University in milan
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Updated 8 months ago

Milan is a city that has one of the best Italian and European educational centres. It is home to the largest number of universities and graduates in the country and understandably boasts as the de facto capital of Italy.

A traditional academic scene

The broad cultural panorama that Milan offers allows the universities to deploy a global educational offer in every area: humanistic, technical-scientific, economic and artistic. Being the city with the largest number of international companies in Italy, it brings a broad range of possibilities to find a job or internship after (or even during the studies). Milan is a city of startups that require workers who contribute to research and innovation in every field. Consequently, an ambition with a good university background can't go unnoticed. Below are some of the most prestigious universities in Milan:

Università degli Studi di Milano (known as Statale or UniMi)

The Statale di Milano is a state university and the largest one in the city. It is located close to the city centre in a building known by the name Ca'Granda, but depending on the department, has seats spread in different locations. UniMi has nine faculties, 58 departments, 48 ''institutes and a teaching staff of 2,500 professors. It is also a member of LERU (League of European Research Universities). The university offers mostly courses in the Italian language, with a limited possibility for studies in English. Annual expenses at the Statale vary between 2,500 and 3,000 euros. The fees and contributions for each academic year are paid in two instalments. The first instalment is the same for all of the students, while the second one varies according to the student's economic status, merit, degree course and career status.

Università di Milano-Bicocca

Bicocca is a public university in Milan founded in 1997. It has been established in an industrial area with the purpose of reinventing that part of the city. With over 30,000 students, it is the second largest public university in Milan and has departments in Economics, Statistics, Jurisprudence, Medicine, Psychology, Biotechnology, Physics, Information Technology, Mathematics and Applications, Environmental Sciences, Human Sciences, Sociology and Social Research. The costs are similar to the UniMi, the first instalment is between 300 and 500 euros, but the second one can range between a minimum of 600 to a maximum of 3,200 euros.

Politecnico di Milano (PoliMi)

Founded in 1863 by the name of "Istituto Tecnico Superiore', it has grown to be the best and largest technical university in Italy. Today it is organized in 16 departments and a network of nine schools of Engineering, Architecture and Industrial Design, spread over seven campuses throughout Lombardy. Politecnico has around 38,000 students enrolled in all the different campuses in Milan and other nearby Italian cities: Lecco, Cremona, Mantova and Piacenza. PoliMi offers a great number of courses in English as well as the Italian language. The university pays special attention to research, has a lot of investments for further innovation, as well as a set of well-equipped laboratories. The total annual amount of university fees and contributions for a year ranges from 895,20 euros to 3,898 euros. Students pay in two instalments, a fixed instalment of 895.20 euros and a second instalment in which the student pays the remaining amount.

Università Bocconi

Bocconi is a private university founded in 1902 and is the first university in Italy that introduced degree courses in economics and business. Today, according to the Wall Street Journal and Forbes, it is one of the 20 best business schools in the world. The university has eight departments: Accounting, Social and Political Sciences, Economics, Finance, Management and Technology, Marketing, Decision Sciences, and Legal Studies. There are courses in Italian, but there is also a great emphasis on the English language classes and English programs. Since 1971 the campus offers a management school, by the name SDA Bocconi School of Management. Bocconi is one of the most expensive universities in Italy. A year can range from10,000 euros a year to 15,000 euros. The university offers grants (known by the name MiMeC) that value up to 50% of the cost of the program. These scholarships are awarded based on merit, and the following criteria: grades, age, admission test result, and work experience. There is a possibility to get business scholarships from some companies that partner with MiMeC.

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UniCatt)

The Catholic University of the Sacred Heart is one of the leading private universities in Milan. It is located right next to the Sant'Ambrogio church. Founded in 1921, UniCatt is considered the largest Catholic university in the world with 42,000 enrolled students. It specializes in humanities, economics, social sciences and natural sciences and (together with its collaborative institute ' Istituto Toniolo) pays a lot of attention to research. The university has branches in Rome, Brescia, Piacenza and Cremona and also offers courses in agriculture and medicine. Cattolica has prominent international programs and offers many one-year masters in the English language. The main seat for international students is located in Via Carducci, where enrolled members from all over the world can get the necessary information regarding their stay in Milan and their programs. The costs to study at Cattolica vary between 3,000 euros per year to 12,000euros. The payment is done in two or three instalments, including a fixed one that amounts to 1,200 euros. It is possible to get partial scholarships from Università Cattolica, and to do a part-time paid internship for the university. The scholarships vary from programs and the nationality of the students. You can find more information about the grants available on the Educatt website.

