Schools and Universities, Students from around the World
Italy is known for their Italian language, art and fashion schools. There are millions of students who come to study abroad at one of Italy's well-known schools and universities. There are schools all over Italy, but the most popular spots are in the historical cities like Florence, Rome and Venice, which boast a sea location. Because of the increasing response of foreign students schools of Italian language and culture have multiplied in the last 30 years and most students are between the ages of 15 and 25. You can however find some adult students attending these schools; it is popular for married couple to attend together for a couple of months while they see the sites of Italy.
The foreign students come from various countries, predominately America, followed by European students, (France, Germany, Spain...etc), but Italy also welcomes students from South America, (Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, Guatemala, Costa Rica), Mexico, Japan and a minority of Arabic, North African and Eastern European countries.
It is normal to see students come for short periods, (one to three months), during March to October (in December, January and February the schools are less full) however it is not uncommon for students to remain in Italy for some years. It is fairly easy for students, (especially for younger students) to find part time work, supplementing your income, while extending your vacation in beautiful Italy.
The procedure for enrollment into the schools in Italy is similar to the process anywhere. You need to fill out an application and pay a small fee, which is 10%-20% of the total course cost; this ensures your place in the classes. They will require you to use a credit card or get an international money order to pay your fee.
Finding a place to stay or live in Italy while you are going to school is fairly easy. You have several options. A hotel, bed and breakfast can be a fun place to stay if you don't plan on staying for a long period of time. The price to stay at one of these villas would be from 50 Euros up to 100/200 Euros a day. Another option is rent a room in an apartment. This is a common solution and the choice of most students. If you are planning on staying for a long period of time like six months to a year. A room can be rented in the apartment of an Italian family, (if you are lucky many young Italians rent rooms to supplement their incomes) or in an apartment with other students. You can rent from month to month or yearly.
The cost (which always varies from city to city: especially in the popular cities like Florence, Rome, Venice and then between the north of Italy and the favored South) is approximately 350 to 600 euros a month. Rent an entire apartment for yourself! If you can afford it, the favorite solution for finding a place to live in Italy is to rent an apartment. This is obviously a great solution, especially with a group of friends who can share expenses. Apart from the schools, there are also many real estate agencies within Italy, which do rent apartments to foreigners for short or long periods, (monthly, 3 to 6 monthly up to yearly). The cost of apartments can vary from 700 to 1000/1500 euros monthly.
While attending school in Italy it is easy to travel and do some site seeing while you are on break or in between semesters. There are several ways you can travel and site see through Italy. The train is most the most popular form of transportation it is easy to access and goes to all of the main cities or Italy. Italians use the train for the bulk of their travel from city to city. You can use the buses for those smaller towns that are not easy to access by train. Traveling by boat allows you to go to the beautiful Italian islands:
The Aeolian, Sicily, Sardinia, Isola di Elba, and others etc. Another option for travel is to rent a car. This can be little more expensive but it is the easiest way to be able to see the sites and make your own schedule. It isn't difficult to travel by car in Italy, the only drawback is the gas is a little expensive; it is 1 euro a liter. The school you are attending will sometimes organize short weekend excursions that offer students discounted prices. School advisor can counsel you on the best places to visit and recommend agency that can get you good prices on ticket and hotel accommodations.
If you do not speak the language you can still function in the schools and the country. Most Italians can speak at least a little English and some of the classes are offered in English. You go to school to learn so you can enroll in an Italian language class and learn while you are in school.
No matter what school you chose to attend or what you chose to study, attending courses in Italy can be a wonderful experience. You not only get education and culture, but you can travel and meet new people. If you decide to study abroad consider all of the opportunities Italy has to offer. Students from all over the world are choosing Italy as a "hot spot." I know you won't be disappointed.