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Quick facts

  • Population - 60,483,973
  • Capital - Rome
  • Language - Italian
  • GDP - $35,913 [per capita]
  • Currency - Euro

Why Italy?

Italy certainly has plenty of charms to tempt tourists and international students alike: a diverse landscape, an immense cultural and historical legacy; iconic and historic sites, incomparable cuisine, an impressive history of inventions and discoveries and, of course, universities in Italy include some of the world’s oldest and most prestigious.

Italy is a popular destination for international students, offering quality higher education, highly-ranked universities and more affordable tuition fees than many other Western European countries. For these reasons, many internationals choose to study abroad in Italy.

There are around 32,000 international students in Italy, including independent students and those on exchange programs. Italy was one of the 4 countries to first implement the Bologna Process, a higher education reform that’s now being implemented throughout Europe. The country has a rich history and tradition of higher education and great intellectuals, which makes Italy a very attractive option for international students.

Some of the first universities in Europe were founded in Italy during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. For example, the University of Bologna, founded in 1088, is recognized as the oldest university in continuous operation. Today, Italy is the home of many prestigious universities and other institutions of higher education. Many of Italy’s universities perform well in the QS World University Rankings, such as the Università di Bologna (194), The Sapienza University of Rome (216), Politecnico di Milano (244), Università di Roma in Rome, Università degli Studi di Milano, Università degli Studi di Padova in Padua, Università degli Studi di Firenze in Florence, and the Università di Pisa in Pisa.

Italy has played an important role in recent reform of higher education known as “Bologna Process”, as one of the four countries that created the European Area of Higher Education, formed by signing the Sorbonne Declaration in 1998, which was to be the first step in the higher education reform. Today the Bologna Process is now being implemented throughout Europe.

Higher Education in Italy

Higher education in Italy is mainly provided by a large and international network of public and state affiliated universities. State-run universities of Italy are under the supervision of Italian's Ministry of Education. There is also a number of private universities and state-run post-secondary educational centers providing a vocational instruction.

Italian universities are among the oldest universities in the world. In particular the University of Bologna (founded in 1088, the oldest university in the world), the University of Padua, founded in 1222, and the University of Naples, founded in 1224, are among the most ancient state universities in Europe. Most universities in Italy are state-supported.


In Italy, all international students are entitled to the same financial assistance services as Italian students based on same requisites of financial means and/or merit. There are government scholarships at the national and regional level to which international students can apply for. Moreover, some Italian Universities offer Italian scholarship programs for international students. Click here for the details.


  • IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in reading and writing Or
  • European Baccalaureate – 7.0 in written English (first language) 7.5 (if second language) or 8.0 (if third language)
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