Italy is a popular destination for international students. It offers quality higher education with more affordable tuition fees than other Western European countries.
There are around 32,000 international students in Italy, including independent students and those on exchange programmes. The country has a rich history and tradition of higher education. This makes it an attractive option for students.
Why Study in Italy?
Some of the first universities in Europe were founded in Italy during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The University of Bologna, founded in 1088, is recognised as the oldest university to still operate. Today, Italy is the home of many prestigious institutions of higher education. Many of Italy’s institutions perform well in the QS World University Rankings, appearing in the top 200 each year.
Italy has played an important role in recent reform of higher education. This reform is known as the “Bologna Process”. The country is one of the four countries that created the European Area of Higher Education. This was 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 around 97 universities, which are divided into several categories:
- State universities: These are state funded public institutions and make up the majority in Italy.
- 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 specialising in postgraduate studies.
You will also find 137 other higher education institutions throughout Italy. These are academies that specialise in certain sectors. They range from art, music and dance colleges, to research based and technical institutions.
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’). Bachelor’s studies typically take 3 years to complete and master’s studies take 1 year. Following the completion of your masters studies you can do 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. Therefore, it may be possible to find courses taught in English if your Italian language skills are not good enough.
Italy is a beautiful country located in Southwestern Europe, on the Apennine peninsula. The country comprises of the mainland Italy and the surrounding islands. The country stretches southwards almost to the coasts of North Africa.
Italy has something to offer everyone. It boasts stunning old cities, the Mediterranean and breathtaking natural views. It is known for it’s fantastic food and wine, as well as its passionate people. At the same time, it is among the 8 most industrialised countries in the world, hosting many of the world’s biggest companies and research facilities. Italy has a rich cultural tradition and history as well as many World Heritage Sites that you might wish to visit during your stay.
The top tourist attractions in Italy include:
- The Colosseum: the largest and most famous amphitheatre in the Roman world, built in the first century AD.
- Canals of Venice: “The City of Water”, as Venice is called, has over 150 canals. The main tourist attractions are romantic gondolas and Italian architecture along the Grand Canal. If you plan on visiting Venice, don’t forget about St Mark’s Basilica, located on Piazza San Marco.
- Pompeii: a city that was covered in ash and soil in 79 AD, when the volcano Vesuvius erupted. The city was preserved under the ashes.
- Leaning Tower of Pisa: its construction started in 1173 and soon after the tower began to sink due to a poorly laid foundation.
- Lake Como: the lake is shaped like an inverted ‘Y’ and it’s famous for the attractive villas which have been built here since Roman times.
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