the end of the courses, students are evaluated with a final test; frequency of at least 80% of the course is a mandatory requirement. Students obtain a “Diploma di Tecnico Superiore”, together with the EUROPASS diploma supplement – which facilitate the Diploma circulation in both Italy and the European Union.

Classification: Diploma of Higher Education/EQF level 5.

Duration: 2/3 years.

Students’ performance may be assessed in various ways, about which information is provided in each Course Unit description. In most instances there is a final, usually oral, exam.
In all cases, in the Italian grading system, students are graded according to a scale ranging from 0 to 30, with 18 as a passing mark. A cum laude may be added to the highest grade (30 e lode), as a special distinction. The lowest passing grade is 18. The grades from 18 to 30 are all used. Actual grading curves differ in different degree programmes. The University of Pisa provides an ECTS Grading Table, which shows the actual distribution of examination and final grades among students of each degree programme, in order to facilitate comparison with other grading systems.
Please note that students whose performance is judged below their potential may be allowed to resit an exam in subsequent session, as in principle the objective is for each student to reach the highest level he/she is capable of. For this reason the grading curve tends not to follow a normal “bell” pattern.
When the student graduates, a final numerical grade for the entire degree programme is also given. The minimum passing mark for the final degree is 66/110, whereas the maximum is 110/110. For outstanding students degrees may be awarded a cum laude distinction. Once again, the actual distribution varies substantially from degree programme to degree programme. In the Diploma Supplement a distribution table for the specific degree programme is provided, to facilitate the interpretation of the final numerical grade.
The Credit System (ECTS)
The European Credit Transfer System is used to measure the student’s workload of every single course. Credits measure the workload of class attendance, classwork, laboratory work and individual study. It is possible to obtain credits for other training courses, or project works, group works, thesis, internships, knowledge of foreign languages or basic computing skills, and training in communication and public relations.
One credit corresponds to a workload of about 25 hours and the yearly workload for an average study course corresponds to about 60 credits.Each subject is assigned a number of credits which the student obtains when s/he passes the final examination.

Why programme accreditation?

In Italy the system of accreditation of university degree programmes started in 2001.On the one side, universities had just designed the new degree programmes and were applying to the State for funding. On the other side, in order to allocate funds efficaciously the Ministry of Education (MIUR) requested the cooperation of the National Committee for the evaluation of the university system (CNVSU); the Committee should elaborate a system of programme accreditation so that only those degree programmes that could successfully go through the whole process would benefit of the ministerial financial support.

The Italian system of programme approval and accreditation: the actors

The procedures for the accreditation of degree programmes have been agreed upon by a technical team made up by CNVSU, MIUR , CRUI and CNSU.


The National committee for the evaluation of the university system (CNVSU) is the institutional body entrusted with the following tasks: determine the general criteria for the evaluation of all universities; draw up an annual report on the evaluation of the university system; promote the experimentation and implementation of quality assessment procedures, methodologies, and praxes; define the type and nature of information and data that individual universities have to transmit periodically to the Committee itself; elaborate and execute an annual plan of external assessment sessions concerning individual institutions or single teaching units inside them; carry out technical evaluations concerning the propsals of establishing new State or non-State universities with a view to authorize them to award legal degrees; draw up reports on the actual situation of university planning (state of accomplishment and results), carry out research and prepare documents on the condition of university education, the state of student welfare services with a view to fully implement social justice and democracy in education, and on the policies regulating the access to university programmes; accomplish studies and produce documents to define the criteria for the redistribution to universities of the balance quota from the total fund for their ordinary financing; on the Minister’s request, carry out further activities related to quality assurance such as preliminary investigations, advisory sessions, definitions of

standards and parameters as well as elaboration of technical legal texts; all this also with reference to the different activities of individual universities and to the projects and proposals they submit to the Ministry.

CNVSU enjoys the legal status as an independent body interacting autonomously with individual universities and the Ministry of Education, University and Research; benefits from a technical and administrative secretariat and a specific budget item.


The Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) was established in 1999. It was attributed the facilities, financial resources, staff and functions of the former Ministry of Education (MPI) and Ministry for universities and scientific and technological research (MURST). As concerns the specific sector of university education, MIUR carries out the functions pertaining to the State competence: planning of the development of both the university and the research system; legislation on general education matters and financing of universities and public research bodies; monitoring and evaluation of the education system; transposition of

the EU and international legislation into the Italian education system; European harmonization and international integration; full implementation of university 19 autonomy; supervision of non-university institutions ranking at university level; rationalization of the conditions regulating university access; participation in the activities related to the access to the civil service and regulated professions; connection between university and school education as well as vocational and professional training.


The Conference of the Italian University Rectors (CRUI) is an association made up of the rectors of all Italian universities, both State and non-State but legally recognized. CRUI pursues the following goals: a) adequately illustrate the needs of the university system to governmental and parliamentary authorities, after an in-depth analysis of all questionable issues; b) express its views on the university development plan and on the actual state of university education; c) promote and support university initiatives at national and international level by developing close relations with similar associations within and outside the European Union.


The National Council of University Students (CNSU) has been conceived as an advisory body made up of representatives of the students enrolled in the different programmes at Italian universities. The student council elaborates proposals for the Minister on: a) projects for the restructuring of the university system; b) ministerial decrees fixing the general guidelines for the organisation of the different degree courses, and providing means and methods to promote student guidance and mobility; c) criteria for the use of the balance quota, that is the amount of the total fund for the ordinary university funding which is determined through the so-called requilibrium formula. Besides, CNSU: d) elects its own representatives at CUN (National University Council); e) may submit proposals on other university matters of general interest; f) draws up for the Minister a national report on student conditions within the university system; g) may interrogate the Minister about events or facts of national consequence as concerns teaching and student life.


University proposals for the setting up of new degree programmes are subject also to the advice of the National University Council. CUN is an elective body representative of university autonomy. It formulates proposals as well as compulsory advice on: a) university planning b) criteria for the use of the balance quota from the fund for the ordinary financing of universities; c) decrees regulating the structure of degree programmes; d) the definition of subject sectors; e) recruitment of university teachers and researchers. Italian universities have set up a system for the internal evaluation of their operational management, teaching and research activities, student welfare services. Availing themselves, among other means, also of comparative analyses of costs and results, all institutions check such factors as the correct use of public resources, research and teaching productivity, the regular development and the fairness of their managerial operations. At each institution the evaluation action is entrusted with a collegial body, the so-called “university evaluation unit”, whose composition, objectives and functions are regulated by the university statute: it is made up of min. 5 up to max. 9 appointed members; at least two of them are chosen among scholars and researchers experienced in the field of quality assessment, even if not belonging to the academic environment. University evaluation units are granted the following 20 rights: operational autonomy, access to all necessary information and data, publicity and diffusion of their proceedings within the legal limits of the respect for privacy. Evaluation units periodically collect students’ opinions on the teaching activities of the respective institutions; anonymity is granted. With respect to the new degree programmes, the approval and accreditation process took advantage of a recent informational infrastructure, i.e. the database on the educational offer of all Italian universities (<>), which was worked out to meet two chief requirements:

  • provide a telematic support to the elaboration stages of the new degree programmes, from their planning to the ministerial approval and the control of minimum quality standards;

provide full information on the educational offer of individual universities and on the teaching content of all their programmes (these are described by means of a common standardised grid); such a complete information was primarily intended -and still is- to facilitate students’guidance towards university matriculation.

