Italy is not only a traditional holiday destination on the Mediterranean Sea, it is also an attractive destination for studying abroad.
Italy in portrait
According to best-medical-schools, around 61 million people currently live in an area of around 300,000 square kilometers, which includes both the Apennine peninsula in its well-known boot shape and numerous islands such as Sardinia, Sicily and Elba. In the north, Italy and its Alpine regions border on France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. The overall temperate climate in Italy varies due to the strong geographic north-south expansion: In the north, the winters are quite cold and the summers are hot; in the south, however, the climate is Mediterranean. The infrastructure also differs between north and south.
The northern industrial centers of Milan and Turin, for example, are of particular economic importance. There are also numerous European cultural centers in northern and central Italy with Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome. The south, on the other hand, is mainly characterized by agriculture, which in today’s Italy plays a rather subordinate role economically. The country’s most important employers are the service industry, the manufacturing industry, the machine and automotive industries, and the tourism industry.
Italy’s history goes back a long way. The time of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire is of outstanding importance. In terms of culture, Italy is one of the breeding grounds for European culture. Important impulses from the performing arts, poetry, music and architecture, theology and philosophy have come from here since ancient times. A trip to Italy was the epitome of a versatile educational trip as early as the Renaissance. Even today, Italian art, literature and design stand for a special standard and class. Studying in Italy traditionally guarantees the teaching of classic values and skills.
University landscape in Italy
With the University of Bologna, Italy is home to what is probably the oldest university in the world. It is said to have been founded in 1088. Other very old Italian universities are, for example, in Padua, Rome and Salerno. The country’s roughly two million students can choose from around 90 universities, most of which are state-administered. In addition, there are six technical institutions and two specially geared towards international students that offer courses in English.
There are also numerous established art academies, fashion and design institutes, sports colleges, military academies, and theological colleges. Incidentally, the papal universities do not belong to Italy, but are affiliated to the Vatican. Studying in Italy is an ideal starting point to get to know the diverse Italian university landscape.
Quality assurance in Italy
The examination of the study programs and their accreditation is carried out by the Associazione Italiana delle Scuole di Formazione (ASFOR). The courses are checked annually by a private authority on behalf of the daily newspaper “ La Repubblica ”. This is done in relation to research, the quality of teaching, the productivity of lecturers and students and the international orientation of the teaching program.
Study system in Italy
The Italian academic year is divided into two semesters, usually from October to January and February to July. The examination time is always at the end of the semester and takes about six weeks. Enrollment and the start of studies are usually in October. Study achievements are almost always to be achieved through oral exams at the end of the semester. Written term papers or exams are rather rare. The oral exams are public, so fellow students can listen.
The performance is assessed on the basis of a grading scale from 18 points (a four minus) to 30 points (a one). The credit points (crediti formativi universitari), on the other hand, reflect the time required within the courses and thus correspond to the ECTS points.
Degrees in Italy
Italy is one of the signatories of the European Bologna Agreement, in the course of which the study programs were reformed from 2001/2002. The Italian study system has since been divided into three study sections, which form the so-called corsi di laurea. These study sections are:
- laurea main line
- dottorato di ricerca
The first part of the laurea course can be compared to the Bachelor’s degree. There are around three years of undergraduate studies in Italy before this academic degree. The laurea qualifies students to practice directly or to continue their studies. The final grade consists, among other things, of a written work (tesi) and the average grade from the exams taken so far.
Following the laurea, it is possible to deepen your previous knowledge in a two-year postgraduate course. The so-called laurea magistrale corresponds to the master’s degree or a German diploma, master’s degree or state examination. There is a specialization on certain topics.
The variants of selectable subjects (classi) during a degree in Italy are far more diverse than in the laurea degree. In some subjects such as human medicine, law or teaching, the combination of laurea and laurea magistrale is compulsory for later vocational training. The course of study in these subjects therefore generally lasts five years. Some universities in Italy also offer one-year Masters courses. Students can then join the master di primo level directly at the laurea. Themaster di livello, on the other hand, requires a successfully completed laurea magistrale.
As a third study option, students with good academic performance in laurea and laurea magistrale can aim for a doctorate. This research-oriented and highly subject-specific training ends with the dottorato di ricerca, with the written doctoral thesis and its oral defense. As a rule, a doctorate in Italy takes around three years.
Some universities in Italy also offer continuing education courses. They end with diplomas which, however, do not represent full academic degrees and have no direct equivalent in the German study system.
At the technical universities and smaller institutions, such as those for design or policy, one finds particularly practical training instead. The institutions often cooperate with the private sector, which thereby has the opportunity to train and recruit qualified young people.
Course of study in Italy
A course of study in Italy consists primarily of lectures in which the students write down exactly what the lecturer is talking about. They reflect this in the oral exams at the end of the semester. Compared to other countries, the seminars and courses are rather large and less geared towards oral participation by the students. However, the demands on students differ depending on the size of the university. At smaller or private institutions, on the other hand, the contact between lecturers and students is often more intensive and oral cooperation is more in demand.