There are many reasons why students are drawn to Italy to further their studies while exploring the fascinating culture, history and scenic vistas of the hugely diverse country. While taking part in the study abroad program, students are able to attend lectures in their chosen subjects at a foreign university while living in a nearby apartment, hall of residence or even a local Italian family.
Joining a study program in Italy is a wonderful way to experience life in the world’s fashion capital while learning about a foreign culture. A study abroad program looks good on your resume and will show future employers that you are confident and have spent time expanding your horizons through travel and living in another country.
Study abroad can mean many things. A person can study abroad when they are in high school or college/university. They could also do it on their own. You can study abroad the whole time, or a semester or take a six week course.
Is Italy The Right Choice For Your Study Abroad Program?
Italy is a top destination for studying abroad for a lot of cultural and social reasons but from an academic perspective it may not be right for you. If you are thinking about joining a study abroad program then you want to try to choose a location that can really offer you the very best in your chosen field.
For instance, there are some subjects that you would be much better off studying in other countries, or even at home in the United States; where you would get a far higher quality of education without any of the linguistic problems that you might face in Italy.
The Italian language is spoken by about 85 million people world wide. In comparison there are five languages in India alone that are spoken by 80 plus million people (Hindi – 341 million, Bengali 300 million, Punjabi 97 million, Marathi 83 million and Telegu 82 million). So by learning Italian, you are not going to get a competitive advantage in your career unless you are planning to work in Italy.
American companies, and for that matter companies in the United Kingdom, France and Germany are deepening their presence in India. As an American, British, French or German citizen, you have a clear advantage if you also happen to know a major Indian language.
If you are leaning Italian with the goal of working in Italy in the future, you have to consider the fact that the Italian economy is in bad shape. Although I love Italy and own a property in Italy, it is true that Italy is the poster child for what will happen to an country when it becomes very socialistic. In reality Italy is a nation whose best years are long behind it.
Wrong Reasons For Studying Abroad In Italy.
In Italy it is common to bump into young Americans who are studying abroad in Italy. The reasons they provide for studying abroad typically includes: Experience the world (listing the number of countries that you visited is a popular trend in social media these days), making new friends, understanding the culture and history, learning the Italian language, become independent and self reliant, embrace the global mindset and learn more about yourself.
Most of these things can be achieved from home if you have a good internet connection!! You don’t have to waste your time or money (or your parents money), to visit Italy to learn about Italian food or Italian culture and history.
Programs That You Should Not Study In Italy.
If you are interested in the programs mentioned below, then you should not consider study abroad programs in Italy. These subjects are highly technical and you’ll have a much easier time learning them at home (United States), or in another English speaking countries such as the United Kingdom or Canada, where you can access the university’s English language libraries and resources.
- Computer Sciences.
- Biological Sciences.
On top of this, Italian universities do not rank very highly in these fields and so you might find that upon returning to your home country that your peers are way ahead of you in their understanding of the subjects. This can negatively impact your future career and could limit your educational potential.
Programs That You Should Consider Studying In Italy.
If you are interested in the following programs, then you should consider studying abroad in Italy. Studying these subjects in Italy is a fantastic way to get to know the country while getting a top quality education. If you want to learn Italian and potentially live in the country in the future, then joining these study abroad programs is the perfect way to start the process of assimilating into Italian life and culture.
- Fashion Design (Accessories, Clothing and Leather).
- International Relations (With Focus on the European Union).
- Tourism and Tourism Management (Agritourism).
- Italian Art, Architecture and History.
- Italian Cooking (Only if you are planning to open a restaurant back home or teach a course etc.).
The study abroad program also gives you a helpful framework and will help you to find accommodation, settle in and make new friends. This makes the transition much easier than if you went later in life as an Expat and had to handle all the arrangements on your own without any support.
Why Is Italy A Good Place To Go For A Study Program?
There’s a whole plethora of factors and reasons why Italy is an absolutely fabulous place to live and study abroad.
The Cost Of Tuition And Living Is Very Affordable.
Italy is one of the cheapest countries in Western Europe to live and study abroad and certainly when compared to other popular destinations such as the UK, Germany and France. You can live very comfortably for under $1500 per month and still enjoy a fair amount of entertainment, eating out in restaurants and experiencing the nightlife of the cities. You’ll also still have enough left over to travel around the country in your holidays to explore the diverse regions of the nation.