Italian universities have student services and housing offices that manage university housing facilities and can provide information also on renting student apartments, which are generally more affordable than accommodation on the private market. Common types of university accommodation are university dorms (residenze universitarie e case dello studente), university guestrooms (foresterie – usually for short stays), and university colleges or residences (collegi o residenze universitarie).For further information check the following link

Admission to university residencies is usually based on selection on the basis of the student’s financial status and on merit. It’s common that students rent a room rather than the whole apartment.Student housing in Italy is more expensive in bigger cities and can range from €300-600 a month, depending on the size and location

For non-EU citizens

The immigration law requires you to take out a health insurance during your stay in Italy.

  • If you take out a private insurance in your country, please remember that, in order to be valid in Italy for obtaining the residence permit, it needs to have the following requirements:
  • it has to be taken out in the holder’s name (in western characters)
  • it has to be written in Italian (or in English, French, Spanish)
  • validity in the Schengen Area/Italy
  • it states the exact coverage period (it must be not less than 6 months and maximum 1 year; notice that the duration of the residence permit will be connected to the duration of the insurance)
  • it must clearly written the type of coverage for the medical expenses and it must have € 30,000 ceiling (expressed/converted in Euros) 
  • The whole document has to be endorsed and stamped by the Italian Embassy/Consulate in your country.
  • As an alternative, once in Italy you can take out a private insurance through an Italian insurance company that will cover urgent medical assistance (surgery and accidents) in the Emergency Room (Pronto Soccorso) of any hospital.
  • Otherwise, upon the arrival, it is possible to subscribe to the Italian National Health Service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale – S.S.N.). At present the price for students is € 149.77 a year; the payment is valid for a calendar year, that is, until the 31st of December of the year when the payment has been made. In order to subscribe, first you have to pay € 149.77 at any post office, by filling in the F24 form (MODELLO F24). After submitting your residence permit application, you have to go to the A.S.L. office in the area where you live (A.S.L. are the local administrative and operative facilities of the National Health Service) and apply for the subscription, bringing along: your passport, the residence permit receipt, the paying-in slip receipt for MODELLO F24. The public coverage provided by the National Health Service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale) provides full health assistance – including the possibility to choose a family doctor. In the Italian health system, the family doctor gives general or 1st level health assistance, i.e., health care outside the hospital, hence including medical treatment in case of ordinary diseases or no-emergency health problems, and prescribes medicines and tests. IMPORTANT: before paying the F24 form you are suggested to ask for details to the Foreign Citizens Office.
  • Lastly, those who have a document proving their right to health assistance on the basis of treaties and bilateral agreements signed by Italy and one’s own Country, which has been issued by the Italian Embassy/Consulate in their Country, can show this document to make use of the health services stated in the agreement. For more information, it is necessary to apply to the A.S.L. in the area of residence.
For EU Citizens

Students from the European Union member countries, who upon the arrival have the TEAM card or the E106 Form (statement of the original European Health Card issued by their country), can have access to the same services as the Italian citizens, offered by the Italian National Health Service (SSN).

The assistance of a family doctor is guaranteed if you have an ID card (identity card) and the original European Health Card (TEAM) or a substitutive statement (Modello E106). In this case it is possible to go directly to a family doctor affiliated with the National Health Service, both for health problems and/or to ask for medical prescriptions. The ASL (Local Health Authority) will request the reimbursement to the competent foreign institution, according to the rules of the National Health Service of the country of provenance of the student.

For more information, it is necessary to apply at the A.S.L. in the area of residence. The list of doctors is available at any A.S.L. or at any Chemist’s. 

You can have more detailed information concerning the health service at the Foreign Citizens Office: [email protected]

Health Insurance

If you’d like to study in Italy, you have to have health insurance. You will need to present proof of health insurance when you enroll at university and apply for a residence permit. Make sure to take care of your health insurance status before you arrive in Italy. In case you are in an emergency situation you can dial 118 to call an ambulance or directly go to the Pronto Soccorso (Emergency room) of the closest hospital.

