5 Things to Know Before You Study Abroad in Italy


It’s hard to find a country with a more significant history and influence than Italy. From breathtaking architecture and art to world-famous cuisine and a beautiful language, it truly is one of a kind. So if you’ve always dreamed of immersing yourself in one of the world’s most historic and beloved countries, studying abroad is an adventure and a fantastic opportunity. But before you say “Ciao!” to your family back home, there are a few things you should know about being an international student in Italia.

Funding Varies by School

There are two American universities in Rome, the official American University of Rome and John Cabot University. Both accept federal student aid and private loans. There are also a variety of other public and private universities in Italy, many with fantastic international programs. The caveat is that not all of them accept federal student loans, so you’ll have to find other ways to finance your studies. However, many scholarships can help you pay to study abroad, and there are many designed exclusively for students who want to study overseas. You can look up many college scholarships online and apply using this search application platform.

You’ll Need to Learn the Language

International students must take courses in the Italian language while they study. While it might be a technical part of your program, you also need to learn it for everyday life. Students who don’t speak any Italian are rare. It’s hard to describe the feeling you’ll get when you successfully order your first cappuccino in Italian, or you get to speak with a local and hear them greet you with a cheerful, “Come stai?”

There are False Stereotypes

Italians don’t eat only breadsticks, and spaghetti and meatballs aren’t a staple. They use hand gestures in everyday conversation, but they aren’t thrown in randomly, and most foreigners get them wrong. Don’t greet Italians with an exaggerated “Mamma mia!” or attempt to mimic the Italian accent in English. Read up on what not to do in Italy before you go to avoid offending anyone. It also makes you look far less like a tourist and experience the real side of the country.

Nightlife for Italians Is Vastly Different

The Italians love to dance as much as anybody else, but most young people are far less chaotic than foreigners. They prefer intimate gatherings or outings with a close-knit group of friends over wild house parties. They’re also far less likely to get sloppy drunk and wander around publicly inebriated. In Italy, you should strive to live like the locals. So instead of heading to the club with your classmates, head out to an appertivo at a local restaurant and enjoy a classic Italian handcrafted cocktail with authentic Italian appetizers.

There are Amazing Opportunities for Students of Art and Architecture

Fine art and architecture are two of the most popular majors among study abroad students in Italy. It’s easy to see why they are drawn to Florence, the centerpiece of the Renaissance, or the breathtaking cathedrals dispersed throughout the nation. Even if your major is something else entirely, take a chance to study both the art and architectural marvels that only Italy can provide.