Study abroad for a semester in


Italy, located in Southern Europe, is famed for its rich history, artistic legacy, and breathtaking landscapes. It’s a top destination for international students who wish to immerse themselves in a unique blend of academic excellence and cultural experience. Whether you are wandering through ancient ruins, enjoying the lively piazzas, or savoring Italian cuisine, studying in Italy promises an enriching and unforgettable experience. The country is also home to some of the oldest universities in the world, making it an ideal place for higher education pursuits.

Italy is best known for

Rich Cultural Heritage πŸ›οΈ: Italy is a treasure trove of historical and cultural landmarks, from the Colosseum in Rome to the canals of Venice and the Renaissance art of Florence.

Delicious Cuisine πŸ•: Renowned for its world-class cuisine, Italy offers a gastronomic journey with pizza, pasta, gelato, and more, each region boasting its own specialties.

Scenic Beauty πŸŒ…: From the rolling hills of Tuscany to the stunning Amalfi Coast and the majestic Alps, Italy’s diverse landscapes are perfect for exploration and adventure.

Table of contents

1. Visa and Health Insurance πŸ›‚

Embarking on your educational journey to Italy requires securing the appropriate visa and health insurance. These essential steps ensure you comply with legal requirements and have access to necessary healthcare services throughout your stay. Proper documentation and insurance coverage are key to a smooth and safe study abroad experience.

Visa Types

  • Type D Visa (National Visa): Required for non-EU/EEA students planning to stay for more than 90 days. This visa is suitable for students enrolled in long-term study programs.
  • Type C Visa (Short-Stay Visa): For non-EU/EEA students attending courses or programs lasting less than 90 days.
  • EU/EEA Students: Do not require a visa to study in Italy but must register with local authorities if their stay exceeds 90 days.

Application Process

  1. Apply to Italian Institutions: Gain acceptance to an accredited institution in Italy. The ones you find on wearefreemovers are all accredited by the Italian Ministry of Education.
  2. Receive Acceptance Letter: Your institution will provide you with the necessary documentation to start your visa application.
  3. Prepare Documents: Gather required documents including your passport, acceptance letter, proof of financial means, and health insurance coverage.
  4. Complete Visa Application: Fill out the visa application form accurately.
  5. Book an Appointment: Schedule an appointment at the Italian embassy or consulate in your home country.
  6. Submit Application: Submit your application along with the required documents during your appointment.
  7. Attend Visa Interview: If required, attend an interview at the embassy or consulate.
  8. Wait for Processing: Visa processing times can vary, so apply well in advance.

Required Documents

  • Proof of Enrollment: Acceptance letter from an Italian university.
  • Financial Proof: Bank statements or proof of financial support showing sufficient funds (at least €6,000 per year).
  • Passport: Valid for at least three months beyond your intended stay in Italy.
  • Visa Application Form: Completed and signed form.
  • Health Insurance: Proof of valid health insurance coverage.
  • Accommodation Proof: Evidence of accommodation arrangements in Italy.
  • Passport Photos: Recent passport-sized photographs.
  • Academic Documents: Transcripts, diplomas, and certificates from previous education.

Application Timeline

Start Early: Begin the application process at least 3-6 months before your intended departure.
Processing Time: Visa processing can take several weeks to months, depending on the country and application volume.
Important Deadlines: Be mindful of university application deadlines and ensure your visa application is timely.

Tips for Success

Complete Documentation: Ensure all your documents are complete and accurately filled out.
Financial Proof: Clearly demonstrate financial stability and sufficient funds.
Interview Preparation: Prepare for potential visa interviews by practicing common questions and answers.
Health Insurance: Secure a visa-compliant health insurance plan early in the process.

Importance of Health Insurance

Health insurance is mandatory for all international students in Italy. It ensures that students have access to medical care and covers a wide range of health services, from regular doctor visits to emergency care.

Types of Health Insurance

  • European Health Insurance Card (EHIC): For EU students, the EHIC provides access to necessary medical treatment in Italy under the same conditions as Italian residents.
    • Advantages: Provides basic coverage for necessary medical care.
    • Limitations: Does not cover private healthcare, non-urgent medical care, or repatriation costs.
  • Public Health Insurance (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale – SSN): Available to all students, including EU students who may choose to enroll for more comprehensive coverage.
    • Cost: Typically around €149 per year.
    • Advantages: Comprehensive coverage including doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescriptions.
    • Limitations: Requires registration with the Italian health insurance system and is typically limited to public healthcare providers.
  • Private Health Insurance: Often chosen by non-EU students and those who prefer additional coverage options.
    • Cost: Can vary significantly based on the provider and plan. Dr Walter offers competitive and comprehensive plans that are visa-compliant.
    • Advantages: More extensive coverage, faster access to services, flexibility to choose from a broader range of doctors and specialists, and some plans include travel insurance benefits.
    • Limitations: Generally more expensive than public health insurance and requires careful comparison of plans to ensure comprehensive coverage.

Country-Specific Requirements

Public Health Insurance: Generally more comprehensive but may require eligibility criteria. Students need to register with the local health services (ASL) to access public health insurance. This insurance covers a wide range of medical services, including doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescriptions, but may involve longer waiting times for non-urgent appointments.
Private Health Insurance: Must meet the minimum coverage requirements set by Italian authorities. Private health insurance plans often provide faster access to healthcare services and more flexibility in choosing healthcare providers. Ensure that the chosen plan is visa-compliant, offering sufficient coverage for the duration of your stay in Italy.

Finding the Best Health Insurance

wearefreemovers has developed a partnership with Dr Walter with the intent of offering you reliable and visa-compliant health insurance for your stay in Italy.

