How to study master in Italy as an International

Emre Danisan Polimi how to study master in Italy

I have finally graduated! Yes, after a long process, difficult lectures, pandemic, etc. I finally finished my master’s in Politecnico di Milano, Italy, and deserved to wear the laurel crown you see in the image. It was a challenging as well as a rewarding process, and finally I finished it. I have been getting the question “How do I study in Italy?” a lot. That’s why I wanted to write this post to help you out on studying master in Italy so yours doesn’t end up as challenging as mine.

First, let me tell you my experience as studying here, then I will explain how you can apply as well.

How is studying and living in Italy? The good, the bad, and the ugly.

How to study master in Italy as an international

The good side of living & studying in Italy

Firstly, it is always nice to study in another country. You learn a lot of things just by living abroad. Italy specifically, is a beautiful country with many natural and historical sights to see. I really like living in Milan. Being in the middle of Europe I had the chance to visit many other countries as well (before the pandemic). The education in Politecnico was hard, but overall pretty educative. And the best part is: there are many scholarship opportunities available! I will explain them separately at the end of the post.

The bad side of living & studying in Italy

The language is a big barrier here. Even though I studied in English, and almost everyone spoke good English on the campus, outside the university nobody speaks English. It kind of pushes you to learn Italian, which is good, but the problem with learning Italian is that it is not useful anywhere outside Italy. Plus, even inside Italy there are many dialects and accents. Even Italians have difficulties understanding each other.

In my opinion, the education in Politecnico was a bit too theoretical. This could also be because of my program, management engineering. But there isn’t enough practical education which causes the students to not really know about the actual work life.

The ugly side of living & studying in Italy

Bureaucracy is a pain in the a- ehm, head. So much paperwork. Takes months and months. I thought the bureaucracy in Turkey was bad when I was getting a document in a couple weeks. Here it takes 3-4 months minimum to get your stay permit, or residency, identity card, and other legal documents you need to have. Even though the required documents are known, sometimes police stations might ask you for additional documents, or may not accept some of the documents you already have. Or if you are unlucky they can even lose some of your papers. Plus, they don’t speak much English.

So I suggest you apply for your legal stuff ASAP. Because it is going to take longer than you think.

How to study Master’s degree in Italy?

How to apply to an Italian University?

I was pretty lucky with this. When I was working in my hometown Izmir, Turkey I saw an online advertisement about an international education fair. I already had the idea to go to Europe, plus the fair was 2 minutes walk away from my office, so I just went to see what was going on. I got a lot of information from many different education consultants but almost all of them were too expensive for me. Except for one, Academix Foreign Education consultancy told me about university Politecnico di Milano and convinced me to apply, which I did. Well, actually I provided the documents and they did the application for me.

But it is also easy to apply yourself through the university website which I will explain better.

What is Politecnico di Milano?

how to study master in politecnico di MilanoPolitecnico di Milano a.k.a Polimi, in English Polytechnic University of Milan, is the university I graduated from. Polimi was founded in 1863 and currently it is the best technical university in Italy. With its 46.000+ students one of the top 20 technical universities in the world.

Official definition:

Politecnico di Milano is a scientific-technological university which trains engineers, architects and industrial designers.

Unfortunately it does not offer other programs since it is a technical university. But there are many other big universities in Italy to find other departments such as: La Sapienza in Rome, University of Bologna, University of Milan, and many others.

What is required to apply to a Master of Science in Politecnico di Milano?

The following documents:

  • Letter of recommendation from one of your professors.
  • Letter of motivation
  • Transcript of the lectures
  • Minimum GPA depends on the country you are applying to. You can see them here. For Turkey it is 3.0 out of 4.0.
  • Resume/CV
  • English or Italian language certificate (depending on your program language). Such as TOEFL or IELTS. Also, if you have studied your bachelor 100% in English, you can use that certificate.
  • Passport
  • Diploma from your bachelor education is not required for the application; but it will be required for the enrollment. So, if you are in the last year of your bachelor you can still apply.

More info on how to apply here (Laurea magistrale means master). So for other universities, you can take these as a base, and check the actual documents yourself.

Scholarship opportunities, the most important part of studying in Italy!

Italy has many scholarship opportunities for international students. Which was also one of the reasons why I chose to study here. I will explain the most common scholarship, and mine now.

DSU (Diritto allo Studio) Scholarship

DSU is technically not a scholarship, but a financial benefit based on the Right to Study (Diritto allo Studio in Italian). It is based on the financial income of the student and the students’ family. So, depending on your family’s income situation you can get accepted to this scholarship. Last 2 years all of the applicants were granted the scholarship. So, it is the most common scholarship and very helpful. The benefits are

  • Daily 5 euro for food purchases.
  • Discounted accommodation in university dormitories.
  • Exemption from University tuition fees
  • And money into your bank account, which changes every year.

Here you can see more details on the Polimi DSU page.

Invest Your Talent in Italy Master Scholarship

This is the scholarship I took for 2 years. It is a little complicated in the sense of requirements and rewards. So I wrote a separate post about it here: What is Invest Your Talent in Italy Scholarship.

Merit-based Scholarships

Each university has their own merit based scholarships. Politecnico has 3 types called Platinum, Gold, and Silver. I asked a friend to write more details on this scholarship. Click here: Merit Based Scholarships at Politecnico di Milano

Study in Italy Scholarship

It is another scholarship, which I don’t have a lot of information on. But I leave here the official site.

There are more scholarships, each university has their own as well. Just do a wide search online once you get accepted from the university.

Yes! I want to study master in Italy. When should I apply?

Each university’s deadlines are different. BUT they are always months (almost a year) ahead. For example, the Polimi deadline for the 1st application to the September 2021 semester is November 2020. But don’t worry there is a second application period that started just now (January 2021) and finishes in March 2021. Then there are the applications for the second semester starting in May 2021. You can see the Polimi deadlines for non Europeans here and for Europeans here.

Thanks for reading my post about how to study master’s in Italy as an international. I wish everyone good luck in the process and feel free to contact me or leave a question in the comments below. You can follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn.

Also check out:

7 tips on How to Find an Internship in Italy as a foreigner?

7 tips on how to find work in Italy as a foreigner?


How to study master in Italy as an International
Article Name
How to study master in Italy as an International
I have just graduated from my Master in Politecnico di Milano, Italy. Here I explain how to study master in Italy as an international. How is studying and living in Italy? The good, the bad, and the ugly.

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