The Study in Sicily initiative is addressed to the citizens of the following countries:
In particular, to participate in the Study in Sicily initiative and enrol in a higher education institution, you must be above 17 years of age and meet the following requirements by being:
- a student who has completed the upper secondary school cycle and wants to enrol in an Italian higher education institution: universities/Higher technical institutes (ITS)/Institutes of High Training in Art, Music and Dance (AFAM);
- a student studying at a higher education institution in his/her country who wants to continue his academic career at an Italian higher education institution (university / ITS / AFAM);
- a student who has completed the first (Bachelor’s degree) or second (Master’s degree) cycle of higher education studies in his/her own country and wants to enrol in the next cycle (second or third – Master’s degree or Phd) in Italy;
- a student who wants to participate in an Erasmus international mobility experience for study purposes for a period that can vary between 3 and 12 months;
- a student who wants to attend a specialization course at an Italian higher education institution.
Universitaly is the most updated and secure resource to refer to for any information. Meanwhile, below, you will find some clear and important information to access Bachelor’s and Master’s level courses.
Find below the foreign qualifications valid for access to Bachelor’s degree programmes (first cycle) in the Italian higher education system:
1. Qualifications obtained at the end of a school period of at least 12 years
These qualifications are valid for access to three-year degree courses (Bachelor’s programmes) and to single-cycle specialist degree courses in Italian universities provided that they are also single-cycle degree programmes in the universities of the home country.
In the calculation of the twelve years, the preschool year must be considered, if necessary, provided that:
– the attendance of this year is compulsory and an integral part of the curriculum;
– the programme includes teaching of reading and writing of the mother tongue and the first elements of arithmetic calculation;
– This year is not before the sixth year of age.
2. Qualifications obtained at the end of a school period of less than 12 years
In addition to the original secondary school diploma, it is also necessary to submit an academic certification stating that all the required exams have been passed:
– for the first year of university studies, in the case of local school systems of eleven years;
– for the first two years of university studies, in the case of local school systems of ten years.
Such academic certification (in addition to secondary school diplomas obtained following less than twelve years of schooling) allows matriculation only in the first academic year of the programme, not an enrolment in a shortened programme.
Please note: The final qualification for post-secondary studies obtained in a non-university higher education institution can be accepted as a supplementary qualification for the educational path of less than 12 years.
Find below the foreign qualifications valid for admission to Master’s courses (second cycle) in the Italian higher education system.
The admission of Italian or international students with foreign qualifications to the second cycle study courses is decided independently by the individual institutions of higher education.
When your qualification falls into one of the cases below, it meets the general requirements foreseen in Italy for access to Master’s degree courses (second cycle):
- you have already obtained a Bachelor’s degree (first cycle) at a foreign university or a university-level higher institution;
- your Bachelor’s degree gives you the right to access the next level courses in the higher education system of the country that issued it;
- you also have a secondary school qualification obtained after 12 years of global schooling.
Consult the list of courses of study to find the one that is right for you and read the admission procedures established by each Sicilian university on the web page dedicated to the course.
The procedures and deadlines can be different for each course and for each institution: it is therefore advisable to check with particular attention the indications provided by the Sicilian higher education institution that has been chosen.
The calls for applications are normally published from February to July of each year.
Classes start in September/October each year.
The list of the courses offered for each academic year is normally published in February.
Remember that if you are not a citizen of a European Union country and reside outside Italy, you will have to pre-enrol through the competent Italian Embassy or Consulate in the months of April/May preceding the year of attendance of the chosen course.
Each academic year, Italian higher education institutions establish the total number of places available in each of their courses of studies within the three cycles of the system.
Some of the places available in each course of study are reserved for international citizens of non-EU nationality residing abroad; reserved places constitute the so-called quota places.
Under certain conditions, enrolment in a certain course of study can take place outside the quota places, as in the case of Study in Sicily.
In order for your request to study at a Sicilian institution to be examined and accepted, you must submit a pre-enrolment request form.
