Education in Italy
About 32,000 international students attend universities in Italy. Rome, Milan, Pisa and Bologna are the most popular cities among students. Italian academies for fine arts, fashion and design are considered the best in the world.
Preschool, primary and secondary education
All children, including those of foreign nationals, can attend free public nurseries from the age of three. Compulsory education at public (scuola primaria) or private primary schools (scuola elementare) starts at six.
Children attend secondary school (scuola secondaria formerly known as scuola media) from eleven without any prior exams. Junior secondary school (scuola secondaria di primo grado) lasts until fourteen years old and pupils must pass exams in the main subjects (Licenza media) to be able to continue their education. The majority of international schools are located in Rome and Milan. Annual tuition in these schools is
Senior secondary school studies (scuola secondaria di secondo grado) can be completed in
To be eligible for university admission, applicants must complete five years of secondary education, pass the state exam and obtain a secondary education certificate.
Italy has over 70 accredited higher education institutions. They include universities, higher design schools, fine arts academies, conservatories, musical institutes, languages institutes, technical education establishments (IFTS) and schools of higher integrated education.
Bachelor degree (laurea triennale) programmes in Italy last three years and Master's degrees (laurea magistrale) require two years of graduate studies. A full cycle at a law university takes five years and medical studies last six years.
Top Italian Universities
|World Ranking||University||Italian name|
|182||University of Bologna||Università di Bologna
|202||Sapienza University of Rome||Università di Roma
|Politecnico di Milano|
|238||University of Milan||Università degli Studi
|245||University of Pisa||Università di Pisa|
|262||University of Padua||Università degli Studi
|305||University of Rome Tor Vergata||Università degli Studi
di Roma Tor Vergata
|345||University of Naples Federico II||Università degli Studi
di Napoli Federico II
|352||University of Florence||Università degli Studi
di Firenze (UNIFI)
|365||Polytechnic University of Turin||Politecnico di Torino|
|371||University of Pavia||L'Università di Pavia|
|377||Catholic University of the Sacred Heart||Università Cattolica
del Sacro Cuore (UCSC)
|394||University of Turin||Università degli Studi di Torino|
|University of Trento||Università degli studi di Trento|
|University of Siena||Università degli Studi di Siena|
Source: QS World University Rankings
Foreign nationals can apply to public Italian universities through their embassy. Most courses offered by the Italian universities are free but are limited to 200 students. Admission includes an interview and a language test.
Restricted access courses are intended for the students of Medicine, Applied Sciences or those who go on international internships. To attend this type of course students need to pass a compulsory exam (test di amissione).
Universities establish their own tuition fees, which are usually the same for EU and
The cost of living is relatively high in Italy, particularly in the north.
- notarised secondary education certificate or university diploma copy (with Italian translation)
- CILS (Certificazione di Italiano come Lingua Straniera) B2 certificate (if lower, there are additional language tests at university) or TOEFL/IELTS certificate to study in English
- academic transcripts for any higher level studies accomplished
- Dichiarazione di Valoro in Loco statement
- preinscrizione modello A or
A-bisform (depending on the academic programme)
- two photos, legalised by the consulate