Your Guide to Attending College in Italy
One of the greatest perks of dual Italian citizenship is the opportunity to attend college in Italy. In fact, with an Italian passport, you can attend university anywhere in the EU, if you meet their admission requirements. And even if you don’t yet have legal Italian nationality, attending uni in Italy is accessible for many Americans.
Are you dreaming of life in Italy, with access to affordable healthcare and education? The team at Get Italian Citizenship can help make your dream a reality. Reach out today to see if you are eligible for Italian dual citizenship.
Get Ready for Something Totally Different
If you’ve grown up in the American school system, you likely have many habits and expectations in place for college. If you decide to go to an Italian university, you can let go of many of those. You will find a very different culture when you start studying in Italy.
There are significant differences between American and European attitudes toward just about every major life event. From raising children to politics to healthcare, the contrasts can be enormous.
And life as a university student in Italy is no different. You can set aside much of what you believe about college life when you choose an Italian school.
The Money Factor
Americans are well aware that college in the US carries a hefty price tag. Private schools average more than $40,000 per year in tuition and fees. State colleges and universities are less expensive but still can be cost-prohibitive for many students.
In contrast, Italian colleges charge about 1500 Euros per academic year. With current 2020 exchange rates, that is about $1750. Notice the difference? It’s staggering.
The low tuition costs can apply to international students, as well. But they certainly kick in for those who carry dual citizenship with Italy.
A Loose Schedule
When you’re attending college in Italy, you will notice that the class schedule is more of a suggestion. It’s rare for students or professors to be in class at the appointed time. Instead, they tend to abide by the tradition of quarto d’ora accademico, arriving 15 minutes after the stated start time.
This habit goes way back for European universities and stems from the church bell ringing on the hour. The bell signified that it was time for students to make their way to class to be there by the quarter-hour.
For students arriving from America, this can feel like a drastic change in expectations. Just be sure to verify your schedule to make sure you arrive at the right time.
Get Ready for Lectures
US colleges tend to utilize discussion-style classes. Students and teachers have conversations and rely on plenty of question-and-answer time.
However, at an Italian university, you can expect your classes to be almost exclusively in lecture format. There is very little back-and-forth between professors and their students.
Go to Class or Don’t
Attendance at most Italian university classes is optional. You read that right! Students often can choose to enroll frequentante or non-frequentante.
If you enroll frequentante, then you agree to attend your class in-person most of the time. This arrangement generally means that you will have an easier exam at the end of the term.
Non-frequentante means that you do not have to attend in-person. However, you may have to do extra reading and studying on your own because your final exam will likely be more challenging.
Don’t Expect a Lot of Help
American universities have excellent systems and support in place for their students. Academic advisors, counselors, and professors all work to help college students succeed and stay on track for graduation. If you have a problem with a class or are unsure what to take, you likely can get help within a day.
This situation is not the case in most colleges in Italy. You are unlikely to have an academic advisor assigned to you. And if you do connect with someone, they may or may not help you figure out what you need.
If you’re eager to attend college in Italy, be sure you are a self-motivated problem solver. Or connect with another student who is and who is willing to help.
Forget the Enormous Textbook Cost
Italian uni students often forgo purchasing their course books. Instead, they check out the necessary books from the library and pay for a copy at their local copy shop.
US college students can pay as much in one term for textbooks as their Italian counterparts pay for an entire university year. So this textbook workaround offers another incredible source of savings.
College in Italy May Require a Language Test
Surprising no one, most Italian universities teach their classes in Italian. To enroll in courses, you probably will need to prove a certain level of competency in the language. Consider taking some Italian language classes right away if you want to apply to attend college there.
Understand the Exam and Grading Protocols
Finals week at US colleges carries an air of myth and legend. Stories of all-night study sessions or nightmares of oversleeping for a big exam are everywhere. And when finals week is over, students notoriously let loose for their vacation.
In most colleges in Italy, however, exams take place over three months. And the student decides which month to take the tests. They also can retake their exams as often as they like to improve their grades.
This ability to retake a test is crucial since, in most cases, your entire course grade comes from the final exam in Italian colleges. American students who are used to using good homework and participation scores to boost their grades need to get ready to study.
And speaking of grades, schools in Italy do not use the American system of A through F letter grades. Instead, students there receive scores on a 30-point scale, with 18 being a passing grade.
Claim Your Italian Citizenship
Going to university in Italy is just one of the benefits of having dual Italian citizenship. If you’re eager to take advantage of this opportunity, connect with the experts at Get Italian Citizenship.
Our team offers full-service citizenship assistance. From genealogical research to translation to representation in the Italian courts, we have you covered. Soon you can be on your way to enjoying all the perks of holding an Italian passport.