IULM (Free University of Languages ''and Communication)

The Free University of Languages ''and Communication (IULM), is a private university specializing in Business communication and ICT, Tourism, Fashion, and Cultural heritage. It was founded in 1963 and currently has two seats, the main one located in Milan (on the Romolo metro station), and the second one in Rome. The university has around 10,000 registered students, and has three faculties: arts tourism and markets communication; public relations and advertising; and interpreting, translation and cultural studies. IULM is divided into three main departments: business, law, and consumption economy; communication, arts and media; and humanities. The university is trying to improve its international character by implementing some English language lectures. IULM fees range from around 5,000 to 8,000 euros per year. Besides, IULM offers the possibility to earn working for its offices for a maximum of 180 hours per academic year.

Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele

San Raffaele University was founded in 1996. The University is divided into three faculties: Medicine, Philosophy, Psychology. It is characterized by close integration of teaching and research in the following categories: basic, philosophical and social research. The University is affiliated with the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan and is located in the southern part of the city, right next to the hospital. Its main motto is to be able to answer the question "Quid est homo?" ("What is Man?"), from a biological, psychological and even spiritual point. UniSR is considered the second best private university in the country and offers courses in English for international students. Fees vary depending on the program, ranging from 5,000euros to 15,000 euros. It is possible to apply for a partial scholarship (half the study rate) by directly contacting the university.

Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera

The Academy of Fine Arts was founded in 1776 and specialises in high artistic and musical education, creative art, and historical and cultural disciplines. Its heritage and magical setting make it very appealing for aspiring artists, and its openness to globalization makes it especially attractive to international students. The Academy of Fine Arts is the institution with the highest number of international students, including over 850 foreigners from 49 countries. It offers 1st level (bachelor) degrees and 2nd level (master) degrees and is divided into three departments: visual arts; design and applied arts; and communication and teaching of art. You also get access to the heritage of the gallery, which is home to masterpieces like Boccioni and Caravaggio. The possibility to enrol is limited and depends on passing an entrance test. The Brera academy is private, and its courses cost around 3,000 euros per year. An important prerequisite, of course, is to pass the entrance exam which costs between 50 euros and 100 euros.

Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti (NABA)

The New Academy of Fine Arts is a private fine arts academy located in the Navigli area. The university has two departments: Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies; and Design and Applied Arts. It also has laboratories for computer graphics, video editing, sound design, tailoring, modelling, and painting. Besides, it has an atelier for working with materials like plastic, iron and wood. NABA offers bachelor and master degree courses and is especially open for international exchange students, hosting over 3,000 students of them. NABA fees range from 11,500 euros for EU citizens to 16,000eur for non-EU citizens per academic year. NABA offers project-based and portfolio-based scholarships, financial aids and discounts for master students who have done a bachelor at the university.

How to enrol

All universities offer specific information about enrolment on their website (and through their international services), based on the type of programme and the country of origin. Conditions are different for non-EU students and for Italian and European students.

EU students do not need a visa for studying in Italy. However, their educational qualifications obtained abroad must be legalised according to the Italian standards. The documents have to be accompanied by an official translation in Italian and brought to an Italian diplomatic/consular representation. The Italian embassy or consulate will provide a Declaration of value (Dichiarazione di valore), confirming that the grades are equivalent to the Italian educational system. After arriving in Italy, students need to register directly to the university.

The deadlines for Non-EU students are earlier, and the procedures last longer. After the successful application to the desired program (online or in person, or even pre-enrollment form if the decision takes longer), non-EU citizens residing abroad must submit a visa application. The application is made in the Italian diplomatic representation (Embassy, ''Consulate) in the country of origin (where Declaration of value must be done). All the documentation needs to be translated by a state-recognized translator, and additionally notarized. After successfully getting an Italian student visa, the students need to go to the university to register (immatricolazione ) personally. After this step comes the procedure regarding the long term permit of stay (permesso di soggiorno a base di studio). International students have the possibility to renew this permit every year and can renew it one additional year after graduating if they wish to look for a job.

Financing the studies

All the Italian universities model the university prices based on the students' family income. These rules, however, apply mainly to Italian citizens. All of the universities offer special offers for students with disability.

All of the students enrolled in public universities can ask for a DSU (diritto allo studio) scholarship, funded by the Lombardy region. Every university has a specific office regarding these grants. These scholarships (borse di studio) allow free access to the university canteens, provide 5 euros vouchers per day for some supermarkets, and cover a part of the student expenses.

The main requirements are:

  • The student must not benefit from other scholarships that same year
  • The student must be enrolled for full-time studies
  • The student should not be enrolled for the same course more than a year

Besides, all universities provide merit-based scholarships and opportunities for part-time paid jobs at the university departments.

Choosing to study in Milan is not an easy decision, as it takes a determination to understand the real career path. But once decided, it offers solid and important ground for learning and building a future career.

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