Higher education in Italy for foreigners

Registration procedure, deadlines, entrance exams, Italian language test and required documents.

What is the procedure for admission to an Italian university for foreigners? We tell you how to enter a university in Italy for a foreigner and what documents he will need.

International students: how to enroll in an Italian university

If you are not an EU citizen, but live in Italy legally, you can enroll in one of the Italian universities by presenting the relevant documents confirming that you received your secondary education in Italy, if but you studied abroad – school certificate translated into Italian and legalized.

To study at an Italian university, then you will first need to obtain a student

To enter an Italian university, you must pass entrance exams, which usually take place at the end of August. If you go to the official website of your chosen university, you will find all the information about exams, tuition fees, scholarships and student residences.

Obtaining an Italian student visa

Note: The rules below apply exclusively to international students originating from non-EU countries who reside in these countries and who need a visa to enter Italy for a long stay.

Rules do not apply:

Citizens of the countries of the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, the Republic of San Marino, even if they have a foreign school certificate, as well as all those foreigners who already have a residence permit in Italy, issued on any basis (including holders of international protection);

To recipients of scholarships in the framework of the European Union education, training and research programs, to whom the rules established for the Erasmus Mundus and Erasmus Plus programs apply.

To obtain a visa to study in Italy (student visa) (type D) and then a study residence permit, the foreign student must demonstrate the following requirements:

The economic livelihood for the intended stay. These resources are quantified at € 453.00 per month for each academic year, which is € 5,889.00 per year. The availability of sufficient funds to live in Italy must be confirmed by personal or parental economic guarantees;

The presence of the amount necessary to return home after passing the entrance exams, which can also be confirmed by presenting a return ticket;

Availability of suitable housing on the national territory;

Availability of an insurance policy to cover the costs of possible treatment / hospitalization (article 39 of the Unified Immigration Law No. 286/1998 and directive 01.03.2000 of the Ministry of Internal Affairs).

In addition, you must provide the following documents:
completed visa application form;
passport photo;
a valid international passport and a photocopy of the personal data page;
certificate / certificate that confirms the preliminary registration at the university;
educational documents.

Applicants who sign up for the entrance exams to an Italian university, including the Italian language exam, present at the chosen university a passport with a valid entry student visa, any type of residence permit in Italy or a receipt issued by the post office confirming the submission of a request for a residence permit …

Obtaining a student residence permit

Within eight days after arriving in Italy with a national visa “D” for study, the foreigner must apply for a residence permit on the same basis at the competent immigration department of the city (questura) in which he intends to reside permanently.

Applications can also be made through post offices or special services for international students who may be present at higher education institutions.

During the submission of the request, the international student will receive a call notification, which will indicate the day when he will have to appear at the Questura for fingerprinting. If the request needs to be completed with additional documentation, the student will be informed about this by SMS or registered mail.

The post office issues a receipt for the request for a residence permit certifying the legal stay of the foreigner in Italy.

Foreign students: documents required to enroll in a university

Pre-registration to the university

An official application for admission to specialist and master training courses for foreign students applying for a visa and residing abroad must be completed in advance. During this procedure, the university will check if the student has to perform additional tasks related to any autonomous local needs or provide additional documents. Registration dates are set in a calendar that is published annually by the Italian Ministry of Education.

Institutions wishing to directly screen candidates for their courses prior to university admission will be able to conduct their own pre-assessment by requesting any documents they deem useful for this preventive assessment.

Further, the university will send to individual applicants who are suitable for admission, a letter drawn up in accordance with the requirements of consular offices, which must be submitted by applicants to diplomatic and consular missions at the stage of visa request.

Bachelor’s degree programs at Italian universities (first cycle) usually last three years, while specialist and master’s degrees (second cycle) are divided into:

two-year post-bachelor’s degree master’s programs;

“one-cycle” master’s programs with five or six years of study (eg medicine and surgery, dentistry, veterinary medicine, architecture, law).

Documents drawn up in a foreign language for submission to diplomatic consular missions must be accompanied by an official translation into Italian.

Attention: in the event that a foreign student who has already been enrolled in an Italian university has refused to study and requires a new admission to the same or another university, he cannot use the previously issued student residence permit, but will have to get it again!

Italian language proficiency test

If the applicant has not chosen a course of study taught exclusively in English, students from non-EU countries must take an Italian language proficiency test to gain access to university courses.

No need to take the Italian language proficiency test:

applicants who graduated from high school in Italy;

applicants who have received a diploma in Italian language and culture at the universities for foreigners of Perugia and Siena;

students who have received certificates of proficiency in Italian, issued in accordance with the CLIQ quality system, attesting to a level of knowledge not lower than B2.

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