Italy is a great place for pursuing your study abroad dream and, surprisingly, it does not imply paying high tuition fees or living costs. You can get high-standards education in one of the most renowned universities in the world and also see some of the most famous attractions, steeped in history and culture, all at very affordable prices. Here is some detailed information about the costs of living in Italy for international students.
1. University tuition fees in Italy for international students
Tuition fees in public universities
Public universities in Italy set their tuition fees according to the level of degree, and the study programme.
- Average tuition fees: 850 and 1,000 EUR/academic year
- Tuition fees in prestigious public universities in Italy may exceed 1,000 EUR/academic year
In most institutions of higher education, EU students also benefit from lower tuition fees compared to non-EU students and some of the state universities in Italy set the tuition based on the student’s parental income.
Tuition fees in private universities
Private universities in Italy usually charge higher tuition fees compared to public universities and most of them have the same fees for both EU and non-EU students.
The average tuition fees in private universities range from 6,000 to around 20,000 EUR/academic year.
Most affordable universities in Italy
Check the list of Italian universities with affordable tuition fees:
- University of Siena – average tuition fees 1,800 EUR/year
- Free University of Bozen-Bolzano – average tuition fees 2,200 EUR/year
- University of Torino – average tuition fees 2,800 EUR/year
- University of Padova – average tuition fees 4,000 EUR/year
- Ca' Foscari University of Venice – most tuition fees between 2100 and 6500 EUR/year
Tuition fees at top-ranked Italian universities
Here is a list of average tuition fees at well-ranked Italian universities:
- Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna – average tuition fees 4,000 EUR/year
- University of Bologna – average tuition fees 2,100 EUR/year
- Polytechnic University of Milan – average tuition fees 3,300 EUR/year
- University of Trento – average tuition fees 6,000 EUR/year
2. Costs of living in Italy for international students
The overall living costs for international students in Italy range between 700 and 1,000 EUR/month, this including: accommodation, food costs, public transportation, local travel and/or entertainment.
Living in Italy is a great experience, but keep in mind that if you choose Rome, it is just a little more expensive when compared to the rest of the Italian cities. Check the average monthly living expenses for students in these student cities in Italy:
- Bologna: around 750 – 1,100 EUR/month
- Florence: around 850 - 1,300 EUR/month
- Milano and Rome: between 850 and 1,450 EUR/month
Out of the total monthly expenses of EU students, they usually pay around 35 % on accommodation, 9% on transportation and around 12% on tuition fees. Rates for accommodation in Italy are in the international range of 250 – 350 EUR/month.
On average, here are the prices students spend on housing, depending on the type of accommodation:
- students that live alone: 400 EUR/month
- students living in student accommodation: 250-300 EUR/month
- students living with partner/children: around 200 EUR/month
A small percentage of 2% of the international students live in student halls of residence, the rest choose other housing options. Regardless of where they choose to live, 75% of students are very satisfied with their accommodation, which is above the average of 60%.
See what these students have to say about studying abroad in Italy:
- Yaw's study experience
- Sebastian's study experience
- Ida's study experience
- Rucsandra's study experience
In Italy, buying food from the supermarkets is not expensive, as you could spend on average 200 EUR/month. Lidl, Penny Market or Esselunga are known in Italy to have the lowest prices.
In Italian restaurants, lunch or dinner start with antipasto, (a sort of appetisers or hors d'oeuvres) a course consisting of various types of cold meat, seafood and vegetable dishes, with prices between 8 and 15 EUR.
In mid-range restaurants, pasta dishes are between 6 and 12 EUR, while the main fish or meat courses will normally cost between 8 and 16 EUR.
You should be aware of an important detail: any Italian restaurant will charge you for the bread and cover that is present on every table; this usually costs around 1–2.50 EUR per person.
The public transportation would be the easiest and most convenient method to travel in Italy.
A monthly bus/tram/metro ticket for foreign students is somewhere between 25 and 35 EUR/month, depending on the city.
The train network in Italy is fast and well maintained, so visiting other cities in Italy is definitely an option. Fares start at around 20 EUR for a trip, but if you book earlier tickets, you could get discounts of up to 70%.
In Milan and other Italian cities, you can rent a bike for a daily 2.50 EUR or weekly 6 EUR.
Extra costs when studying in Italy
- The monthly costs for phone bills and other utilities expenses can run to 140 EUR
- Entertainment and social activities can add another 30-40 EUR a week
- Books and other learning supplies and materials should cost you around 40 – 50 EUR/month
Visa fee Now that you have an overview of tuition fees and living costs in Italy, you can start applying to universities. While you do that, don't forget to also check Italian student visa requirements if you are from outside the EU/EEA, which costs 50 EUR. Here are more details about it:
- Students from Egypt applying for Italian visa
- Students from Ghana applying for Italian visa
- Iranian students applying for Italian visa
- Nigerian students applying for Italian visa
- Kenyan students applying for Italian visa
3. Scholarships and funding opportunities
In Italy, scholarships are offered by the Italian government at the national and regional level and Italian universities.
Examples of scholarships you can apply to:
- Italian government scholarships for international students – for all degree levels, and for teachers of Italian as a second language. The scholarship duration can be three, six, or nine months.
- Some Italian universities such as Politecnico di Milano, University of Padova, Bocconi University, Bologna University, offer scholarship programmes for international students; these are usually between 5,000 and 12,000 EUR/year.
- Check out some funding options for studying in Italy.
Tips for saving money
- Have an inexpensive meal at the university cafeteria or "mensa", or check the crowded places that serve street food and you can get a sandwich or a slice of pizza for 2 – 3 EUR.
- In most pubs, small restaurants and cafeterias in Italy, if you choose to eat or drink at a table, you will pay double the price that is listed on the menu! So, when you can simply take away, you should just do it!
- Some restaurants in Italy have the Apertivo (similar to the American Happy Hour), where they offer a free buffet if you buy a drink, for around 6 EUR; this is usually between 6 and 9 pm.
Studying in Europe and living in Italy, one of the most beautiful countries, is a great choice. Low tuition fees in Italy will allow you to save some money and explore its cities full of ancient monuments and mysteries while enjoying great weather and trying some of the best food in the world. Have a great study experience and make the most out of it!