To finalize pre-enrolment in a course of studies of the first cycle (Bachelor’s degree programmes) you need to:
- Select a single course of study from those of the Bachelor’s level;
- fill in the pre-enrolment form;
- prepare all the documents to be attached to the pre-enrolment form, namely:
– legalised secondary school diploma obtained abroad (after at least 12 years of overall, elementary and secondary schooling).
Please note: What does legalised qualification mean?
The legislation of some countries provides that all official documents, including those certifying the possession of qualifications, must be legalised in order to guarantee their authenticity.
If this rule is in force also in the country where you obtained your qualification to be used in Italy, you must contact the competent authority to obtain the legalisation of the document certifying the title of study.
Legalisation must be carried out before you ask the competent Italian diplomatic representation to issue the Local Declaration of Value of your qualification.
If, on the other hand, the country in which you obtained your qualification adheres to the Hague Convention, you must have your qualification sealed with an Apostille stamp. The stamp with the apostille must be placed on the document before asking the competent Italian diplomatic authority to issue the Local Declaration of Value of the qualification.
– Declaration of Value issued by the competent Italian diplomatic representations abroad
Please note: What is the Declaration of Value?
As required by the international procedure for the recognition of qualifications, Italian universities verify:
- the legal status of the institution that issued a given foreign qualification;
- if the title is authentic;
- if it belongs to the national education system of the country that issued it;
- the academic and/or professional rights that the title confers in the relating country.
In order to carry out these checks, adequate sources and information tools are required; among those available, the Italian institutions resort to the so-called Declaration of Value, as it is issued by Italian authorities present in the countries in which the qualification have been issued.
The task of drawing up the Declaration of Value is in fact assigned to the competent Italian Diplomatic Representations abroad; in particular, according to the most recent provisions (2007), this task is reserved exclusively to the Embassies and Consulates (and therefore cannot be delegated to the Italian Cultural Institutes).
- The Declaration of Value is an official document, written in Italian, which briefly describes a given qualification awarded to a specific person by an institution belonging to an education system other than the Italian one. It is a document of an exclusively informative nature, and therefore does not in itself constitute any form of recognition of the title in question; generally, it provides the information listed below, useful for the subsequent evaluation of the qualification by the competent Italian authorities for the legal recognition of foreign qualifications:
- legal status and nature of the issuing institution;
- requirements for access to the course of study ending with that qualification;
- legal duration of the course of study and/or global commitment required by the student in credits or hours;
- value of the title in the education system/country that issued it, for academic and/or professional purposes.
If you are not yet in possession of the Declaration of Value of your secondary school or higher education qualification, you must apply to the Italian Diplomatic representation abroad, including the following documents:
- original foreign qualification;
- official translation of the qualification into the Italian Language.
The Italian diplomatic representations abroad issue the Declaration of Value using different forms according to the type of course and institution in which the individual candidates are interested.
- Enrolment in a university:
– Form E: if the candidate is interested in a Bachelor’s level course or a Master’s level course in medicine, dentistry and other single-cycle degrees in the Italian education system;
– Form L: if the candidate is interested in a Master’s level course but in disciplinary fields other than in medicine, dentistry and other single-cycle degrees in the Italian Education system;
- Enrolment in an Afam institution:
– Form E bis: if the candidate is interested in a Bachelor’s programme;
– Form L bis: if the candidate is interested in a Master’s programme
- In the event that the qualification is issued by a country whose legislation provides for its legalization, the Italian diplomatic representations issue the Declaration of Value only after the qualification has been legalized by the competent authority of that country.
- Before issuing a Declaration of Value, Italian diplomatic representations normally check the authenticity of the title in question.
- The Declaration of Value is useful to facilitate both the academic or professional recognition of qualifications and the inclusion in the labour market (e.g. to work in a private sector avoiding the qualification equivalence procedures).
