How to make the most of studying in Italy

Whether you want to study fashion in Milan, art and design in Rome, or anything in between, when you’re ready to spend a semester or longer abroad as a student in Italy, planning far in advance can help make the entire process less daunting. This can include researching:

  • How much it costs to studying abroad in Italy
  • How to save money when studying abroad in Italy
  • Things to do while in Italy and
  • How to apply for overseas study in Italy

Is education free in Italy for international students?

No, but the good news is that tuition and fees are often lower than they would be in other countries, so you could still save money by choosing to study abroad in Italy. Costs will vary from one school to another, and from one program to another.

How much does it cost to study abroad in Italy?

Private universities are typically pricier than public universities, whether you’re from the EU or from outside of the EU. More prestigious schools might charge an even higher tuition annually. On average, however, prices typically look like this1:

Undergraduate degree programCosts vary from $15,000 to $33,000 AUD
Doctoral degree programCosts vary from $14,000 to $37,000 AUD

Pro tip: To find out just how far your money will go once it’s converted into euros, you can use OFX’s currency charts, as well as track currency trends. This can help you calculate just how much you’ll need to have in order to live comfortably in Italy.

How to save money while studying internationally in Italy

Applying for financial aid, such as scholarships and grants, might be able to help you save a lot of money when you study in Italy. As an example, there are Italian government scholarships for international students that you can look into.

Definitely take the time to do a bit of research online into the scholarships that you’d qualify for. Also, be sure to consult with your university’s financial aid office to receive additional support and guidance in this area.

Another simple way to save money is by having your funds transferred from your home bank account with the help of international money transfer service, OFX. You could save up to 70%* on your transfer when you choose OFX rather than your bank, and you can swiftly and securely move your money to pay for school and living expenses.

Studying abroad in Italy

Things to do while studying abroad in Italy

Can foreign students work in Italy? Yes, even non-EU students can get a work permit that will allow them to work while studying abroad in Italy. It might take a bit of time, such as (even a couple of months), to get your permit, though, so you might not be able to get to work right away. However, once you do start working, this is a wonderful way to dive into the day-to-day culture of the country, meet new people, learn new things, and have some fun.

Of course, there are also many ways to enjoy yourself while you’re in Italy. Go sightseeing, head to local restaurants and nightclubs with your friends, and dig into some gelato while sitting in a piazza. And, when you have a couple of days off from school, you might even consider taking a short road trip to see another part of the country, or you might even take a ferry ride to the island of Sicily. No matter what, one thing is certain: you’ll never run out of things to do!

Where to study abroad in Italy

If you have decided that you want to study abroad, and Italy is your destination of choice, the first step will involve researching the universities that you’d most like to attend, and the programs that they have to offer. A few great examples are:

  • the University of Padua,
  • the University of Milan, and
  • the University of Bologna (which is actually one of the oldest universities in the world!).

You definitely have quite a few choices, so take your time as you work on deciding what’s best for you.

Students on holiday in Italy

How to apply for overseas study in Italy

Applying to become an international student in Italy is a bit different from the process involved in studying abroad in other countries.

Complete prior assessment

Once you’ve chosen the university that you’d like to attend, contact them for what is known as a prior assessment. They’ll go over your qualifications and ensure you’re eligible for acceptance into the school.

Complete pre-application

Next, submit what’s known as a pre-application request at your local Italian embassy or consulate.

Keep in mind that, in addition to your application, you might need to submit other documents, such as ID, a passport style photo, transcripts, your CV, a letter of motivation and a letter of recommendation, your portfolio, test scores, and proof of language proficiency for English or Italian.

Then, they’ll take it from there and apply to the school of your choice.

Receive acceptance

Typically, by the end of August each year, a list of students’ names will be published by the Italian embassy or consulate. If your name is on the list, you were accepted.

Apply for a visa

If you’re from the EU, you will be able to get into Italy with your ID card or passport, and you won’t need to get a visa. On the other hand, if you’re going to study in Italy from a non-EU country, you will need to apply for a visa first.

Apply for Visa type C if you need a travel visa or short-stay visa for 90 days or less. For stays that will be longer than 90 days, you will need a Visa type D, or long-stay visa.

To apply for your visa, contact the Italian embassy, and provide the necessary documents. These might include your acceptance letter, health documents, and proof that you’re financially strong enough to support yourself while living and studying in Italy.

Italian countryside

Apply for health insurance

Apply for a health insurance plan either before you leave for Italy or shortly after you arrive.

Apply for a resident permit

After you arrive in Italy, apply for your residence permit within eight working days, whether you’re from the EU or not. You can do so by registering with the local police station.

Enroll in a university course

Before you actually head to your first class, you’ll need to enroll at your university once you are in Italy.

Life is beautiful in Italy!

Italy is an incredible country, and a smart choice for students who wish to study abroad. Be prepared to do some planning in advance to ensure all of the necessary paperwork is in order before you arrive in the country. Then, go ahead and take in every moment while enjoying unforgettable new experiences.

*Average savings based on published rates of ANZ, Westpac, NAB and CBA on a single transfer of AUD$10,000 to USD between 6.9.18 and 8.10.18 excluding weekends. Transaction costs excluded. Quoted savings are not indicative of future savings.

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IMPORTANT: The contents of this blog do not constitute financial advice and are provided for general information purposes only without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any particular person. UKForex Limited (trading as “OFX”) and its affiliates make no recommendation as to the merits of any financial strategy or product referred to in the blog. OFX makes no warranty, express or implied, concerning the suitability, completeness, quality or exactness of the information and models provided in this blog.

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