Masters in Italy – Budget-Friendly Study Destination in Europe

Italy attracts several foreigners due to its cultural legacy, diverse landscapes, historic treasures, and magnificent cuisine. What many people don’t know is that Italy also offers world-class and affordable education to foreign students. Here is all you need to know about Masters study in Italytop reasons to study in Italy, education system, eligibility criteria, application process, tuition costs & living expenses, scholarships, part-time jobs, popular subjects to study, top universities, stay-back options, internships, and job prospects.

Masters in Italy


Eligibility, Costs, Scholarships, Top Courses, Top Universities, Stay-Back and Jobs


Italy – is a magnificent country with a rich history and culture. From the snow-capped Dolomites in the North to the warm maritime Mediterranean culture of the South, Italy’s regions are diverse and exciting.

Italian Education is exceptionally regarded everywhere. Everything considered, with the University of Bologna, which was set up here, in the eleventh century, began the authentic background of cutting-edge training on the planet. Yes, the University of Bologna is the oldest university in the world.

8 Top Reasons to Study in Italy

Here are 8 reasons among the fair assortment of the recommendation that license us strongly pick universities of Italy:

  • A wide combination of universities and specialties. The sympathetic, money related legal purposes for a living – the choice here is amazingly certifiable.
  • Learning Italian on the astonishing measurement. Consequent to considering and living in the country the graduated class will very likely add to a resume another vernacular, which is a huge favored angle while examining for an extraordinary activity.
  • Here is a champion among the most prevailing guidance in the field of style. Accademia Costume and Moda, Domus Academy, the Institute of European Design – schools where you can start an uncommon work in this circle
  • Foreign students in state-supported schools can apply for subsidized fees. For example, University of Rome Tor Vergata, where tuition fees are tied to your family’s financial situation: Based on the income, you are charged from a low minimum around 150 EUR to a maximum of around 5,000 EUR per year.
  • Some schools give home accommodation (room per person). Accommodation cost commonly from 300 euros every month – for examination: renting space will cost from 600 euros for every month.
  • The opportunity to connect for one more year a visa after graduation. This year is given for the mission for new work. The assertion set apart with the business gives the open door for a further home in Europe.
  • Loyal conditions for joining study and work. With average data of Italian, it is possible to apply for the circumstance of low support which is played around 10 euros for every hour.
  • Undergraduate degrees in Italian universities persists 3 years, notwithstanding the way that in various countries it is 4 years. This philosophy empowers you to save a whole year, which is basic in this season of life.

Education System in Italy

There are around 32,000 international students in Italy. The country has a rich history and tradition of higher education. Some of the first universities in Europe were founded in Italy during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The University of Bologna, founded in 1088, is recognized as the oldest university to still operate. Today, Italy is the home of many prestigious institutions of higher education. Many of Italy’s institutions rank among the top 200 universities in the world (QS and Times Higher Education Rankings).

Italy has around 97 universities, which are divided into several categories:

  • State universities: These are state-funded public institutions and make up the majority in Italy.
  • Other publicly funded universities: Funded by Province rather than the State.
  • Private universities: Non-state funded.
  • Superior Graduate Schools (Scuola Superiore Universitaria): These are independent institutions that offer advanced training and research courses specializing in postgraduate studies.

Language of Instruction

At present, many Masters Programs in Italy are taught in English. As per MastersPortal, there are more than 700 Masters Programs in Italy that are taught entirely in English. Even the number of English language programmes available at the undergraduate level is also growing.

Duration of Masters Programs

The majority of Masters Programs are 2 years in duration. But, few programs can be completed in one year as well.

Eligibility (Admission Requirements) for Masters in Italy

Generally, you will need a minimum of 70% (from India) to get into a Master’s program at a top university in Italy.

IELTS (6.0 / 6.5) or TOEFL (90 / 95) is mandatory.

GRE and GMAT scores do increase chances of admission and scholarships, but they are not mandatory for all Masters Programs.

Application Process for Masters Study in Italy

You need to submit an online application by filling a form and uploading documents. For Italian universities, you must upload certified copies of your academic transcripts. Here are two examples of certified transcripts (from Indian Institutes) – Example 1 and Example 2.

Application Deadlines

Generally, you need to apply by November or December for the following Fall/Autumn intake (starts in September or October). For a few universities/programs, you can apply until March.

For spring intake (starts in January or February), you have to apply by July of the previous year.

Costs and Expenses

Tuition Fees

A Master’s degree program from a top Italian Public (State-funded) University will not cost you more than EUR 6,500 per year. On average, the majority of Masters programs charge EUR 3,800 (INR 3 Lakhs) per year.

The private institutes in Italy offering programs in business and management can cost you up to EUR 20,000 per year. At the same time, it’s possible to do Masters within EUR 800 – 1,000 per year at a few public universities in Italy. The majority of MA, MSc, and MEng program will not cost you more than EUR 4,000 per year.

Living Expenses

Prices vary from city to city or even with regions.

It’s common that students rent a room rather than the whole apartment. Student housing in Italy is more expensive in bigger cities and can range from €300-600 a month, depending on the size and location.

If you choose to stay in shared accommodation, the monthly living expenses can be covered within EUR 750 (INR 58,000) per month.

In cities like Rome, Milan or Florence, the living expenses can cost you EUR 1,000 – 1,500 a month. Whereas, in other cities of Italy like Turin, Padua, Pisa or Bologna an average student spends between 550 Euros per month to 750 Euros per month.

Scholarships for Masters in Italy

There are options to help you fund your studies. All students (Italian and International) can apply for financial help. The funding will be distributed according to your financial situation and academic merit. If you receive support, this can help with tuition fees, accommodation fees, and other living costs.

