Study Abroad in Italy on a Modest Budget; List of Universities Available

Let’s consider where you can Study Abroad in Italy on a modest budget; we will also review tuition fees in the country, admission requirements, language requirements, cost of living, and universities in Italy.


Italy is a European country located in the Southern part of Europe. It borders countries like France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino and Vatican City. Many students choose to study in Italy because of the high standard of education coupled with low tuition fees. So if you cannot afford the high tuition fees to study in countries like Australia, US, Canada and UK, you can make up your mind now to study in Italy.

Important factors to consider before deciding to study abroad in Italy

Tuition Fees in Italy

Universities in Italy charge extremely low tuition fees for all students including international students. The average tuition fees for Bachelors and Masters programs is 1500 Euro per academic year. In some cases, students are exempted from paying tuition fees depending on their financial condition or academic performance. We advice that you contact your university in Italy to find out if you are qualified for a tuition fee exemption.

Cost of living in Italy

Cost of living in Italy can be considerably high or low depending on where you live. For example, tourist areas and main cities especially in the North are more expensive than in smaller towns. In one month, a budget of 1000 Euro to 1500 Euro can carter for living expenses like feeding, accommodation, transportation, buying of books etc.

Breakdown below;

  • Milk: 1.20 / Litre
  • Bread: 3.50 / Kilo
  • Butter: 1.70 / 250 gr.
  • Beef: 9.00 / 19.00 / Kilo
  • Chicken: 8.00 / 10.00 /Kilo
  • Rice: 1.70 / 2.50 / Kilo
  • Pasta: 0.80 / 1.20 /Kilo
  • Mineral water: 0.50 / 0.80 /Litre
  • Cinema: 7.50
  • Fast food menu: 5.50
  • Train ticket Milan – Rome 38.00 (Intercity train), 47.00 (Eurostar train) / one way
  • Rome and Milan underground ticket: 1.00 (1 journey)

you are applying for an undergraduate program, you should be in possession of a valid school leaving certificate that qualifies you for a higher education studies in your country. This will also qualify you for studies in Italy. For Masters, a good bachelor’s degree certificate is usually required, and for PhD, a good Masters degree result. Note that some of the programs are taught in Italian language and you may be requested to prove your proficiency.

Language Requirement

Italian Language

According to Italian regulations regarding access to university studies, students are required to have an adequate knowledge of the Italian language as it is the usual language of instruction. In general, you need to have a minimum level of Italian corresponding to B2 in the Europass Language Passport classification. If your level of knowledge of Italian corresponds to C1 or C2 in the Europass Language Passport classification, you will be exempted from taking the Italian language test.

Unless your level of knowledge of Italian corresponds to C1 or C2 as previously explained, you will be required to pass a test of Italian language. The test will be organized by the institution where you will be studying, usually in September.

English Language

If your study program or course is taught in English, you will be required to prove your level of command of English by presenting the results you received at English courses. Please, always check with your university whether your English studies are sufficient for you to meet this requirement.

Intake Periods / Deadlines

Please adhere to the following dates when applying for admission into an Italian university;

  • Mid April to mid May; students contact the Italian embassy or consulate in their home countries to receive a Letter of Academic Eligibility and Suitability (in Italian, Dichiarazione di Valoro in Loco (DV)) and pre-apply for the study program of their choice.
  • August; students receive a notification on whether they have been admitted to the selected study program and the exact date to take the Italian language exam and any additional exam in case of competitive programs with limited study places.
  • September; students take the Italian language exam and any additional exam if needed.
    How to apply for admission

The mode of application for admission into an Italian university varies depending on the school and your study program.

List of Universities in Italy for International Students

  • Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics
  • Accademia Italiana
  • American University of Rome, The
  • Basilicata University Potenza
  • Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome
  • Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
  • Domus Academy
  • Dutch University Institute for Art History (DUIA)
  • European School of Economics (Rome, Milan, Florence)
  • European University Institute
  • Free International University of Social Studies
  • Free University “Maria Santissima Assunta”
  • Free University Institute “Carlo Cattaneo”
  • Free University Institute of Bio-Medicine Rome
  • Free University of Bozen
  • Higher School of University and Advanced Studies Pisa
  • Institute of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • International Higher School for Advanced Studies Trieste
  • John Cabot University
  • Johns Hopkins University, SAIS Bologna Center
  • Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti
  • Polimoda Institute of Fashion Design
  • Polytechnic Institute of Bari
  • Polytechnic Institute of Milan
  • Polytechnic Institute of Turin
  • Pontificia UniversitĂ  Gregoriana
  • Pontificia UniversitĂ  Lateranense
  • Pontificia UniversitĂ  S. Tommaso
  • School of Education Pisa
  • Second University of Naples
  • John’s University, Rome Campus
  • Third University of Rome
  • UniversitĂ  Bocconi
  • UniversitĂ  Pontificia Salesiana
  • University Institute of Architecture Venice
  • University Institute of Modern Languages
  • University Institute of Naval Studies
  • University Institute of Oriental Studies
  • University Institute of Teacher Training “Suor Orsola Benincasa”
  • University of Ancona
  • University of Bari
  • University of Bergamo
  • University of Brescia
  • University of Cagliari
  • University of Calabria
  • University of Camerino
  • University of Cassino
  • University of Catania
  • University of Chieti
  • University of Commerce Luigi Bocconi
  • University of Ferrara
  • University of Florence
  • University of Genoa
  • University of Italian Studies for Foreigners of Perugia
  • University of Italian Studies for Foreigners of Siena
  • University of Lecce
  • University of Macerata
  • University of Messina
  • University of Milan
  • University of Milan – Bicocca
  • University of Modena
  • University of Molise
  • University of Naples Federico II
  • University of Padua
  • University of Palermo
  • University of Parma
  • University of Pavia
  • University of Perugia
  • University of Pisa
  • University of Reggio Calabria
  • University of Roma “La Sapienza”
  • University of Roma “Tor Vergata”
  • University of Salerno
  • University of Sannio
  • University of Sassari
  • University of Siena
  • University of Teramo
  • University of Trento
  • University of Trieste
  • University of Turin
  • University of Udine
  • University of Urbino
  • University of Venice
  • University of Verona
  • Viterbo State University
  • Yorker International University, Milan

