Why is Italy becoming a popular study destination in Europe?

Known for its Renaissance artists, incredible landscapes, architecture, fashion and food, Italy is the hottest new study destination in Europe, especially for students from India.

The universities in Italy are among the oldest and most renowned educational institutions in the world and offer a range of subjects – from architecture to applied sciences, medicine, economics and art.

Here are a few little things: The University of Bologna in Italy is said to be the oldest university in the western world. It is currently home to an impressive 35 universities listed in the 2022 QS World University Rankings.

According to the Indian government, nearly 6,000 Indian students are studying in Italy. So what makes it a hip destination in Europe?


The country’s higher education system includes universities, the sector of Higher Education in Fine Arts, Music and Dance or AFAM and the Higher Technical Institutes. Universities are privately and publicly funded institutions and the quality of education is generally considered to be very high.

They offer many theoretical and academically oriented undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD programs covering various disciplines.

Some top ranked QS universities are Polytechnic University of Milan, University of Bologna, University of Rome – La Sapienza, University of Padua and University of Milan.

The AFAM institutions offer degrees in artistic fields, while the Higher Technical Universities are practice-oriented and prepare for the demands of practice. Internships and practical semesters are an integral part of the course.


The wide range of courses taught in English is also one of the key reasons for the growing popularity of Italy among Indian students. There are also several programs to facilitate the mobility of Indian students to Italy. The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs offers annual grants to foreign nationals for study, training and/or research in the country’s universities.

Indian students can also apply to the Invest Your Talent in Italy program to pursue postgraduate studies in Engineering, Advanced Technologies, Architecture, Design, Economics or Management in some of the best universities. In addition to scholarships, the program offers on-the-job training during undergraduate studies through internships at leading Italian companies.

In addition, many regional scholarships are open to Indian students enrolled in a regular undergraduate or postgraduate program in Italy. Some popular scholarships are Scuola Normale Superiore PhD Scholarships, Bocconi Merit International Awards, Politecnico International Scholarships, Padua International Excellence Scholarship Programs, Regione Veneto Scholarships, University of Bologna Study Scholarships for International Students and Italian Government Scholarships for International Students.


Some of the world’s most famous cities are in Italy, connected by an efficient system of trams, metros, trains, buses and airports across the country. Tuition fees are comparatively lower at Italian universities than other popular European study destinations. The monthly cost of living is between 700 and 1,000 euros (excluding rent). However, prominent cities like Rome and Milan are likely to be more expensive than others.

International students are allowed to work 20 hours per week and are allowed to stay back in Italy after completing their studies.

The one-year (12-month) student visa extension serves as a work permit for those wishing to work in Italy after completing postgraduate studies or doctoral studies.

The region is known for delicious cuisines and gastronomic delights that international students enjoy. The Mediterranean weather means the country is much warmer than some of its northern neighbors, which is also a factor for many international students.

Several other factors have contributed to Italy’s rise as a leading center of study abroad. It is Europe’s third largest economy and an international business hub.

With the presence of large national and multinational companies ranging from automobiles (Ferrari, Fiat) to fashion (Versace, Prada, Armani) to finance (Intesa Sanpaolo, UniCredit), Italy is one of the continent’s major economic nerve centers.

To attract talent, the country also recently increased the annual work permit quota to 5,000 and plans to invite 75,000 foreign workers in 2022.

Through innovation and research, Italian universities have been involved in critical work on climate change, medicine and astronomy. Academic prowess and international opportunities have made Italy a major player in the foreign education market.

Written by Vaibhav Singh, co-founder of LeapScholar. The views expressed by the author are personal.

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