Everything you need to know about funding your studies in Italy | Top Universities

Everything you need to know about funding your studies in Italy

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Stephanie Lukins

Updated May 04, 2021



Everything you need to know about funding your studies in Italy

Sponsored by the University of Bologna

If you’re looking to study at a university with a great academic reputation at an affordable price, then look no further: Italy is home to some of the world’s oldest universities, which offer high quality education and affordable tuition fees.

There are additional expenses you’ll also need to consider aside from tuition fees, including accommodation, food, transport, learning materials and resources, and healthcare.

We take a closer look at the need-to-knows when it comes to funding your studies when studying in Italy.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees in Italy are set by each individual institution. This means fees can vary widely depending on the university and degree programme. It is recommended that you check with the institutions that you are interested in to find out about specific costs and fees.

In Italy, average undergraduate programmes at public institutions can cost between €900 (~US$1,000) and €4,000 (~US$4,800) per year, with the average being approximately €1,500 (~US$1,800). Annual fees at private universities typically range from €6,000 – €20,000 (~US$7,200 – ~US$24,100).

At the University of Bologna, students can apply to have their tuition fees calculated on their household income. The minimum required fee is approximately €158 (~US$190) per year, while the maximum fee varies according to the degree programme which can range between €2,200 – €6,100 (~US$2,650 – ~US$7,360) per year.

If you’re a student coming from the EU or European Economic Area (EEA), generally you shouldn’t need to pay more than Italian citizens for your degree, but be aware that international students coming from outside the EU or EEA may sometimes need to pay more.

However, at the University of Bologna this is not the case. Non-EU and EEA students will pay the same fees as Italian and EU citizens.

Scholarships and grants

Most funding options are offered by the Italian government or universities. However, additional financial aid opportunities are also available.

For example, in the Emilia Romagna region where the University of Bologna is located, the Italian Regional Authority for the Right to Higher Education in Emilia Romagna (ER-GO) offers additional financial aid opportunities including study grants, accommodation services, contributions for international mobility programs, and much more.

What’s more, the same rules apply to both international and Italian citizens when it comes to applying for special funding. There are various types of funding that you can apply for, such as scholarships, student loans, housing assistance, meal tickets and fee waivers. Be aware these are awarded on an individual basis and are dependent on your personal financial situation and academic merit.

The University of Bologna offers the Unibo Action 1&2 program which waives full tuition fees and study grants of €11,000 (~US$13,285) for qualifying international students.

Accommodation costs

On average, you should expect to pay anywhere between €250 (~US$330) and €700 (~US$850) per month for your accommodation in Italy. This will depend on the city you choose to live in, as well as the type of accommodation.

For example, in the city of Bologna, the average cost of a single room in a shared apartment is €400 (~US$484) per month, while the average cost of a room in a shared apartment is €300 (~US$360) per month. And don’t forget to keep in mind monthly utility bills, such as water, gas and electricity.

The International Desk at the University of Bologna, which offers support to international students looking for accommodation, advises students to “start looking at accommodation options before moving to Italy, so you can find the one most suitable for you and your budget – which you should also consider in advance.”

Cost of living

Living and studying in Italy is a great experience, and compared to other popular study destinations in Europe and around the world, it is relatively more affordable. However, this does very much depend on your lifestyle and where you choose to study.

Keep in mind that tourist hotspots and cities like Rome, Milan and Florence tend to mean higher living costs compared to other Italian cities, such as Bologna, where the average monthly living expenses for students is €750 – €1,100 (~US$900 – $1,300).


When it comes to grocery shopping Italy has various supermarkets that are easy on the student budget, including discount stores and local grocery shops.

Average weekly supermarket food shop: €60  (~US$72)

Dining out

Well-known for their cuisine, Italians are passionate about good food which means it should be quite easy to find high quality, local produce in markets and small establishments at an affordable price.

Average price of a cappuccino and croissant in a local café: €2.50 (~US$3)

Average price of a pizza and a beer in a local pizzeria: €15 (~US$18)

Public transport

Whether it’s the bus, metro, tram, taxi or bicycle; public transport is the easiest and most convenient way to travel in and around Italy. It’s also affordable. 

In between studying and assignments, if you want to explore more of what Italy has to offer then the Italian national railway network is just as reliable and convenient as the rest of its public transport system. It offers discounts of up to 70 percent if you book tickets in advance.

Monthly public transport pass for students: €25 – €45 (~US$30 – $50)

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