Study Abroad in Italy
Italy is one of the Europe's most complex and alluring destinations. A modern industrialized nation with an artistic and architectural legacy that few other countries can rival, it's also a Mediterranean country with a southern European sensibility, where traditional attitudes still prevail.
Italy has played an important role in European higher education: it is one of the four countries that first engaged to create the so-called "European Area of Higher Education" (Sorbonne Declaration, May 1998), thus starting that type of higher education reform which, known as "Bologna Process" (Bologna Declaration, June 1999) is being implemented all over Europe.
Today Italy ranks among the 8 most industrialized countries in the world. Alongside some big companies, both state-owned and private, it has developed a sound network of small and medium-sized undertakings, promoted a few scientific parks, and are incentivizing basic and applied research in a great variety of fields (biology, ICT, medicine, physics, etc.).
Study abroad programs in Italy is widely popular and one reason is the historically stellar education offered by the country:
Italy has long been a leader in higher education-the University of Salerno was established in the 9th century, while the University of Bologna opened in 1088;
After earning a 'laurea,' or bachelor's degree, a high number of Italian students go on to earn a 'laurea specialistica,' or master's degree;
Italy is constantly working to improve higher education through reforms.
The Italian Higher Education System
Italian higher education is structured in a binary system, consisting of two main articulations:
- the university sector
- the non-university sector.
At present, the university sector is made up of 89 university institutions which are classified in:
- 58 State universities
- 17 non-State universities (legally recognized by the State)
- 2 universities for foreigners
- 6 higher schools specialized in postgraduate university studies
- 6 telematic universities.
The non-university sector includes 4 education typologies with their institutions:
- higher schools of design: polytechnics for the arts, academies of fine arts, higher institutes for applied arts, music conservatories and recognized music institutes
- higher institutes for musical and choreographic studies, national academies
- higher education in language mediation: higher schools for language mediators
- higher integrated education (FIS): programs of higher technical education & training (IFTS) a few specific fields (e.g. archiving, diplomatics, restoration, military studies, etc.) which, along with their respective institutions, fall under the supervision of ministries other than that of Education.
Besides Versace, Gucci and Armani, (and Christopher Columbus), Italy has given the world sleek sports cars like the Ferrari, musical instruments like the piano and everyday necessities like eyeglasses. The country has given birth to some of the greatest artists of all time and built some of the most amazing buildings-and its history never bored the rest of the world!