Registering with the SSN is warmly recommended because it entitles you to the same treatment as Italian citizens. This includes: choice of a general practitioner, who can visit you free of charge, and who will refer you to specialists (dentists, orthopedics, etc.); admission to public or certified private hospitals free of charge; doctor on duty-continuous assistance service (guardia medica) free of charge; lower fees for tests (blood tests, radiological tests, etc.).

EU Citizens

You are entitled through your local health authority to obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which facilitates access to emergency and medical treatment that may become necessary during a temporary stay (less than 3 months) in another EU country.

You can directly access the Italian National Health Service (SSN) without paying any subscription.

For a period longer than 3 months, the registration with the Italian National Health Service (SSN) is requested. For a complete health coverage you should obtain the S1 form (see below). Application must be submitted at the Local Health Authorities (Azienda Sanitaria Locale – ASL) according to the area of residence. There are no fees and the Italian Health Insurance Card (Tessera Sanitaria) will be issued immediately and free of charge by the ASL.

Did you obtain an S1 form in your home country, before departure?

You can register with the SSN free of charge visiting one of the ATS or AUSL (local health offices). To register, take the following documents with you:

  • self-certificate of enrollment;
  • Tax code (codice fiscale);
  • copy of your passport/ID card;
  • S1 form (issued by the health authority in the EU country where you are entitled to healthcare).
Non-EU Citizens

Please note that for non-EU students it is compulsory to hold a health insurance (or a health insurance payment receipt) in order to apply for the residence permit. The residence permit will have the same validity in time of the health insurance and viceversa (the residence permit has a maximum validity of 12 months). Non Eu students can choose among three alternatives to obtain a health coverage.

  1. Register with the Italian National Health Service SSN

Registration with the Italian National Health Service can be done by submitting the application at a Local Health Authority (ASL) according to the city of residence.

Documents requested for the registration of non EU citizens:

  • Resident Permit or the application receipt from the municipality or self-certification
  • Valid Identity Card and/or Passport
  • Tax code (codice fiscale)
  • Payment of € 149,77 to the Postal Office on c/c n. 370007
  • Certificate of enrolment in a legally recognized university or self-certification

For further information on the Italian Healthcare system follow the link “Healthcare in European Union“. 

Registration is valid one calendar year (January 1st – December 31st). Students enrolling in September should purchase first a health insurance, which is valid for 12 months in order to obtain a residence permit of the same length of time, they can subscribe to the SSN later on.

  1. Subscribe a private health insurance policy abroad

You can decide to purchase a private health insurance in your own country before departure. It is always advisable that the insurance policy is validated by the Italian embassy and translated into Italian or English.

If there is a health assistance agreements between your country and Italy which entitles you to access the Italian National Health Service for free get the agreement documentation from your Embassy/consulate and submit it to the closest ATS office (Agenzia di Tutela della Salute – ATS)  .

  1. Subscribe a private health insurance policy in Italy

You can also purchase a private health insurance upon arrival.

Italy Student Visa Work Permit

Students from EU/EEA do not require a specific work permit to work in Italy; however, they cannot work for more than 20 hours a week during the academic session. The non-EU students will require international student work permit for working while studying, and the allowed working hours are same for them. 

In Italy, international students will get the part-time or internship jobs, and they pay around 500 Euros. Keep in mind that if your program is less than 3 months, then you are not eligible for work permit in Italy.

Stay Back Option in Italy after Masters

The Stay back in Italy is only permissible if you have completed a PhD or level 2 Masters Program in Italy. The stay back in Italy after Master’s Degree is known as “Permesso di Soggiorno” , literally translated Residence Permit. Based on the course and university, the stay back is allowed for up to 6 to 12 months. If a student is not able to find a job in that period, he or she has to head back to their country of origin. So it is only possible to stay back in Italy after Masters and PhD.

Work Permit after Study in Italy

For EU students, there will be a requirement of the residence permit, and specific work permit after study in Italy will not be required. They can extend the residential permit as long as they are working in Italy.