The Italian government offers scholarships at the regional and national level. The scholarship offered is usually between EUR 5,000 to 12,000 per year. The scholarships and student grant opportunities that the international students can apply via the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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 EUR 5,000 and 12,000 annually.

Tips to Reduce Expenses while Studying in Italy:

  • Always apply early for admissions and try to avail the scholarships
  • Use public transport and avail student discounts
  • Stay in shared accommodation
  • 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 Euros.
  • 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, it’s wise to opt for takeaway meals.
  • 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.
  • Part-time jobs can provide you some extra cash to buy those designer brand clothes or have a fancy meal at the pubs or restaurants.

Part-Time Jobs

Getting a part-time job is a great way to help fund your studies in Italy. As a non-EU student, your visa will dictate if you are permitted to have paid employment whilst you study. If you are allowed to work, it will probably only be up to 20 hours a week. This means that you should not rely on this to fund your studies.

Please be advised that if you do wish to get a job, it may be helpful if you have some Italian language skills. If you know the Italian language, getting a part-time job is actually not difficult.

The popular part-time jobs for international students are:

  • Waiters
  • Assistants at trade fairs
  • Call center agents
  • Jobs in the media sector
  • Jobs in the IT sector
  • University jobs such as library assistants
  • Tour Guides

Part-Time Jobs for International Students with Little (or No )Knowledge of Italian Language

If you don’t know Italian at all: go for the “au pair” jobs. You can teach your mother tongue and/or English to the students who want to learn. English au pair is widely popular, especially if you are a STEM student. By the way, there is a twist – unfortunately, Italians tend to discriminate and are likely to prefer a girl/woman.

Few universities offer some part-time jobs in the University to help professors: tutoring, help in video recording lectures… They’re quite well paid and are assigned on a competitive basis (marks in previous exams).

If you know basic Italian, try out the fast food joMcDonald’sonalds), supermarkets (with an international approach such as Eataly) could use your services, particularly if you know other languages.

If you are fluent in Italian and another language (German, English, French, Chinese, Japanese for example): apply for companies in your field of study that have relations with foreign countries or directly with your country of origin. This would be the ideal combo to acquire experience and earn some money at the same time.

Top Subjects to Study in Italy

  • Architecture
  • Bioinformatics and Computation Biology
  • Biosciences and Biotechnology
  • Business Management
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Fashion Design
  • Finance
  • Food Science
  • Fine Arts
  • Graphic Design
  • Hospitality Management
  • Interior Design
  • International Business
  • Journalism
  • Luxury and Brand Management
  • Marketing
  • MBA
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electronics and Communications Engineering
  • Photography
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Product Design
  • Sociology
Best Subjects to Study in Italy
Number of Students Studying Particular Subjects in Italy (Source:

Top Universities in Italy

  • Politecnico di Milano
  • University of Bologna
  • Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (SNS)
  • Sapienza University of Rome
  • European School of Economics
  • University of Padua
  • Politecnico di Torino
  • University of Milan
  • University of Pisa
  • University of Trento
  • University of Florence
  • University of Pavia
  • University of Trieste
  • University of Genoa
  • University of Siena
  • University of Turin
  • University of Rome “Tor Vergata”
  • University of Naples – Federico II
  • Bocconi University
  • SDA Bocconi
  • American University of Rome
  • John Cabot University
  • Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
  • Università Cattolica del Sacro C
  • University of Macerata

Stay-Back and Post-Study Work in Italy

Masters (and PhD) students may apply for a temporary stay permit (called permesso di attesa occupazione)* which lasts for a period of 12 months maximum and allows students to legally live in Italy after their graduation while searching for a job.

As per the official site:

The foreigner who has obtained the doctoral or master’s degree in Italy or the three-year university degree or the post-graduate degree, at the expiry of the residence permit for study reasons, can be registered in the employment lists for a period not over twelve months, and can request the conversion of the residence permit for study into a residence permit for awaiting employment.

Salaries and Job Prospects

Italy is one of the world’s major financial powers

Employability has always been high on the Italian government’s agenda and higher education institutions are expected to prepare their graduates for the job market.

Italy is also home to world-renowned arts institutions, multi-nationals and well-known research institutes and companies (notably in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry).

Italy has the eighth largest economy in the world according to the 2018 International Monetary Fund. According to most estimations of national GDP, Italy’s economy is gently among the ten greatest on earth. Top companies with a local presence in Italy are Ferrari, Ferrero, Deutsche Bank, Amazon, Google, Apple, Dolce & Gabbana, Fiat, Luxottica, Poste Italiane, Giorgio Armani, Intesa Sanpaolo, Ubisoft, UniCredit, European Central Bank, J.P. Morgan, Janssen Pharmaceutical, Genenta, EryDel, BNL, The Walt Disney Company.

Top Employment Sectors in Italy

  • Automotive
  • Chemical Products
  • Food Production
  • Engineering
  • Insurance
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Telecommunications
  • Luxury and Retail Brands
  • Travel & Hospitality


Full-time jobs can pay you EUR 1,000 – 1,200 per month.

Few Masters Programs and short courses offer internships as well. For internships after the study program, students will have to apply for study permit renewal in a Questura (Police HQ). Keep in mind that it is not an automatic renewal. An internship cannot be more than 12 months.

Internships generally pay around EUR 500 per month. Please be advised that if you are enrolling for a short course (photography, designing, fashion stylist etc.), which is less than 3 months then you are not eligible for the work permit (including internships) in Italy.

Acknowledgment: I would like to thank Milind Singh for co-writing this article.

Featured Image Source: Trip A Deal

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.

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