Masters in Italy
Masters in Italy
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Masters in Italy

La Dolce Vita or: Why study in Italy?

Warm climate and welcoming people; never far away from the sea; culture, art and history entangled all around you; tasty and unique cuisine. Great Italian universities with traditions older than most of the countries around the world - Italy offers all of this and much more!

Italy’s long tradition of education goes all the way back to 1088, when Europe’s first and oldest university — the University of Bologna — was founded. A few centuries later, the country flourished during the Renaissance which changed people’s thinking forever. The genius minds of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Rafael left a cultural heritage that transformed Italy into a global center of art. Today, this Mediterranean country has further developed and continued the success of its predecessors, with many universities and students preserving the spirit of the past.

Higher education in Italy

Italy is considered the catalyst behind the Bologna Process, which created the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) with a system of globally accepted Bachelors, Masters and doctoral degrees. The degrees awarded by Italian universities have different names but are almost the same as the ones outside the country. The undergraduate degree is called ‘Laurea’, the postgraduate degree is ‘Laurea Magistrale’, and the doctoral degree is called ‘Dottorato di Ricerca’. To be safe, best review the degrees at your chosen university before beginning your Masters study in Italy.

Italian universities meet all modern standards of education and 5 of them are among the best 300 universities in the world – ranked by the Times Higher Education 2018. There are many programmes entirely in English, but also Masters programmes in French or German. In addition, there are many science-oriented courses, as Italy is one of the most highly industrialized European countries. 

Local and international students can choose from more than 500 English taught study programs in Italy and every year the Italian universities increase the options to pursue a Masters in English.

Masters in Italy – higher education details for 2019
Top-ranked Universities* 43
Tuition fees at state universities p.a.€900 - €6500
Average Living Costs per month (+ housing)€1100
Number of Masters in English350+
% population that speaks English34%
Forbes Global 2000 companies26

 *according to THE’s World University Rankings

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How to apply for a Masters at an Italian university?

Some Italian universities require additional documents or specific exams, especially if you want to pursue a Masters in Italian. For detailed information students should always contact the desired university. 

Usually, the requirements are:

  • Bachelor’s degree (translated and legalized)
  • Language test in Italian for non-native students 
  • Entrance exam
  • Application form
  • Motivational letter
  • CV
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Portfolio (only for applicants to architecture, urban planning, or any design programme)
  • University application form

The standard application period is from mid-April to mid-May. However the deadlines may vary, so it is recommended to contact the institutions you are interested in and apply as early as possible. Please note that you might need to translate some of the documents to Italian, so we always advise that you start searching for your Masters 12 months before the actual start date of the programme itself.

Tuition fees and scholarships in Italy

Italian universities have different tuition fees. They mostly depend on whether the chosen university is private or public. Fortunately, the quality of education is high at all institutions of higher education in Italy.

The tuition fees are divided into two installments and usually the first one is fixed while the second one varies depending on your specific course. There are also several specific cases which allow students to have their fees reduced or even refunded. Generally, most universities charge from €900 up to €4000 per year for EU students. Tuition fees at private universities range from €6000 to about €20000 per year. Non-EU Masters degree seekers have to pay higher fees. 

Many Italian organizations, universities and even the government give scholarships for foreign students with a specific set of talents or low-income. Some Italian universities provide special scholarships with attractive conditions – e.g. a fee reduction, free accommodation and meals, but most of them cover the study programme entirely.

Don’t miss to read about and ask the universities you like about their scholarships – a lot of them have different possibilities.

The Italian government has a grant program for foreign citizens not residing in Italy and Italian citizens living abroad - read more here.

Accommodation, living costs and transportation in Italy

There are several types of accommodation for students. Private apartments are quite expensive, as you will be expected to pay an average of €700 per month for a 1-bed flat. You will also have to pay for utilities. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to look for a room in a shared flat. Check out the local websites or Facebook groups in your respective student city – you might find a really cheap place!

University residence is also an option if it is offered. Costs for university-owned accommodation can range from €5000 to €7500 per academic year for a single room in a shared student flat or a hall of residence. You have to meet certain requirements in order to be suitable for this type of accommodation. Check the possibilities as early as possible, because the places are limited.

Living costs strongly depend on your lifestyle. Italy is the perfect destination for students who love to travel with many cities to discover. Rome, Venice or Milan - All three are historical and architectural rich cities with much to offer. Italy is known for its food and beverages. Make sure to try traditional dishes – sweet and sour, as well as different types of coffee. Eating at a restaurant is expensive compared to some other EU countries.

Shops and grocery stores, on the other hand, are cheaper than in many other countries and allow students to cook cheap on their own. You can use your imagination and make a pizza or you can read a recipe and try different pasta dishes with a nice glass of wine.

Have a look at some average prices of the products you will find in every shop:

  • Milk (regular), (1 liter) - €1.12
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) - €1.48
  • Rice (white), (1kg) - €1.98
  • Eggs (regular) (12) - €2.55
  • Local Cheese (1kg) - €11.57
  • Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1kg) - €8.24
  • Apples (1kg) - €1.82
  • Potato (1kg) - €1.19
  • Tomato (1kg) - €1.83
  • Water (1.5 liter bottle) - €0.39
  • Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) - €5.00
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) - €1.24

Coffee shops are also affordable for students. There you can enjoy a nice cup of Macchiato or Cappuccino for around €5. 

Public transport is quite expensive in Italy, especially in big cities. For long distances it is best to get on a train or a bus, whereas in the city you can use the metro.

What is student life like in Italy?

Italy is among the top ten of the most popular study destinations. During your Masters there you will most certainly meet other students from all around Europe, USA, Latin America, Asia and Africa. 

The climate as well as the Italians are always warm – you will instantly feel at home. The locals will teach you to appreciate the good food, the beautiful nature and art – which you can find all around you.

We highly recommend you to travel around when you have some free time. Visit some of the hundreds of cultural and historical places and monuments. Go on vacation near the sea or travel to the countryside and discover small towns and villages. 

If you like to explore, Italy is the right place – check out a short list of 10 cities that you should definitely visit!

English is not widely spoken, so learning some Italian will be really helpful. Certainly, you will find Italian friends who will be more than happy to teach you some phrases and words that you can use in your everyday life.

There is always something going on… traditional local festivals, sports or, cultural events – it doesn’t matter in which Italian city you will study, because even the small ones offer much.

Is it possible to find a student job in Italy?

If you have decided to study and work, there are plenty of possibilities to do so. Even if you don’t know Italian you will have no hurdles – the country is one of the most visited tourist destinations and there are tons of student jobs for in that area, especially for those who know English or some other Western European language. You can use local websites to find some jobs ( , , ) or you can try out the Erasmus website, where you will find student jobs only.

Meeting Italian universities

If after reading our guide you think Italy might be your Masters destination, then check out what programmes the universities in Italy are offering.

What would be even better is to actually meet with universities from Italy at one of our fairs around Europe. Check out if we are coming to your city or to a city near you and join one of our events, where you can learn from the source and get the best advice about your future Masters in Italy.

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