Study in Italy in English for international students

A popular tourist destination, Italy also turns out to be one of the places international students choose to study in. The reason is not only because of the country’s beauty and richness of culture and history. It’s also because Italy, in order to fit in today’s competitive world, has many colleges and universities offering study programs in English. Planning to study for a bachelor, a master or a doctorate degree in Italy in English? Here are a few points to consider. 

Is it possible to live and study in Italy if you speak only English?

Italy is certainly not known for being an English-speaking country. And if you want to study there, a good command of the English language will be helpful. And there are more and more English-taught courses at Italian universities. However, it won’t be enough if you want to live in the country. You’ll need to learn the basics of the language to be able to go about your day-to-day life: shopping, traveling around, working… And if you plan to remain in Italy after your studies, being fluent in Italian is mandatory.   

Application requirements at English-taught universities in Italy

To be able to study in English in Italy, you must of course provide a proof of English proficiency. For that, you need to pass one of the widely accepted English language tests: IELTS Academic, PTE Academic, or TOEFL.

Learn here how to succeed at your IELTS exam

The other most common requirements of Italian universities include:

  • Previous degrees: high school diploma, bachelor’s, or master’s depending on the level you apply to
  • Academic transcripts
  • ID or passport
  • Passport size photos
  • Personal essay or statement of purpose
  • Letters of recommendation

Read here our guide on how to apply to universities in Italy

How much does it cost to study in Italy in English?

Universities’ tuition fees in Italy are lower than what apply in most European countries. Usually, institutions of higher education define their own fees, based on upper and lower limits fixed by the Italian government. But to give you a price range, usually if you study at a public university in Italy, you’ll pay between €850 and €2,000 per year of tuition. Of course, private institutions apply higher fees.

Find out about the cheapest universities in Italy in our guide on how to study for free in Italy.

Read also our overview of the study and living cost in Italy for students.

How many English-taught universities are there in Italy?

The “Study in Italy” website currently lists around 60 institutions of higher education offering more than 350 programs in English in Italy. And these numbers are set to increase since there are more and more options for international students from all over the world to pursue academics at Italian universities.  

Here are some of the best universities in Italy that offer study courses in English:

Politecnico di MILANO

This college is not only the best institution of higher education in Italy, but also the one that offers the most English-taught programs. The Politecnico di Milano is the largest technical university in Italy, offering over 25 study programs in English. Founded in 1863, the institution is also in the top 20 technical universities in the world and the top 10 in Europe. This says it all when it comes to the education quality you can expect from the institution. Laslty, Politecnico hosts over 7,000 international students to which they offer graduate programs taught entirely in English or bilingual programs in English and Italian.

Learn more about Politecnico di Milano 

University of Bologna

The University of Bologna is considered to be the oldest university in the Western world. As a matter of fact, it came into existence in 1088. It’s one of these institutions who played a big role in fashioning the European culture, that is still in operation nowadays. And this certainly comes from the fact that the university has learned to adapt itself to the perpetual change the world have gone through during the last centuries. It’s no surprise then that the University of Bologna is the second institution offering the most English-taught programs in Italy: more than 20 programs, 3 of them at undergraduate level.

Learn more about the university

University of Trento

The third institution offering the most study courses in English in Italy is the University of Trento. It’s also one of the top public universities in the region, ranking in the top 500 globally. With a particular focus on the quality of research and education and on internationalization, the University of Trento offers more than 15 programs in English. All of them are at the graduate level, except for one program in Comparative, European and International Legal Studies, offered at the undergraduate level.

Learn more about the University of Trento

University of Padua

Another institution that has successfully passed the test of time, the University of Padua’s origins date back to 1222. It’s the second-oldest university in Italy and the fifth-oldest surviving university in the world. The university is located in northern Italy, in the region of Veneto. It offers more than 15 study programs in English among them 2 are at undergraduate level, in the fields of animal care and psychological science.

Find out more about the university

Sapienza University of Rome

The next institution in our list is the Sapienza University of Rome or simply the University of Rome. It’s a public research university in Italy, which came into existence in 1303. The institution is therefore one of the oldest university in history but also one of the largest universities in Europe in terms of enrollments. It also hosts one of the best and oldest medical schools in Italy, and in Europe. Besides, the medical program is among those taught in English at the institution.

Learn more about La Sapienza University of Rome

Tor Vergata University of Rome

The other public research university in Rome is Tor Vergata, also known as the University of Rome II. Located in the southeastern suburb of the city, Tor Vergata also hosts a School of Medicine and Surgery that is part of the Policlinico Tor Vergata, an important University Hospital in the country. The institution also has 5 other schools: Economics, Engineering, Humanities & Philosophy, Law, and Mathematics, Physics & Natural Sciences. Tor Vergata University of Rome offers 15 study programs in English. 

Find out more on the institution’s website.

Read also the ranking of the top universities in Italy.

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