Tuition fees in Italy, for all types of degree, cost between 850 Euros and 1,200 Euros per year. This is amazing value for money when compared to the US or other countries in Europe; and particularly so if you are studying a course for which Italy is a world leader, such as fashion, design, art, tourism and the culinary arts.
The general cost of living in Italy is very reasonable. You can easily rent an room, even in the major cities such as Rome or Florence, for under 1000 Euros per month; although bear in mind utilities can be quite expensive compared to what you might be used to.
The costs of utilities can be kept down though and you can cook your own food to further keep costs down. The most expensive cities to live in include Rome, Bologna, Florence and Milan; while the cheaper cities to live in include Turin, Padua and Pisa.
It’s Easy To Travel In Italy.
If you’ve heard about the infamously dangerous roads in Italy and are a little worried about the idea of driving, then you’ll be happy to hear that the public transport in the country is excellent.
Trains and bus routes crisscross the country and within the cities you can get anywhere by train, bus or underground train. The cost of tickets is very low and if you are a frequent traveler you can benefit from some very generous loyalty card schemes. There are also plenty of airports, more than 80, which serve all major cities and will connect you to the US and the rest of Europe with ease.
Italy Is A Cultural Treasure Trove.
There are few places on Earth that have a more fascinating culture and ancient history than Italy. For example, there are more world heritage sites in Italy than any other country, with more than 50 you can visit during your stay!
The galleries of Italy are full of some of the most influential artwork of the Renaissance Era, that began in Italy and quickly spread to the rest of Europe, which went on to revolutionize the West from the 14th Century onwards. Italy also has a huge number of archeological wonders that stretch back through the history of the Roman Empire to the previous civilization of the Etruscans many thousands of years ago.
So if you are a history or art buff, or even just a casual culture vulture, you won’t find anywhere more engaging than Italy.
Italian Food Is Second To None.
You’ve no doubt had a few pizzas in your life but you haven’t experienced the true depth and breadth of Italian cuisine until you’ve actually lived there! Pizzas are of course popular, but so are the incredible array of pasta dishes, delicious fresh salads, cold meats, cheese and seafood.
What makes Italy even more fun from a culinary perspective is that every region has its own unique specialities that you can try; and while you’re in the country you can even take some weekly cooking classes to get the inside scoop on the techniques that go into its authentic creation.
Food, wine, beer and coffee are all very cheap in Italy which means you can pop into a restaurant for dinner after you’ve finished your lectures to share a meal with your new friends without breaking the bank.
Nightlife And Culture Is Thriving.
In Italy every night is a late night! Unlike in most American towns and cities where things quieten down in the evenings, in Italy it’s quite the opposite. Restaurants, bars and even shops are open late into the evening as people stroll around the streets and gather in town squares. It’s a hugely friendly culture which will welcome you with open arms!
The nightlife in rural parts of the country is fairly non-existent, in terms of clubs and late night bars, but in the cities they are open and full every night of the week!
Romance And The Dolce Vita.
The Dolce Vita, or the sweet life, is the natural state of being for all Italians as they enjoy the finer things in life, including food, wine, fashion and the incredible landscapes of their homeland.
The Dolce Vita is also a great atmosphere for you to meet your soulmate while you’re studying abroad; Italy, is after all, a romantic nation with the iconic Shakespearean play, Romeo and Juliet, being set in the streets of Verona. Italians are very open people and it’s easy to meet a partner amongst the glamor and beauty of their way of life.
Studying Abroad Can Be An Enriching Experience.
Remember we live in the age of technology. We can know everything there is to know by going online. We do not have to travel. In fact this is exactly what we do when it comes to the Sun, the Moon, Space, the Milky Way Galaxy and the Universe.
Italy has some extremely good universities that you can choose to study in which have a pleasant multicultural atmosphere, with students from all over the world. In fact, the University of Bologna is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Europe!
Other top quality institutions include the Politecnico Di Milano, the University of Macerata, the Sapienza University of Rome and the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. However, there are many other great places to study abroad so before you make up your mind do some serious research first!
Studying abroad in Italy is a fantastic option for many students. You should consider the type of subject you are going to learn, since not all are suitable to study in Italy.
Nonetheless, once you have located an institution which teaches your subject and has a good reputation you can be sure that it’s worth taking up the opportunity. The lifestyle in Italy is legendary and the costs of living are very low compared to other Western countries so it’s an ideal place for students to learn and thrive.