The Non EU students require a work permit after study in Italy, and a student residence permit. Only PhD students and second degree Masters can apply for temporary residence permit once the program is over. It is important to have a job after their extension period ends in 6 to 12 months. Students can also apply for internships upto 12 months.

For Work Permit after Study in Italy, non-EU students will require a “permesso di lavoro”. The average pay in Italy can be around 1300 euro for 12 month, basis on the academics and the experience you possess. It is always advisable to have a basic understanding of Italian and English language.

Residence permit for spouse or cohabiting partner

I am married: can I also get a visa for my family?

You can apply for visa for your family (spouse, dependent children) at the Italian Embassy or Consulate in your home country. In order to foster family cohesion, if you hold an entry visa for full-time self-employment, for study or religious reason, you can enter Italy with any family members that qualify for entry. Relatives accompanying a foreign national holding an entry visa are required to comply with the same procedures and submit the same documents as for a family reunion. Application for entry clearance for a family member can be submitted by proxy. Please note that accompanying relatives cannot work or study in Italy. It is also not possible to change your visa status once you are in Italy.

Can my family join me when I am already in Italy?

Yes, you can apply for a ”family reunion” (ricongiungimento familiare), as follows: Conditions of application: A foreign national, who is the holder of an EC Long-Term Stay Permit or of a stay permit for subordinate work, self-employment, asylum, study, family or religious reasons, valid for at least one year, can apply for family clearance for family members.

Family members concerned: the spouse; children under 18; dependent children over 18, in cases where they cannot provide for their keep due to serious health conditions resulting in permanent inability to earn a living; dependent parents who have no adequate family support in the home country. If the abovementioned conditions are met, application forms for entry clearance (nullaosta) will be submitted or sent to the appropriate Sportello Unico with the necessary documentation concerning adequate accommodation and required minimum income, together with a photocopy of the person’s passport and stay permit. The following documents also need to be submitted: photocopy of the identity card of the proxy; proxy for an Italian national or a foreign national legally residing in Italy. The proxy form, which is available at the Italian Consulate, should be completed and signed before the official of the Italian Consulate by the foreign national who has already been granted an entry visa for the above-mentioned. The family member needs to submit supporting documentation with regard to the family relationship, a child who is still a minor or health conditions, to the Italian Consular Authority in their country of residence. A receipt of the application and documentation received is then provided by the Sportello Unico. If all requirements are satisfied, the Sportello Unico issues an entry clearance within 90 days of application or rejects the application and informs the Italian Consulate. Should the Sportello Unico not issue an entry clearance within 90 days of application, the family member needs to submit a copy of the receipt of the application and any relevant documentation which was submitted to the Sportello Unico by their relative to the Italian Diplomatic or Consular Authority abroad. Within eight days of arrival in Italy, the family member is required to go to the Sportello Unico where the entry clearance was issued. A form is then provided together with an application form for a stay permit. Failure to comply means that the foreign national will be considered as illegally staying in Italy. A stay permit for family reasons entitles the holder to take on subordinate work or self-employment, to be granted access to education and to health care provided by the National Health Service.

Issue of a stay permit

Once the application form has been provided by the Sportello Unico, the family member is required to send the aforesaid form via a post office. The relevant receipt with two personal identification codes (user ID and password), issued by the post office, will allow the foreign national to follow the status of their application on the website The Questura (Central Police Station) will notify the foreign national of the date they need to go to the Questura to submit their photos and be fingerprinted, at the address and mobile phone stated on the application form. They will also inform them of the subsequent date to collect their stay permit.

PLEASE NOTE: A foreign family member of an Italian or EU national is not required to apply for entry clearance at the Sportello Unico, but can apply for an entry visa directly at the Italian Embassy.

Residency permit for non EU citizens

According to Italian Law (D. Lgs. 286/98) non E.U. citizens, planning to stay in Italy longer than 3 months must apply for a Residency permit within 8 working days after arrival. (Please note, if you have a Type ‘D’ visa you must apply for the Residency Permit).

