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Education in Italy

About Italy

Italy’s historic treasures and magnificent cuisine continue to draw visitors as they have done for centuries. From the snow-capped Dolomites in the North to the warm maritime Mediterranean culture of the South, Italy’s regions are diverse and exciting. For the international student seeking world-class but affordable education, with a wide range of social and leisure activities, few countries are as exciting a choice as Italy.
The country’s cultural importance extends back to ancient times and the past greets the student of history and archaeology on every street corner. For many, Rome is still the Eternal City, the centre of an empire that - some 2,000 years ago - stretched from rainy Britannia to the deserts of Syria. At its height it also encompassed Egypt, much of North Africa and nearly all of Continental Europe.

Culture in Italy

People in Italy are known to be friendly and family-oriented. They take a lot of pride in their culture, which includes their food, language, and values. Respect for the elderly is very important in Italian culture — so important that the Italian Parliament introduced Festa dei Nonni (Grandparents’ Day) in 2005. As the birthplace of the Renaissance, Italy is known for influencing the world’s art, music, and architecture scene. It is also famous for its top-notch luxury fashion and car brands, such as Gucci, Prada, Ferrari, and Lamborghini.

Italy’s population is around 60 million and it is the seventh biggest country in the European Union. It is made up of 20 regions, each with its own culture, dialect, and food. The north is considered the economic centre, whereas the south is more for tourism.

Learn more on courses and application to Study in Italy

Cultural diversity in Italy

Besides Italians, who account for over 90% of Italy’s population, there are also strong Romanian, Albanian, and Moroccan communities. In addition to this, each region of Italy has its own distinct culture.

Languages spoken in Italy

Italy’s official language is Italian. While it’s the mother tongue of the vast majority of people, regional languages also exist. These languages are different from Italian and are not always mutually intelligible. It is important to note that English proficiency in Italy is not high. Learning some Italian will definitely make your daily life easier.

Italian food and culture

Lasagna, spaghetti, gnocchi, risotto… The list goes on. Italian food is among the best in the world, and it is very diverse. For example, in the south, you will find a lot of seafood, and in the north, more meat-based dishes. Socialising over food is very common in Italian culture. During ‘aperitivo,’ which takes place before dinner, people enjoy catching up while enjoying some wine or spirits, along with appetisers such as olives, cheese, or crisps.

Weather in Italy

Overall, Italy has a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot summers. It snows in the north during winter, especially in the Alps, which are a top European skiing destination. You can enjoy the country’s beautiful southern beaches in the summer and spring.

How to choose a university in Italy?

While choosing a university in Italy is a personal choice, there are some general ideas for you to consider. Here is our choosing a university checklist to help you with your decision: 

  • Is the university accessible to international students? To make sure that your university has English-taught programmes and an English-speaking community, check their website for English content and read the reviews;
  • Do you want to live in a big city or a smaller student city? Big cities like Milan, Rome, and Florence are the world’s leading cultural hubs. Therefore, you will probably meet more international students and expats, but cost of living is also higher. For a more budget-friendly destination with a mix of internationals and locals, you can consider smaller student cities like Pisa, Padua, or Siena.  
  • What is your budget? Although there are many scholarship programmes you can apply for, private universities still have higher tuition fees. You will also have living expenses, which are higher in bigger cities. 
  • How does the university perform in your field? By checking QS Subject Rankings or THE World University Rankings, you can see how well the university is in your chosen field. 
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