Studying in Italy? A Guide for Canadian Students

Last Updated: 30 Apr 2024
Duomo di Milano
Milan, Italy

Studying in Italy offers a rich cultural experience and access to world-renowned educational institutions, with a diverse range of programs that cater to various academic interests and career paths. 

Italy is home to some of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world, providing students with exposure to academic excellence and a diverse range of programs. In this blog, we'll explore everything you need to know about studying in Italy as a Canadian student, from navigating the application process to understanding the cost of living and experiencing the cultural treasures that Italy has to offer. Whether you're drawn to the art and architecture of Florence, the fashion capital of Milan, or the bustling streets of Naples, studying in Italy promises to be an unforgettable adventure filled with academic excellence, cultural enrichment, and lifelong memories.

Why should Canadian students study in Italy?

Canadian students should consider studying in Italy for several compelling reasons;

Rich cultural experience: Italy is known for its rich history, art, architecture, and vibrant cultural heritage. Studying in Italy offers Canadian students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a country that has influenced Western civilization for centuries. 

Renowned educational institutions: Italy is home to many prestigious universities and educational institutions that offer a wide range of academic programs. Italian universities provide high-quality education and innovative teaching methods, whether in humanities, arts, sciences, business, design, or engineering. Studying at these institutions allows Canadian students to learn from renowned professors, engage in research projects, and gain valuable international academic credentials.

Global networking opportunities: Studying in Italy opens doors to a diverse and global network of students and professionals. By interacting with peers from different countries and backgrounds, Canadian students can enhance their intercultural communication skills, forge valuable connections, and establish a global professional network that can be beneficial for future career prospects.

Language acquisition: Italy is an ideal destination for Canadian students looking to learn or improve their Italian language skills. Studying in an immersive environment where Italian is the primary language can greatly enhance language proficiency. Mastering Italian can open up new opportunities in academia, business, and cultural exchange, and it can be a valuable asset in a variety of career paths.

Cost of living in Italy as a Canadian student

The cost of studying in Italy as a Canadian student can vary depending on factors such as the university, location, and program of study. Here's a breakdown of the main expenses to consider;

Tuition fees: Tuition fees for Canadian students studying in Italy can vary widely depending on the university and program. Generally, public universities in Italy have lower tuition fees compared to private institutions. Additionally, tuition fees for EU citizens and non-EU citizens may differ, with non-EU citizens typically paying higher fees. It's essential to research the specific tuition fees for your chosen program and budget accordingly.

Living expenses: Living expenses in Italy can also vary depending on the city or region. Major cities like Rome, Milan, and Florence tend to have higher living costs compared to smaller towns or rural areas. Expenses such as accommodation, food, transportation, and leisure activities should be factored into your budget. Renting a room in a shared apartment or student dormitory and cooking meals at home can help reduce living expenses.

Health insurance: Canadian students studying in Italy are typically required to have health insurance coverage during their stay. While some universities may offer health insurance plans for international students, it's essential to check whether your existing health insurance from Canada provides coverage abroad or if you need to purchase additional insurance in Italy.

Visa fees: Canadian students planning to study in Italy for more than 90 days are required to obtain a student visa. Visa application fees vary depending on your nationality and the type of visa you're applying for. Be sure to check the current visa application fees and budget for this expense.

Miscellaneous expenses: Other miscellaneous expenses to consider include textbooks, study materials, visa application fees, travel expenses, and personal expenses. It's essential to budget for unexpected costs and plan accordingly to ensure a smooth and financially manageable study abroad experience in Italy.

How can Canadian students apply to a university in Italy?

Canadian students can apply to universities in Italy by following the steps outlined below;

Research universities and programs: Conduct comprehensive research by identifying institutions that align with your academic interests and goals.  Evaluate factors like program offerings, reputation, location, and language of instruction.

Check admission requirements: Review the admission requirements for your chosen university, and ensure that you meet the academic prerequisites, language proficiency requirements (usually Italian or English), and any specific documentation needed for international applicants.

