Home » Italy » Education » Universities for Expats in Italy

Universities for Expats in Italy

Submitted: February 2014

Universities in Italy provide top-tier teaching and research and have consistently established their presence in various world university rankings. Italy is considered to have been the country to pave the way for the modern university system as we know it today. Most of the world’s oldest Universities are located in Italy. The University of Bologna (Università di Bologna) was founded in 1088, and therefore one of the oldest universities in the Western World. It is considered to be the first institution to use the word “University”.

There are public and private universities in Italy. The difference between the two usually comes down to funding.  Both types of universities receive government funding, however private universities invariably receive less funding and therefore have higher tuition costs. Depending on the university, annual fees for public universities range between EUR 150- 3500. Private Universities can charge up to EUR 16,000 per annum. International Students are entitled to the same funding assistance as Italian students.

The Italian university system is divided into 3 cycles. The first cycle (Laurea) is undergraduate studies which generally lasts three years. Students must complete 180 credits and upon completion one obtains the equivalent of a Bachelors degree. The second cycle is graduate studies (Laurea Specialistica /Laurea Magistrale) and lasts for two years. Students must obtain 120 credits to gain this Masters degree.  The third cycle (Dottorato) has a three-year duration and students must complete 180 credits in order to achieve this PhD equivalent.

Admissions are the next hurdle if you are serious about tertiary education in Italy. Some courses require that the applicant pass a test in order to gain admission. Further information can be obtained from the website (all in Italian):


Enrolling in a university can be a daunting task and it is advisable that research is done well in advance to find the best University for your circumstances.

General Requirements for Undergraduate studies:

It is advisable that you Contact the Italian Embassy in your home country and find out what documentation is necessary to complete your application.

To cater for foreigners who want to study in beautiful Italy, but are not proficient in the language, there are a few universities where the language of instruction is English. For example, you can receive an American university education in the heart of Rome from John Cabot University.

Cut off dates for applications vary, but typically students need to apply between January to April of the academic year they wish to start.  Proficiency in Italian is also required and applicants will need to demonstrate this proficiency either by sitting an examination or by submitting evidence of an Italian language instruction previously taken.



Moving to Italy

If you are considering moving to Italy or are soon to depart, you can find helpful information and advice in the Expat Briefing dedicated Italian section including; details of immigration and visas, Italian forums, Italian event listings and service providers in Italy.


Living in Italy

From your safety to shoppingliving in Italy can yield great benefits as well as occasional drawbacks.  Find your feet and stay abreast of the latest developments affecting expats in Italy with relevant news and up-to-date information.


Working in Italy

Working in Italy can be rewarding as well as stressful, if you don't plan ahead and fulfill any legal requirements. Find out about visas and passports, owning and operating a company in Italy, and general Italian culture of the labour market.



Italian Expat News Headlines

Italian Expat Service Providers

Integra Global Health Insurance Bright!Tax Expatriate Healthcare Efficient Language Coaching 1st Move International

Italian Expat Tools