University scholarships represent essential tools for many students. The Italian university landscape is different from the Anglo-Saxon one, especially in terms of the costs to be sustained by students and their families. Not everyone can afford tuition fees of tens of thousands of dollars or pounds a year to ensure a respectable academic education. It is precisely to cope with this kind of situation that university institutions, in the Anglo-Saxon system as well as in the European one, set up instruments for the financial support of students. These facilities can be of different forms and natures, which is why today we will try to talk about Italian university scholarships for foreign students.
The Italian University Context
The Italian university landscape presents excellence in every academic field. The presence of numerous Italian universities in the QS World University Ranking 2024, one of the most important rankings in the academic world, consolidates a positive trend for Italian Academia. In addition to renowned Italian universities such as the Politecnico di Milano, La Sapienza di Roma, and the Alma Mater Studiorum di Bologna, there is a large number of Italian universities climbing the global rankings. High-quality teaching, well-trained professors, modernized facilities, exchanges, and interchanges with other universities, are just some of the factors that justify this growth trend. Every year these centers of excellence attract thousands of students, both Italian and international.
International Students In Italy
In this context, the voices of international students become predominant in the assessment of Italian universities. European and non-EU students decide to pursue their university careers in Italy and, if they do, there must be a reason. The presence of a growing number of international students is therefore a good indicator of the health of the Italian university system. Moreover, international students create many synergies with the Italian academic system. In addition to enjoying the Italian experience socially, these students create links with their countries of origin, allowing information and knowledge to flow between universities.
What Is It Like To Study in Italy?
To sum up, excellent universities, high level of preparation of professors, modernized facilities, and social life: do you need anything else? Actually, yes you do. There are considerations that any student, Italian or foreign, must make before embarking on a university course in Italy. We have stated that the fees of Italian public universities have nothing to do with their Anglo-Saxon counterparts. Italian fees are correlated to certain indicators such as ISE and ISEE, Indicatore Situazione Economica and Indicatore Situazione Economica Equivalente respectively. Through these parameters, students pay depending on the economic situation of their families. These instruments are very useful for not wealthy families as they allow a proportional distribution of tuition fees. Are these measures sufficient to meet the costs of university life?
The Implicit Costs Of University Life In Italy
Foreign and Italian students who decide to study in our country have to take into account several of implicit costs that in other countries are covered by the university system. The main implicit cost is renting accommodation. Foreign students arriving in Italy must necessarily face this expense, the burden of which varies from city to city. This is a problem that affects both foreigners and Italians, who still carry out protests by sleeping in tents in front of universities in many cities. In addition to the cost of rent, there is the cost of fare, the living. Here again, Italy is certainly not among the cheapest countries. Finally, there are the utilities, from bills to local public transport costs.
So What? How Do I Study In Italy?
At the end of the day, every student has to weigh up the sustainability and economic feasibility of studying in Italy. This factor is not negligible for many students coming from countries other than North America and Northern Europe. For the rest, the cost of living, especially in the aforementioned towns, may be so onerous as to call into question the study experience itself. Precisely to meet these economic needs, the university system and, consequently, the Italian State, allocate scholarships for foreign citizens every year. There are various forms of incentives and facilities currently in place, let us try to examine some of them.
What Are University Scholarships?
University scholarships are sums of money donated by universities and other bodies to facilitate and support a course of study. They are awarded as a result of participation and subsequent eligibility in a competition that may be held at the university and/or regional and/or national level. Participation in a competition implies that the student must meet certain entry and achievement requirements. This is how merit-based and “economic” scholarships come into being. A scholarship also means partial or total exemption from paying university fees.
How To Access University Scholarships?
A foreign student can access several university scholarships at the same time. Firstly, the Italian government allocates grants for foreign students every year. Applications can only be made by registering on the “Study in Italy” portal. In conjunction with those set up by the government, there are scholarships from individual universities. In addition to merit and financial scholarships, universities can also propose projects, facilities, and other types of university scholarships to support international students. For example, in the aftermath of the Ukrainian conflict, many universities reserve scholarships specifically for Ukrainian citizens, a similar situation for Afghan students. To better understand the wide variety of forms that the university scholarships can take, let’s consider the Alma Mater Studiorum of Bologna as an example.
The Case Of The Alma Mater Studiorum Of Bologna
Broadly speaking, we’re talking about university scholarships and or exemptions aimed at specific communities or allocated for specific reasons. Europe’s oldest university has created several projects, in conjunction with the municipality of Bologna and various ministries:
- Unibo Action 1&2. Scholarships and tuition fee exemptions for deserving international students;
- Collegio Superiore. Competition open to Italian and international students;
- Unibo for Refugees. Project promoted by the University of Bologna and the Municipality of Bologna for the integration of refugee students into the university world;
- Scholarships for refugees from the Ministry of the Interior (CRUI). The Ministry of the Interior, with the support of the CRUI, offers grants to students with international protection.
These are just some of the examples of facilities that Italian universities provide to facilitate the exchange of ideas and the movement of students.
Welcome Association Italy And International Students
Welcome Association Italy assists foreigners arriving in Italy. These include international students who intend to pursue their university education in Italy. For them, the trade union has made available the Welcome Combo for non-EU citizens seeking a residence permit in Italy for more than 90 days for study purposes. The combo includes the health protection required by the competent authorities for issuing of the residence permit. Therefore, by adhering to the Welcome Combo, non-EU students who decide to study in Italy are covered from the health point of view and can enjoy their study experience in Italy to the fullest.