How to Study Abroad in Italy

This is a topic that is posed a lot by international students for a good reason. The admission process can be very complicated at Italian universities, as foreign students may not know anything about it. This article should guide perfectly on this.

In Italy, is university education free?

For students and children of all nationalities, education at all levels is free, provided that they are residents of Italy. Unfortunately, tuition-free education is not available for foreign students.

However if applicable, scholarships and grants are available to students that can be given through the university or through the student government. In special cases, these scholarships will also cover the entire tuition costs on the basis of the ability of the recipient.

There are a lot of ways that foreign students can study for free in Italy.

Review of Affordable Universities in Italy for Foreign Students

1. University of Florence

Tuition; from €1,040

In the beautiful city of Florence, the University of Florence is a public research university. It is one of the country’s oldest and most prominent higher education institutions. The origins of the university date back to its founding in the early 14th century. Academically, 12 major departments, ranging from agriculture and economics to law and medicine, form the university.

Over 126 separate degrees and courses of study are offered collectively. At present, inside the university’s walls, a student population of over 52,000 study and pursue degrees.

This cheap university in Italy has consistently been rated in the university league tables as a top institution; the QS university rankings have placed the university in the world’s top 500.

It holds numerous foreign agreements with universities abroad. This offers the opportunity for students to earn joint degrees that are earned in partnership. In addition, the university is a high-profile research centre and forms one of the country’s academic centers.

2. University of Siena

Fees for tuition; from €1,800

The University of Siena, located in the city of Siena in Tuscany, is a public research university which was established in 1240. It is the region’s oldest and most reputed university and was the first publicly funded institution. It provides study for a student enrollment of more than 22,000.

The university consists of 15 academic departments, including Biomedical & Medical Sciences, Experimental Sciences, Economics, Law & Political Sciences and the School of Arts, which are grouped under five major faculties.

The University of Siena is a campus area, unlike most universities in Italy, and the institution forms an integral part of the region. Students have access to one of the most affluent societies with a strong thirst for science, knowledge and learning in the world. In terms of cutting-edge teaching facilities, the university is very carefully and firmly planned to include the est.

3. Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

Tuition; from €1,340

The Free University of Bozen-Bolzano is a public-private research university mainly located in northern Italy, in Bolzano. It was established in 1997 and is one of the more recent additions to the country’s higher education system.

The iconic goal of this cheap university in Italy is to provide its students with a multilingual, realistic educational experience. As a result, either English, German or Italian are offered as degrees and courses of study. A large proportion of teaching, with its emphasis on applied teaching, takes place as practical training and workshops.

The university currently has a student population of over 5000 students, about 20 percent of whom come from outside Italy. More than 30 undergraduate and graduate programs are offered by the Free University to students across a variety of disciplines, including natural sciences, social sciences, education, engineering and economics. Teaching is delivered across 3 key courses.

As a result, either English, German or Italian are offered as degrees and courses of study. A large proportion of teaching, with its emphasis on applied teaching, takes place as practical training and workshops.

The university currently has a student population of over 5000 students, about 20 percent of whom come from outside Italy. More than 30 undergraduate and graduate programs are offered by the Free University to students across a variety of disciplines, including natural sciences, social sciences, education, engineering and economics. Three main campuses in Bolzano, as well as Bruneck and Brixen, oversee teaching.

4. University of Turi

Tuition; from 2,800 Euros

Turin University is a public university situated in the northwestern Italian city of Turin (or Torino). The university, which was founded in 1404, is one of the oldest institutions in Europe and ranks among the top universities in Italy. In addition, it is ranked among the world’s top 500 universities.

The university has a student population of over 70,000 at present. Students have access to a broad variety of degrees and study courses offered by 55 academic departments. Several courses are unique to this institution in Italy alone, such as biotechnology, sports science, military sciences and conservation studies.

5. University of Padua

Fees for tuition; from €2,500

The University of Padua, established in 1222, is considered to be the world’s second oldest university. Originally founded as a law school, this affordable Italian university is at the highest level in Italy and currently has over 61,000 students. The university’s central campus is located in Northern Italy, in the city of Padua.

The likes of Nicolas Copernicus (formulated by the current Solar System model), Vesalius (the father of modern human anatomy) and Federico Faggin (inventor of the microprocessor) are some of the iconic alumni that the university has created.

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