Participating in a study abroad program can be one of the defining moments of one’s life – and if you choose to study abroad in Italy, that could be even more true. To be studying history and art in a country famous for both makes what you’re learning come alive – and to establish lifelong friendships with Italian students means a lifetime of local hosts whenever you re-visit Italy.
Italy has been high on the list of most popular study abroad countries for many years (it’s at #2 at the moment, right behind the UK), and with good reason. Italian may not be the most useful language on earth to master, but the country remains one of the most popular to visit – so to have a reason to be there for several months (if not a whole year) is a very good thing, indeed.
There are lots of options for a study abroad program in Italy, from a full academic year to a summer program to an even more focused language-intensive program. If you’re lucky enough that your school has an Italy student exchange program already set up, then it’s easy to go through your school and work with staff people you know and have access to easily. If your school doesn’t have a program in-house, however, don’t despair – there are lots of ways to study abroad in Italy through other schools (it will just take a bit more research and coordination on your part).
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Here are some of the resources you may need and things to consider if you’re interested in studying abroad in Italy.
- How to Pick a Study Abroad Program – The initial part of this article will be a step you might be able to skip if you’ve already settled on studying in Italy, but if you don’t yet know where in Italy you want to end up then start from step one and work your way down the list.
- Study Abroad Programs in Italy – Every big city in Italy has a study abroad program (or several), but there are programs in cities and towns of varying sizes all over the country. Choosing where you want to go is an important component of choosing which programs you apply to – you might be a city person for whom a year or even a few months in a tiny town with no train service would be a nightmare, for instance. There’s a website focused entirely on study abroad programs in Italy called SAI Programs, but there are other Italy study abroad programs, too. You can search for Italy programs at StudyAbroad.com to see the wide variety of programs and destinations. There are links to more study abroad resources here.
- Student ID Card – Along with your student ID card from your home university, it’s a good idea to buy a student travel ISE card before you go abroad – whether it’s for a study abroad program or just as a young traveler. If you’re under 26, having an ISE card can get you student discounts on all kinds of things when you travel – and it’s good all over the world.
photo by IsaTgar