Choose Dr Walter

Dr Walter is our suggested visa-compliant health insurance for Italy

Or discover other insurance options

Thanks to our Insurance Finder


What happens if my visa application is denied?
If your visa application is denied, you will receive a notice explaining the reasons for the denial. Address the issues mentioned and reapply, or appeal the decision if you believe it was incorrect. Review the reasons for denial carefully and seek guidance from the embassy or consulate if needed.

Can I change my health insurance plan after arriving in Italy?
Yes, you can change your health insurance plan after arriving in Italy. Ensure the new plan meets the mandatory health insurance requirements for students. Compare different plans to choose one that offers comprehensive coverage and suits your needs.

What should I do if I need medical care and don’t have insurance?
If you require medical care and don’t have insurance, you will need to pay out-of-pocket for all medical services, which can be very expensive. It’s highly recommended to have valid health insurance to avoid these costs. If you find yourself without insurance, contact a health insurance provider immediately to enroll in a plan.

Additional Resources

Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Provides detailed information for foreigners looking to study in Italy, including visa requirements, application procedures, and living in Italy.
Study in Italy: Offers comprehensive information on studying in Italy, including available programs, scholarships, and practical advice for international students.

2. Cost of Living πŸ’°

Living in Italy offers a blend of affordable and luxurious experiences, making it an appealing destination for students. Understanding the cost of living will help you manage your budget effectively while enjoying everything Italy has to offer, from its culinary delights to its rich cultural heritage.

Detailed Breakdown of Living Expenses

Accommodation: Average monthly rent.
€300 – €1,200/month
Food: From groceries to dining out, here’s what to expect.
€250 – €500/month
Transportation: Average monthly cost for public transportation and other modes of travel.
€50 – €100/month
Utilities: Essential services like electricity, water, and internet.
€100 – €150/month
Entertainment and Leisure: Enjoying Italy’s vibrant culture and social life.
€100 – €200/month
Miscellaneous Expenses: Personal items and services.
€50 – €200/month

3. Accommodation Options 🏠

Finding the perfect place to live is a key part of your study abroad experience. Italy offers diverse housing options to fit different needs and budgets, from historic apartments in city centers to modern student dorms.

Types of Accommodation

Student Dorms: Typically provided by universities, offering convenience and a vibrant social scene.
Price: €250 – €600/month
Shared Apartments (Appartamenti Condivisi): Sharing an apartment with other students is a popular and cost-effective choice.
Price: €300 – €700/month
Private Apartments: Renting your own place offers privacy and independence.
Price: €500 – €1,200/month
Homestays: Living with a local family provides cultural immersion and a home-like environment.
Price: €400 – €800/month
Specialized Student Housing: Managed by private companies, these accommodations often include various amenities.
Price: €400 – €900/month

Find accommodation in Italy

Find the best student housing options with our Accommodation Finder

Tips and Resources

Start Early: Begin your search well in advance to secure the best options.
Budget Wisely: Include utilities and internet in your budget when planning for accommodation costs.
Consider Location: Proximity to your university, public transportation, and local amenities is important.
Use Reliable Platforms: Ensure you book through reputable platforms to avoid scams and ensure quality accommodations.

4. University Information πŸŽ“

Choosing the right university is a significant part of your study abroad journey. Italy, home to some of the world’s oldest and most prestigious universities, offers a rich academic environment and a variety of programs to suit your interests.

Find universities in Italy

Try our University Finder and discover the best universities for your needs

5. Further Practical Information πŸ› οΈ


Italy’s transportation network is not one of the most efficient in the world. Still, it makes it quite easy for you to explore the country.

Public Transportation πŸš†: Most cities offer reliable public transport systems, including buses, trams, and metros. Monthly passes range from €25 to €45, with student discounts often available.

Bicycles and Scooters 🚴: Many Italian cities are becoming more bike-friendly, with dedicated lanes and bike-sharing programs. Scooters are also a popular and convenient option for short distances.

Trains πŸš„: Italy’s train system, operated by Trenitalia and Italo, connects major cities and regions. High-speed trains are perfect for long-distance travel, while regional trains cover shorter distances.

Tips πŸ’‘: Always check for student discounts on transportation passes and consider buying a multi-trip pass if available. For intercity travel, book train tickets in advance to secure the best rates.

Banking and Finances

Managing your finances effectively is crucial for a smooth study abroad experience.

Opening a Bank Account 🏦: Most banks in Italy offer special accounts for students with low or no fees. Popular banks include UniCredit, Intesa Sanpaolo, and BNL.

Documents Required πŸ“‘: To open a bank account, you will typically need your passport, proof of enrollment, residence permit, and Italian tax code (codice fiscale).

Currency πŸ’Ά: The currency in Italy is the Euro (€). Having a local bank account helps avoid foreign transaction fees and simplifies everyday transactions.

Tips πŸ’‘: Look for student-friendly bank accounts and make use of online banking apps to manage your finances efficiently. Consider using services like for seamless international transactions.

Local Culture and Etiquette

Understanding local customs and social norms will help you integrate smoothly into Italian society.

Punctuality ⏰: Italians have a more relaxed attitude towards time compared to some other cultures, but it’s still important to be punctual for academic and formal appointments.

Greetings 🀝: A common greeting in Italy includes a kiss on both cheeks, though this can vary by region and context. Handshakes are also common in formal settings.

Mealtimes 🍝: Italian mealtimes are a cherished tradition, with lunch typically around 1-2 PM and dinner around 7-9 PM. Meals are often social events that can last several hours.

Public Behavior 🀫: Italians value social interaction and are generally warm and expressive. However, maintain respectful behavior in public spaces, especially in quieter residential areas.

Do you still have doubts?

Book a 1:1 consultancy with us

We would be glad to help you guiding step by step in every application you have to complete or to simply solve your doubts.