Studying Abroad in Italy: 5 Steps You Must Take

Studying abroad in Italy can be an incredible experience. One that furnishes students with a wide range of social and life skills, as well as academic knowledge and qualifications. For students on a budget who want to study abroad, Italy is a sensible choice. 

Italy has one of the most affordable higher education systems in Europe. Many universities are state-funded, through the country is also home to a number of private establishments. Italy has a long history of academic excellence and is home to some of the world’s oldest universities. The University of Bologna, for example, was founded in the 11th century and is the oldest university in Europe. It is also Italy’s top-ranked university and ranked 172nd globally for the quality of the academic experience it provides. Italy is also home to some 40 American universities

Studying Abroad in Italy

  • Choosing What to Study
  • Applying for Italian University Courses
  • Translate Your Documents
  • Obtaining a visa to study in Italy 
  • Finding Student Accommodation in Italy

Choosing What to Study

Imagine studying in Italy and subjects like art, fashion and film leap to mind. And, indeed, if you’re looking for a top film school or top fashion school in Italy, you will be very well served. But Italy is also a country with a wide range of dynamic industries – along with appropriate degree courses to nurture the next generation of talent to work in those industries. 

According to the World Atlas, tourism accounts for 11.8% of Italy’s GDP, while manufacturing, agriculture, the services sector and trade are also key contributors to the country’s wealth. Undertaking studies in these areas – and in related subjects such as law, commerce, finance, technology, science and humanities – can position graduates well for future employment within Italy. They can also deliver valuable knowledge and skills that will help students secure jobs outside of Italy. 

Note that certain subjects (such as engineering, architecture and medicine) will require you to sit an exam before you can study in Italy. Something to bear in mind when choosing your course. 

Applying for Italian University Courses

Firstly, contact the university you want to study at to check that your qualifications are valid for studying there. You can ask them for an assessment and feedback on your eligibility. 

Assuming you tick the right boxes in terms of admission requirements, next it’s time to contact the Italian embassy or consulate in your local area to submit a pre-application request. They will contact the Italian higher education institution you want to study at and submit your application paperwork and documents. 

Translate Your Documents

As part of your application, you will need to submit a whole heap of paperwork in addition to your university application form, including:

  • An identity document such as a passport
  • An academic transcript plus an official SAT or ACT score
  • Letters of recommendation and motivation
  • A CV
  • Details of the courses and programs you have completed, including hours of study and/or training
  • Details of your language proficiency (Italian and/or English)
  • A passport-style photo

Certain university courses may require additional documentation, such as a portfolio for those undertaking design courses, architecture courses and similar. 

You will need to translate your documents from English to Italian. What is the most accurate Italian translator? That would be a professional Italian translator with experience of providing Italian translations to academic institutions.

By using Italian translation services, you can ensure that the university of your choice has everything they need in an easily digestible format. Presenting a professionally written application letter, translated into flawless Italian, will also help to give you the edge when it comes to ensuring your application stands out. 

How much does a translation cost? It’s a natural question for budget-conscious students. Be prepared to pay around $0.06 to $0.10 per word for Italian translation through an Italian translation company. You could also hire a freelancer to provide your Italian translation service. At the time of writing, Upwork has freelancers providing English to Italian translation services from $10 per hour to $50 per hour. 

Obtaining a visa to study in Italy 

Bear in mind that you may also need to use Italian translation services for other documents if you plan to study in Italy. If you’re from outside the EU then as soon as you have received a letter of admission from a university in Italy, you’ll need to make an appointment with your local Italian embassy or consulate in order to apply for a visa. 

You will need to present various documents when applying for your visa to study in Italy (usually a Visa Type D for students who will be studying in Italy for more than 90 days). These will include many of the documents you needed when applying for your university place, as well as things like proof of medical insurance, details of your travel, proof of accommodation in Italy and evidence of sufficient financial resources to support yourself. 

Finding Student Accommodation in Italy

Some universities in Italy provide accommodation offers that can help students from overseas settle in at minimal cost. The University of Pisa, for example, offers free accommodation for three months for non-EU students undertaking Master’s Degrees delivered in English, along with a complementary 40-hour Italian language course. 

If you plan to study in Italy, it’s well worth researching the offers available at the time you’re applying to see whether accommodation – or funding for accommodation – is available to help you manage your costs. 

Final Tips 

In addition to looking for financial support options for your accommodation, be sure to look out for scholarship opportunities and study abroad schemes that can help with your costs (though make sure you’re on the lookout for scammers too). 

Learn as much Italian as you can before you travel, as the more you can speak when you arrive, the easier you will find it to settle in and get the best out of your time in Italy. 

Finally, remember that if you plan to seek part-time work while in Italy, as a means of funding your studies, you will need to check what you are permitted to do within the limitations of your visa.

Don’t go to all the trouble of using Italian translation services to get onto the course of your dreams, only to be sent home for breaching the terms of your study visa! 

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