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For several years now, the Italian government has set itself the goal of internationalising its scholar and academic system, in order to attract an increasing number of students from all over the world to Italy.

Moreover, Italy is a destination of excellence for those who wish to pursue their studies in various fields, from traditional ones such as art and cultural heritage, design or fashion, to scientific ones and those linked to technological innovation.

As regards the university sector alone, foreign students in Italy are an increasingly important part of the national school population. Since the 1980s, when there were only a few thousand students with non-Italian citizenship (0.06% of the total in the year 1983-1984), there has been constant growth, both in absolute and percentage terms. Nowadays, the percentage of foreign students in Italian universities is around 5% of the total.

Moreover, interest in learning our language is growing steadily. More and more people are deciding to learn Italian, which in recent years has become the fourth most studied language in the world, chosen not only by those of Italian origin but also for their professional development in a range of sectors from fashion to design, from food and wine to art and classical and opera music.


The Italian education system is organised as follows:

  • pre-school, which is not mandatory, for girls and boys aged 3 to 6;
  • first cycle of education, with a total duration of 8 years, divided into:
    • primary school, lasting five years, for pupils aged 6 to 11 years;
    • middle school, lasting three years, for pupils aged 11 to 14;
  • second cycle of education divided into two types of courses:
    • secondary school, lasting five years, for students who have successfully completed the first cycle of education. Schools organise high school, technical and vocational institutes for students aged between 14 and 19;
    • three- and four-year vocational education and training (IeFP) courses under regional responsibility, also aimed at students who have successfully completed the first cycle of education.
  • higher education offered by universities, higher education institutions for art, music and dance (AFAM) and higher technical institutes (ITS) with different types of courses:
    • tertiary education pathways offered by universities
    • tertiary education pathways offered by AFAM institutions (Alta Formazione Artistica, Musicale e Coreutica);
    • vocational tertiary education pathways offered by ITS (Istituti Tecnici Superiori)



I am a non-EU citizen. I want to enroll in an Italian University: where can I find the information and the list of documents I need?

On the website is available, in Italian and English, the MIUR circular relating to the procedures for entry, stay, enrolment of international students and the related recognition of qualifications, for academic courses in higher education.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has created a web portal describing the various steps of the enrolment procedure, where information is available also in English.


Where can I find the list of scholarships granted to foreigners who wish to study in Italy?

Every year the Italian Government provides scholarships to foreigners or Italian citizens living abroad to complete formal studies and / or follow bilateral and multilateral study or research programs in Italy. For more information, please visit the appropriate page on our website.


I have applied for a visa, can I already enrol at the university of my choice?

All international students applying for visas can already make their pre-enrolments at the universities through the portal

For international students applying for visas who are candidates for admission to courses at Higher Education Institutions for Music and Performing Arts (AFAM) and Higher Schools for Linguistic Mediation (SSML), it will be possible to activate the same digitalised application procedure from 14 May 2021; by this date the MIUR will provide these categories of institutions with the necessary
instructions on how to use the Universitaly portal.


How do I apply for a study/enrolment visa at the Italian Embassy?

Once you have completed the digitalised application procedure and obtained validation from the University, you can submit your application for a study/enrolment visa to the Italian Embassy by sending an email to


What other documents do I need to apply for a student/enrolment visa?

In addition to the documentation required for the issuance of a study visa, the student must also submit the summary of the pre-enrolment application generated by the platform, as validated by the University, and the original academic qualifications, translated into Italian and legalised, or the Dichiarazione di Valore, if requested by the University. If the University requires the Dichiarazione di
Valore, the student must request it from the Embassy before applying for the visa, following the procedures published on our website at this link.

Please also note that the Uni-Italia Association, in agreement with the Conference of Italian University Rectors (CRUI), has made the website available to all international students. The page is designed as an additional support tool and allows students to register by indicating the institution and the course they are interested in, in order to receive assistance and useful information in the subsequent phases of entry, enrolment and stay in Italy, as well as to receive periodic updates. Please also visit for further information on the education system, courses and scholarships offered by Italian universities.


What financial resources shall I prove to have so as obtain a study visa?

With specific reference to the academic year 2021 – 2022, if you apply for a visa to enrol in an Italian University, you shall demonstrate you have a minimum amount of financial resources equal to € 5.983,64 a year (460.28 euros per month for each month of the academic year). This sum is based on the yearly amount of the so-called "social allowance". If your studies are staggered over many years, you only need to prove you have these financial resources for the first year.


I have been admitted to a multi-year university course, but the Embassy issued me a one-year visa. What shall I do for the following years? Shall I apply for a new visa?

It will not be necessary. The visa is the authorization to enter Italy for the first time with the motivation shown on the visa label (study visa for enrolling in a University, in this specific case). Within 8 days since entry into Italy, you shall apply for a stay permit at the Immigration Office of the Police Headquarters competent for the Municipality of residence. The stay permit is the document that makes your presence in Italy legal. It shall be renewed before its expiry.


I got a diploma / graduated abroad. Is my qualification recognized in Italy?

Foreign qualifications are not automatically recognized in Italy. For information on how to obtain their recognition, see the website of the Information Center on Mobility and Academic Equivalence (CIMEA). On this page of the Ministry’s website you can check whether Italy has reached an agreement with the country in which you want your qualifications to be recognized. If you plan to study or work in Italy, we strongly recommend you to complete the procedure for the equivalence of your education / professional qualification before moving to Italy. In fact, the process involves foreign Authorities and Italian consular offices abroad.