Do you dream of studying your subject of choice in a warm, friendly country, surrounded by beautiful art and culture? Are you a fan of the world-famous Italian cuisine? You might want to consider the potential benefits of full degree programs at colleges in Italy. More local universities than ever before are open to foreign students. Colleges in Italy offer students an opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of Italy.

Why Consider Colleges in Italy?

The oldest university in Europe, the University of Bologna, was founded in Italy. It has been accepting students since 1088, more than 400 years before Columbus discovered America.[i] With a history like this, it’s no surprise that Italy is a popular destination for foreign students from all over the globe. You can choose from many schools in Italy which offer programs in STEM fields, arts, humanities and other specialties. Business colleges may also be open to foreign students who would like to get a potential advantage in the European business environment. Italy offers one of the oldest and more fascinating cultures in the world, along with ultra-modern opportunities and potentially career-enhancing connections.

Top Industries and Businesses in Italy

Italy is known for its famous food, its art museums and its beautiful landscapes. Some people may not know that Italy is also a modern economic powerhouse with lots of opportunities for industry and business. Some people might choose to pursue a degree in Italy because of their interest in a possible career involving these European businesses. The biggest money-makers in the country include:[ii]

  • Engineering
  • Automotive Manufacturing
  • Hospitality
  • Textiles and Fashion
  • Food and Beverages

Some parts of the country, such as the northern area around Milan and Turin, are more focused on business and manufacturing. Other areas are best known for their arts, culture, hospitality and service sectors. Wherever you go in Italy, the pizza, pasta and gelato will be delicious!

Subjects to Study in Italy

Colleges in Italy have many potential subjects that students might choose to study during their time in Italy. Some of the most popular areas of specialization for a bachelor’s degree in Italy include international business, art history, literature and fashion. Many people choose to learn about fashion design in the Milan area, where some of the most elite designers are at work. For students of Renaissance art, Florence is a perfect choice, where museums are at your doorstep as you write about Leonardo and Michelangelo. Music and history are also popular choices. Last but not least, there’s no better place to major in the Italian language than at your choice of schools in Italy! Hands-on immersion may help you achieve a higher level of fluency and may offer potential advantages for pursuing a career that needs Italian language skills.

Learning Italian as a Foreign Student

You might be intimidated by the idea of having to learn Italian from scratch. Don’t worry! Many Italian degree programs are designed to help foreign students ease into the challenge of learning a new language while dealing with a full load of coursework. According to the Language Difficulty Rankings of the Foreign Service Institute, Italian is one of the easiest languages for an English speaker to learn, with 600 hours or less required to reach professional proficiency in both reading and speaking.[iii] Unlike more difficult languages such as German, Russian and Japanese, this language can be learned relatively easily in the course of a degree program.

If you’d rather not spend time on intensive language study in addition to your topic, there are also programs in Italy where you may be able to pursue the complete degree in English. Even in those programs, students might still find it useful and educational to learn some Italian. There’s nothing like ordering pizza or listening to opera in the original language!

Consider getting in touch with some schools in Italy as you explore your options for a degree abroad. Colleges in Italy have friendly English-speaking staff who are be happy to help you decide which programs may fit your needs.