In Italy, there is always something for everyone – from the charms of old towns and coastal cities to the center of cutting-edge technology and the latest trends. Throughout history, Italy has been the place of pioneers and game-changers – from Michaelangelo and Da Vinci to fashion houses such as Gucci and Prada.

Beyond its more glamorous centers of excellence in the arts, Italy has also made its mark in the art of education. The country is home to the oldest university in the world. The University of Bologna, established in 1088, not only stood the test of time but also founded the current university structure many know today called the Bologna Process. Today, Italy is home to 97 universities, some of which are the top-ranking universities in the world.

As the country with the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites, Italian education is best experienced outside the walls of the classroom. Instead of just reading about the Roman Empire, explore the Colosseum and the Pantheon, and immerse yourself in a time long ago. Instead of discussing theory on religion, witness jaw-dropping cathedrals and museums that bring about a new level of reverence for the faiths. And in the every day, delight in walking Italy’s cobbled streets, indulge in authentic Italian food and wine, and enjoy the company of its warm-hearted people.

More than knowledge, a study in Italy will be an unforgettable experience rich with history and culture. There is much one can learn from this multi-faceted country that cannot be defined. Discover the wonders of Italy for yourself! Read on to know how you can apply and study for an undergraduate degree in Italy.

Application Requirements for Applying for Bachelors in Italy

General requirements for international students looking to study for an undergraduate degree in Italy include the curriculum vitae, official transcripts, and scores from standardized tests such as SAT or ACT. Additional requirements may include scores from language proficiency tests, as well as letters of recommendation and letters of motivation.

As with other countries, international students are required to have a Student Visa to enter Italy. The requirements for the visa include a filled out visa application form, passport, an official letter stating acceptance or enrollment in an Italian university, proof of accommodation in Italy, proof of return to the country of residence, and proof of funding via a bank statement or guarantor’s letter or equivalent. Note that the minimum monthly expense is pegged at approximately 450 EUR/month. Additional requirements may be asked from students depending on their nationality.

Lastly, requirements as a temporary citizen of Italy include a 90 EUR residence permit and health insurance.

Bachelor’s Degree Language Requirements for Italy

Most educational institutions use Italian as the official medium of instruction. As a general rule, it is recommended for international students applying for a bachelor’s degree in Italy to have a basic knowledge of Italian (equivalent to A2 level in standardized tests) to make the most out of their stay.

But for some universities, international students who do not use Italian as their primary language may be asked to bring Italian language proficiency exam scores as part of their application. Some examples of Italian language tests commonly accepted by local institutions include the CILS and CELI exams. The CILS exam can be taken before arrival in Italy, as this is available in all Italian Institutes of Culture worldwide. Meanwhile, CELI tests can only be taken in certified organizations in collaboration with the University of Perugia. For both exams, a score of B2 is recommended to keep up with top universities such as the University of Padua.

However, don’t be surprised if universities will provide their exams to assess Italian proficiency. The University of Bologna, for example, uses the CISIA online Italian-L2 Test for this purpose. Students are tasked to answer 48 questions in 90 minutes, divided into three sections, namely: listening, reading, and linguistic structures. The highest possible score is 90, while the minimum score to pass is 16.

Fortunately, more schools have slowly introduced English into the curriculum. Some programs are taught in both English and Italian, while others teach in Italian with the option for students to submit requirements and take exams in English. Because of this, English proficiency is a requirement for these courses assessed by standardized tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, and C1. In the University of Bologna, IELTS takers should have a minimum score of 5.5, while applicants for the Sapienza University of Rome and the University of Padua must aim for minimum scores of 6.0. A TOEFL iBT score of 80 is a sweet spot for all three universities. Students who have studied in an institution where English was the primary medium of instruction can waive this requirement.

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

How to Apply for Bachelor’s Programs in Italy

1. Applying to the University

When applying for a bachelor’s degree in Italy, international students must submit requirements for university enrollment as well as a pre-application request to the Italian Embassy or Consulate in their country of residence. This can also be done online through the UniversItaly Portal. The request must contain information about the candidate and the course being applied to. These will be forwarded to the institutions in question for deliberation.

In the Sapienza University of Rome, study programs with a more rigorous screening process such as health and medicine, veterinary, education, and architecture, higher education institutions may require specific admission exams before deliberation. Other schools such as the University of Bologna and the University of Padua are very particular about the language proficiency of their students – with the former including a CISIA online English proficiency test scores as part of the enrollment process.

2. Release of Admission Results

Students may liaise with the university as to how the results will be communicated. Results are usually announced by the Embassy, but these can also be relayed by the institution to the student directly as per their preference.

3. Apply for a Student Visa

With the official acceptance letter in hand, international students can now apply for a Student Visa. For full degree courses, a Type D (long-stay) visa must be applied for to accommodate a stay in Italy for more than 90 days. The visa can be applied for in the Italian Consulate as much as three months in advance, while the visa interview can be scheduled at least a month before the scheduled departure to Italy. After the interview, processing the visa should only take around 1-3 weeks.

4. Finalize Enrollment and Settle in Italy

Students must officially enroll in person upon their arrival in Italy. To finalize their temporary citizenship in the country, international students must apply for a residence permit within eight working days from their arrival. This can be done by registering with the local police or qualified post services. Student services in universities might also be able to assist international students with the necessary documents for this matter. And just like that, you are now able to study for your undergraduate degree in Italy!

5. Prepare Your Finances

Italy uses the euro as its official currency. International students without a local euro account can find this challenging. Banks charge high fees when you spend money abroad and, more often than not, use unfavorable conversion rates to convert your currency.

Wise bank is an excellent choice for international students who need a Euro account. They offer a Euro account for free and use the mid-market exchange rate to convert your local currency. With a Wise account, you save money on charges and conversion fees in Italy by holding and spending your money in euros. Create a Wise account today. It is free and only takes a couple of minutes.


I hope this article on how to apply for a bachelor’s degree in Italy was helpful. Feel free to check out the Available Programs for International Students and learn more about studying in Europe.

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