Italy, Rome, Florence, Pisa, Milan, postgraduate, graduate, study

Study in Italy

Graduate programs in Italy

Located in the beautiful Mediterranean and a centre of history and culture, Italy is a great place to study a graduate program. From the legacy of the Roman civilisation to World Heritage sites, volcanoes to leaning towers, pizza to ice cream, Italy is a country used to being at the forefront of culture and innovation.

There are many great student cities in Italy. Take your pick from Milan, Rome, Florence and Bologna, all with their own unique culture and sights – no wonder more than 32,000 international students come to study in Italy each year.

Population: 59,500,000

Education overview

The Italian postgraduate education system allows for many different types of institution. The main types of university you will study at include:

  • State universities
  • Technical universities
  • Telematic universities (universities specialising in telecommunications and informatics)
  • Universities for foreigners

Postgraduate degrees in Italy generally take two years to complete for Masters programs and 3-5 years to complete for PhDs. It’s important to have a good level of Italian as many courses will be taught in both English and Italian, while you should remember that oral examinations are popular in Italy.

Fees in Italy vary depending on the institution and course, but in generally they are much cheaper than most of Europe – expect to pay around £2,000 per year for public institutions, but private universities may charge more.

Immigration and visas in Italy

EU students are able to come and study in the Italy providing you are studying at an approved institution for more than three months and have sufficient income to support yourself. Non-EU students will need to apply for a visa dependent on their nationality. You will generally need to show the following, regardless of your nationality:

  • You have a confirmed place on a course at a recognised education institution
  • You are not already in the country on a tourist or business visa
  • You have paid all relevant visa fees
  • You have sufficient funds to support yourself
  • You have comprehensive health insurance cover

Life in Italy

Italy is a country full of culture and creativity is highly valued. From the architecture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa to the art of Michelangelo and da Vinci, Italy has been at the forefront of culture for centuries. Indeed, Italy is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world.

Food plays a massive part in Italian life and you will often find yourself sitting down to evening meals lasting several hours. Meal times are a chance for family and friends to gather together, discuss the day’s events and socialise.

Italians are known for their passionate demeanour and sense of fun. It’s important to have good language skills as many Italians will not speak another language.

Working in Italy

Italy’s economy has contracted recently after the recession, but has traditionally been strong – it was the ninth largest economy in the world in 2012. Italy’s economy focuses on trade and exports, particularly in the luxury market and products such as supercars and major fashion brands.

However, Italy suffers from poor infrastructure which affects its economy. Almost 85% of its energy is imported and state bureaucracy often hinders growth. With high debts, Italy’s economy is expected to continue contracting in the future.


The cost of accommodation in Italy varies depending on the city you choose to live in and the type of accommodation you want. The two main types of accommodation in Italy for international students are:

  • University accommodation – such as halls of residence
  • Private accommodation – such as house and flat rentals

Many postgraduate students will opt to live in private accommodation, although halls of residence are good for meeting fellow students and settling into university life more easily.

Climate in Italy

Italy’s climate is diverse, particularly between the Mediterranean south and the more mountainous north. In general, you can expect hot summers and mild winters, with the main summer months running from June to September and winter at its coldest between December and February.


Italy has a number of cheap public transport options. Its rail network (particularly in the north) is extensive and inexpensive, with two high speed networks linking Milan to Salerno and Turin to Venice.

A popular way of getting around cities is on small motorbikes or mopeds, which are cheap on fuel and helpful when negotiating Italy’s chaotic roads.


The currency of the Italy is the Euro.

What to do next

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Universities and cities in Italy