Long Term Stays (more than 90 days)

If you have a valid type D visa for study reasons you have to mandatorily submit your stay permit application within 8 working days from your arrival in Italy or in any other Schengen country. The International Mobility Office of the university will support you in every step of your first application.

In order to get a stay permit with the same duration of your stay (if you are an exchange student) or for 12 months (if you are a degree-seeking student), make sure all the documents are also valid for the whole duration of your stay (or alternatively one year). The Questura will however decide the duration of your stay permit. Once the stay permit is issued, no change of any kind is possible. In case your stay permit is shorter than your study period, you will have to apply for a renewal.

When your stay permit is ready, go back to Immigration Office during their opening hours, with: your passport, all the postal receipts and the receipt issued by the Questura. Before leaving the Immigration Office, carefully check all your details and the stay permit expiry date. If something is wrong, immediately report it to the Immigration Office staff. Complaints are accepted only immediately before collecting the stay permit.

Traveling during your first stay permit application

You can travel to the other Schengen Countries for up to three months in any six-month period while your MULTY-ENTRY visa is still valid, even if you have not received the Italian stay permit yet.

This opportunity only applies to the countries that are part of the Schengen Area. Check carefully which countries belong to the Schengen Area, and which don’t. Always carry the passport and the postal receipt of stay permit application while travelling

Renewal of Stay Permit

Renewal application must be posted before the expiry date of the permit. In order to always have a valid stay permit, we suggest you apply for the renewal 3 months before the expiry date. Please make sure you do not leave the country without having applied for the renewal, since you will not be able to re-enter Italy. Please consider that the maximum validity for each stay permit for study reasons is 12 months, provided that all the requirements are fulfilled. The stay permit can be renewed up to 3 years beyond the standard length of the study course. If you are enrolled in a PhD programme, the stay permit can be renewed for a maximum of 1 year beyond the length of the course.

Working with a study stay permit

A stay permit for study purposes allows to work for a maximum of 1040 hours per year with a contract as an employee, in Italian “lavoro subordinato”. Students are allowed to work full time for a few months or part-time for the whole year, provided that the job does not imply more than 1040 hours/year. Also 150 hour students collaborations are possible with this kind of stay permit.

Five Reasons to Obtain Italy Work Visa

Italy is one of the most appealing countries of the European Union. With a flourishing economy and good employment opportunities, many citizens from EU and non-EU countries immigrate to Italy every year in order to work here. As a matter of fact, in 2018, Italy was one of the top EU member states to welcome foreign citizens based on work permits. There are many reasons for which obtaining an Italy work visa represent a real benefit.

 What are the 5 most important reasons for obtaining an Italy work visa?

Foreign citizens interested in immigrating to Italy for work purposes will usually look for countries with good economic performance. Italy is one of those countries, but there are other reasons why one can choose to immigrate here based on a work visa. 

1. An Italian work visa offers access to the EU labor market

Foreign citizens from non-EU countries can come to Italy based on a work visa and thus enter one of the largest and most important employment markets in the world. The Italy work visa requirements are also quite permissive, considering the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which is in charge of the issuance of entry permits, provides for the issuance of various types of work visas. There are the temporary work visas, the Italy work visa for professionals and the self-employment visa, to name just a few. Based on these types of Italy work visa, a foreign citizen has access to many job offers within Italian companies which offer high salaries.

If you need assistance in choosing the right type of work permit based on your skills and experience, you can discuss your options with our Italian lawyers.

