Italy is home to some of the world’s oldest and most respected higher education institutions. The country spends 8.8% of its total expenditure on education, achieving a 66.05% enrolment rate in higher education. As well as educating its own citizens, Italy is also a popular choice for students from overseas. If you are one of those considering studying in Italy, read on to discover all you need to know.
Why Do International Students Study in Italy?
They say a picture speaks a thousand words. It’s certainly true that when you scroll through the social media accounts of Italian education influences such as Professor Andrea Maggi, you get a sense of the grandeur of Italy’s higher education scene. Glimpses of stunning buildings, delicious food, diverse literary works and social events hint at the excitement and learning opportunities that Italy delivers.
For international students, studying in Italy delivers on multiple fronts. It provides the chance to gain a qualification, to learn a new language, to explore a fascinating country, to sample one of the world’s most well-known cuisines, to make new friends and more.
How Can I Apply for Student Visa and Permits?
Students from outside Italy may need visas and permits in order to study there. The documentation required will vary depending on the student’s country of origin.
If you’re from an EU member state, you don’t need a visa to study in Italy. You’ll just need a valid passport or EU ID card in order to enter the country. When you arrive, you will have three months in which to register at your local Questura station (police station) to obtain a residence permit.
The situation is more complicated for non-EU students who want to go to university in Italy, who will need a visa to do so. Those completing courses of 90 days’ duration or more will need to obtain a type D visa (stays of less than 90 days are covered by a type C visa).
Applying for a visa isn’t quick, so it’s important to start the process in plenty of time – as soon as you have a letter of admission from the university you applied to. Italian Embassies and Consulate-General offices around the world can issue Italian student visas, so start by reaching out to your nearest one. Your visa appointment with the embassy or consulate will clarify the process you need to follow to obtain your visa. This will depend on where in the world you reside.
In addition to applying for a visa to study in Italy, you will also need to apply for a residence permit. You can do this by visiting a Questura station within eight days of your arrival in the country. This is a legal obligation, so make sure you don’t delay or you could face issues in proving your legal right to reside in Italy during the course of your studies.
Should I Hire a Certified Italian Translator for My Official Documents?
Using a professional to meet your English to Italian translation needs is an important part of applying to study in Italy. You may need to use Italian translation to obtain your visa and to access your university course, for example by providing a translation to Italian of your birth certificate, current qualifications or other official document.
Using an ISO-certified service when you undertake translation from English to Italian can ensure you get the peace of mind that comes with knowing your documents are in safe hands. Using a professional means you can ensure your translations are of high enough quality to be accepted, while using a certified service adds a rubber stamp from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For any document that you need to translate, check whether you will also need the translation certified. If so, build enough time into the English to Italian translation process to ensure that the certification element doesn’t hold anything up in terms of your university place application or your visa or residence permit application.
List of Requirements for Student Visa and Permits
Be prepared to produce plenty of documents if you need a visa to study in Italy – hence the need for a trusted, reliable Italian translation service. While the visa application process changes from time to time, so you’ll need to check with your local embassy or consulate for the latest details, it’s best to be prepared and bank on having:
- A completed visa application form – you can get this from your consulate or embassy
- Proof of payment for the visa application fee
- Evidence of where you will be staying in Italy and that you can afford to support yourself while there
- A copy of your travel itinerary
- Proof that you hold medical insurance and that you don’t have a criminal record
- A letter of acceptance from your chosen university
- A valid passport – you will need this to be valid until at least three months after your studies in Italy are due to end
You may also be required to prove your language skills as part of the visa application process. This could mean either proof you speak Italian or proof you speak English, depending on the language in which your chosen course will be delivered.
Other FAQ by International Students Planning to Study in Italy
Questions from those who plan to study in Italy are many and varied. Some examples include:
- Is federal aid available when studying abroad? Yes, for some undergraduate and graduate level studies.
- Are scholarships available? Yes, at some universities.
- Is student accommodation expensive in Italy? This depends greatly on where you are studying. Some universities may offer subsidised or even free accommodation, so be sure to ask your chosen institution if that is an option.
- Is English widely spoken? Yes, in most towns and cities but not everywhere – so be sure to practice your Italian as well.
Studying in Italy can be hugely exciting and enriching experience, as well as a great way to obtain the qualifications you need to pursue the career of your dreams – so be sure to get your paperwork right.