If you dream of the legendary Italy and wonder why tens of millions of tourists choose it for their vacations, it is time to make your student plans in this destination. Italy, cradle of culture, history, religion and tourism, welcomes all students with open arms. Italy has offered the world some of the greatest artists and scientists. The country has also been the starting point for innovation and revolution in art, architecture, philosophy, religion and science throughout Europe. The universities in Italy annually try to offer the best educational programs to international students, taught in both English and Italian. During your years of study here you will have the opportunity to make friends with unique people from all over the world. You will also participate in some of the most beautiful student activities and parties, from which no one is ever excluded.

Being one of the most advanced European countries, students from around the world come to Italy to study and research. The Italian education system is automatically recognized in more than 40 other countries. A diploma obtained in Italy is equivalent and equal to a diploma obtained in the countries with the ECTS credit system, such as the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Austria, Scandinavian countries and many other. Graduates have the right to remain in the European Union (Schengen countries) for at least 1 year searching for a job or setting up their own businesses. Non-European students are allowed to work in Italy while studying part-time (therefore, it is recommended to study the language).

Public universities in Italy are subsidized by the Italian government; most of the costs are covered by the central government. There are no differences between tuition fees for Italians and foreigners: all students pay their tuition according to family income. Tuition fees range from total exemption (for lower-income students) to a maximum of 5,000 euros per year (for highly specialized programs, such as bachelors and master’s students in business administration). Most programs cost less than 2,000 euros a year.


The Italian university system takes the bachelor-master-Ph.D. system to a whole new level, accordingly:

First Cycle: Bachelor program (3 years) / Single-cycle Degree (5-6 years)
Second Cycle: Master program (2 years) / 1st Level Vocational Master
Third Cycle: Doctorate / Specialization School / 2nd Level Vocational Master


The bachelor degree, also known as the 1st level degree or Laurea, lasts for three years and provides the student with a knowledge-base of the methods and principles of the general field of study, as well as a solid foundation for those who want to continue their studies with next level degree. In order to be admitted to a bachelor program in Italy, you must have a high school diploma or an appropriate foreign qualification.


The single-cycle degree, also called Laurea Magistrale a Ciclo Unico, combine the bachelor degree of three years of study and the subsequent period of two years of specialization; the entire study cycle is structured over a single period of five or six years, at the end of which it confers a level 2 degree (master’s degree). The single-cycle diploma provides students with advanced education and training for professions in specific fields covered by European directives that require a high level of qualification (medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy and architecture).


The master degree is the 2nd level degree, and is the Laurea Magistrale – a specialized degree. Master programs in Italy offer advanced education and training for professions in specific fields that require a high level of qualification. The course lasts 2 years and you need 1st level degree or an equivalent foreign qualification to be admitted.


The aim of a master course or a Master Universitario di Primo Livello is to reinforce and broaden students’ skills and expertise to meet the demands of the professional world. But wait! These are also divided into 1st and 2nd level vocational master courses. To be admitted to a 1st level of vocational master course, which is part of the second cycle of university studies, you must have a 1st level degree. To be admitted to the 2nd level vocational master course, which is part of the third cycle of university studies, you must have a 2nd level degree. A vocational master course generally lasts from six months to one year. The number of places for vocational master courses is limited, and to be admitted you must pass the selection examinations.


The Dottorato di Ricerca provides the expertise needed for high-level research in universities, public institutions and private associations. To be admitted to a doctoral program you must have a level 2 degree. Candidates must also pass the selection exam, as only a limited number of places are available. A doctorate is awarded after a period of study of three to four years.


This Scuola di Specializzazione offers the necessary knowledge and skills in specific professional fields. These courses are available only through specific laws or European Union directives. To be admitted to a specialization course you must have a level 2 degree. The duration of the course and the number of credits required to obtain the specialization qualification are defined by the academic structure of each course.


Last but not least, an advanced training course or Corso di Perfezionamento allows students to develop their expertise and skills to improve their professional qualities. To be admitted you must have a grade of level 1 or 2. Courses vary in length. There will be no academic qualification awarded, but rather a certificate detailing the skills that have been acquired.

Now…imagine Rome, Florence, Venice, and Milan, which are just a few of the cities that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. Once you become an international student in Italy, you will discover that in just a few hours you can easily reach them or you can cross almost the whole country quickly, to either enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the north or feel the Mediterranean breeze from the south. How many years would you like to stay and study in Italy? We would want to stay as long as possible!

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