2. Italy has good salary prospects
As mentioned above, the average gross monthly salary in Italy at the level of 2019 is approximately 3,700 euros which is higher than the EU average salary. This makes Italy very appealing for foreign citizens who have the necessary qualifications to apply for an Italy work visa.
 3. Moving to Italy based on a work visa is simpler
Immigration to Italy is not complicated; however, when relocating here based on an Italy work visa the procedure is simpler because the company hiring the foreign employee will be in charge with the visa procedure. This will further decrease the relocation costs, as some companies offer accommodation for various periods of time.
 4. The Italy work visa can lead to permanent residency

There are two main ways in which one can immigrate to Italy: by applying for an Italy work visa or a residence permit, however, it is simpler to immigrate based on the work visa considering the high level of confidence an Italian employer will guarantee. It is good to know that after living and working in Italy for 5 years, one can obtain a permanent residence permit.
 5. The Italian work visa guarantees the freedom to travel within the EU

The Italy work visa provides for the same rights as a residence permit, which means that the holder of a work permit will also obtain the right to freely move in other EU and Schengen countries without being asked for additional visas.
 Types of residence permits in Italy

 There are two types of residence permits which can be obtained in Italy: the temporary residence permit and the permanent residence permit. It must be noted that in order to obtain permanent residency in Italy, a temporary residence visa must first be obtained.
The temporary residency visa must be obtained by non-EU citizens when first arriving in Italy. EU citizens must only register with the police department in the city they live in without being required to apply for a temporary residence permit. However, both categories of individuals must live for a minimum period of 5 years before applying for permanent residence in Italy.The residence permit can also be acquired by:

  •           the spouse of the applicant;
  •           the parents of the applicant;
  •           the minor children of the applicant;
  •           children above the age of 18 if these can support themselves.

In other words, the applicant is entitled to bring family members when relocating to Italy. However, the applicant must prove they have sufficient financial means to support themselves and their dependents, as well as submit proof of their relationship with the dependents.

The main ways of obtaining permanent residency in Italy

There are several conditions imposed on both EU and non-EU citizens interested in obtaining permanent residency in Italy. Apart from living for 5 years in this country, these must also prove they earn sufficient money to support themselves and that they speak Italian fluently and know the national customs.  They must also have clean criminal records.

There are several ways in which the Italian permanent residency can be obtained:

  1. based on a work permit which entitles the applicant to live and work in Italy prior to applying for permanent residency.
  2. based on a residence permit for entrepreneurs which allows foreign citizens to start their own businesses here;
  3. based on an investment in a specific domain of interest acknowledged by the Italian government;
  4. based on self-employment visa which allows the foreigner to act as a sole trader in Italy.
Applying for a permanent residence permit for non-EU citizens in Italy

Non-EU citizens must follow specific procedures when applying for permanent residence in Italy. Those who want to immigrate to Italy must enquire with the Italian embassy or consulate in their countries and ask information on the documents needed. Non-EU citizens must first apply for a temporary residence permit which is issued for a period of 5 years, followed by the application for the Italian permanent residence permit. In other words, a non-EU citizen must live in Italy for 5 years prior to applying for permanent residence.

Restrictions for certain applicants for permanent residency in Italy

 There are also categories of persons who cannot apply for permanent residence permits in Italy. These are usually students who come to Italy based on student visas which permit a limited duration of stay. In the same category enter those who come for scientific purposes or for vocational training to Italy. Also, asylum seekers who in the process of obtaining recognition as refugees cannot apply for permanent residence until their status is clarified.
Those who enter Italy for humanitarian reasons seeking temporary protection cannot apply for permanent residency in Italy. Those who have valid temporary residence permits and have not met the 5-year living requirement are also restricted for applying for permanent residency until the last requisite is fulfilled.

The benefits of obtaining permanent residency in Italy

Obtaining the status of a permanent resident of Italy can bring many benefits for a foreign citizen. Among these, we mention the possibility of entering and existing Italy without being required to apply for other visas. Also, the foreign citizen can travel freely to other EU countries and can even work in such countries without being required to apply for a work permit. One is also entitled to state benefits, such as maternity or disability benefits. The last and perhaps the most important advantage is the possibility of obtaining Italian citizenship. In the case of EU citizens, the minimum period of stay is 4 years, while for non-EU citizens the minimum period of stay is 10 years based on the permanent resident status.