Prepare required documents: Gather all the necessary documents for your application, which typically include academic transcripts, diplomas, language proficiency certificates, a curriculum vitae (CV), motivation letters, and letters of recommendation. Make sure to have official translations of your documents if they are not in Italian or English.

Language proficiency: If your chosen program is taught in Italian, you may need to provide proof of proficiency in the Italian language. This can be demonstrated through language test scores such as CILS or CELI. For English-taught programs, proficiency can be proven through tests like IELTS or TOEFL.

Submit online application: Most Italian universities accept online applications through their dedicated application portals. Fill out the application form accurately, providing all the required information and uploading the necessary documents as per the university's instructions.

Pay application fees: Some universities may require an application fee, so ensure that you are aware of the payment procedure and submit the fee if applicable.

Apply for scholarships and financial aid: Explore scholarship opportunities and financial aid options available specifically for international students in Italy. Check with the universities, external organizations, or government agencies for scholarships you may be eligible for.

Track application status: Keep track of your application status through the university's application portal. Be prepared to provide any additional documentation or information if the admissions office requests it.

Student visas and residence permits: Once your application is approved, you'll be required to apply for a student visa and residence permit. Contact the Italian embassy or consulate in Canada to learn about the visa application process and requirements. Start this process well in advance to ensure you have all the necessary documents before your intended departure.

Best places to study in Italy as a Canadian student

Italy is home to numerous prestigious universities renowned for their academic excellence. Here are a few of the top-rated universities in the country;

Rome: The capital city of Italy, Rome is a top choice for students seeking a vibrant and historically rich study experience. Home to prestigious universities like Sapienza University of Rome and the University of Rome Tor Vergata, the city offers a wide range of academic programs, particularly in humanities, arts, history, and architecture. 

Florence: Known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is a heaven for students interested in art, design, and cultural studies. The city is home to renowned institutions like the University of Florence and the Florence Institute of Design, international students can immerse themselves in the artistic legacy of Florence while studying subjects like fine arts, fashion, architecture, and history.

Milan: As Italy's financial and fashion hub, Milan offers a dynamic and cosmopolitan study environment. The city hosts prestigious institutions like Politecnico di Milano and Bocconi University, known for their excellence in engineering, design, business, and economics. Milan's thriving industries and international connections provide students with excellent internship and job opportunities.

Bologna: Bologna is famous for being one of the oldest university cities in the world, hosting the University of Bologna, founded in 1088. Renowned for its law, humanities, and social sciences programs, Bologna attracts students seeking a traditional and intellectually stimulating academic environment. The city's historic center, lively student atmosphere, and rich cultural heritage make it a fantastic place to study. 

Naples: Located in southern Italy, Naples offers a unique blend of history, culture, and culinary delights, making it an appealing destination for students. The city is home to the University of Naples Federico II, one of the oldest universities in the world, renowned for its strong emphasis on research and innovation. With programs ranging from humanities to sciences, students can explore diverse academic opportunities while immersing themselves in Naples' vibrant atmosphere and rich cultural heritage.

Top educational institutions in Italy

Here are some of the top-ranking universities in Italy; 

  • University of Padua
  • University of Bologna
  • Sapienza University Rome
  • University of Milan
  • University of Naples Federico II
  • University of Turin
  • University of Pisa
  • University of Florence
  • University of Trento
  • University of Milano-Bicocca

Paying for your overseas education with the best exchange rates

If you're living and studying in Italy for a considerable time, finding affordable ways to transfer money internationally is well worth it. For instance, if you want to avoid the above-average fees that your bank will charge, all you have to do is register with MTFX to get the best rates.  

The MTFX platform is accessible 24/7 and allows secure, automated payments. You can also enjoy competitive exchange rates of 3-5% lower than the banks. This translates to savings of $1,500 for each $30,000 you move across borders.


MTFX: Competitive exchange rates for your currency exchange needs

If you're planning to pursue your studies in Italy, it's crucial to remember that only the Euro (€) is accepted there. MTFX is the finest choice as it provides great exchange rates with lower fees and transparent pricing, ensuring a seamless and cost-effective currency exchange experience. 

Open an account today and enjoy competitive exchange rates, low transfer fees, and quick, easy international money transfers.

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