You must include:
- Two passport-size photographs, one of which authenticated by the Italian diplomatic representation abroad competent for the territory;
- official translation into Italian of documents written in a foreign language;
- if in your possession, certificate or diploma or other documents attesting your knowledge of the Italian language.
Please note: official translations
Translations from a foreign language to Italian are defined as official when:
- they are carried out by sworn translators (i.e. those professionals who take an oath in court that they have faithfully respected the original text). These translations, commonly called sworn translations, have a professional cost that generally varies depending on the languages and the difficulty of the text to be translated. In Italy lists are available with the names of sworn translators at civil courts.
- They are performed by third parties, i.e. by non-professional translators and subsequently endorsed and certified, and therefore declared compliant with the original text by the competent Italian Diplomatic Representation abroad.
Find here the link to the official webpage where all the embassies and consulates of the countries participating in Study in Sicily (SiS) are listed: Italian Diplomatic representations abroad
The calls for application are generally published from February to July of each academic year.
Classes begin in September/October of each academic year.
Enrolment of students in higher education institutions is subject to the payment of fees.
Universities require payment of:
- an enrolment fee, for the attendance of a specific course of study. The amount is calculated on the basis of the economic and financial condition of the individual student’s family unit.
The payment methods and deadlines are defined independently by each university.
As for the amount of fees and contributions, it varies from one institution to another and according to the chosen course.
The courses in the scientific sector at universities are generally more expensive as they also involve the use of laboratories.
Enrolment in university Master’s and specialization courses also requires the payment of quite high fees.
Some categories of students are exempt from paying fees and contributions; for example, such is the case of scholarship winners and those who demonstrate particularly difficult conditions of income.
International students are entitled to the same forms of financial aid provided for Italian students.
In Sicily, the student support service is managed by ERSU, the regional body for the right to university study.
The ERSU is aimed at ensuring that students in difficult economic conditions have the opportunity to acquire higher education qualifications.
In addition, the ERSU deals with other services such as accommodation, meal vouchers, scholarships, loans, tax exemption, guidance and tutoring; sports services, and public transport.
To devote proper attention to the various needs of students, ERSU is located at each higher education institution in Sicily.
To find out the conditions under which you can access financial support, you must therefore refer to the institution you have chosen for your studies.
Please note: the Italian Foreign Ministry also provides scholarships for international students.
You can learn more about the opportunities offered, at this website: https://studyinitaly.esteri.it/it/node/30
Non-EU citizens must necessarily apply for an entry visa to the competent Italian Consulate in their country of origin.
It is important to contact the competent embassy or consulate well in advance to find out in detail the required documentation, and to make an appointment if necessary.
To study in Italy, you need to have health coverage. When registering with the higher education institution and for the purpose of obtaining a residence permit, it will be necessary to present the documentation certifying the possession of health coverage (a payment receipt certifying the subscription of a health insurance is also valid).
It is important to hold health coverage, before arriving in Italy.
Please note: the residence permit will have the same temporal validity as health insurance and vice versa (the residence permit has a maximum validity of 12 months).
Students who are non-EU citizens have the opportunity to choose between three different alternatives to obtain health coverage, as indicated below:
– Register with the National Health Service (SSN)
Registration with the SSN can be done through the transmission of the application to the Local Health Authority (ASL) responsible for the area of residence/domicile.
The documents that will be required for the registration of non-EU citizens are as follows:
- residence permit/Receipt of the application issued by the Municipality/Self-certification
- valid identity document/passport;
- tax identification code;
- payment by postal order of € 149.77 on current account no. 370007;
- certificate of enrolment in a legally recognized university or self-certification.
Enrolment is valid for the current calendar year (1 January – 31 December).
Students who apply for enrolment in September must first obtain health insurance – valid for 12 months – in order to obtain a residence permit valid for the same duration. Registration with the National health service can therefore take place later.
– Take out a private insurance policy abroad
You can take out private health insurance in your home country before departure. It is always advisable that the insurance be validated by the Italian Embassy of reference and that it be translated into Italian or English.
There are medical-health care agreements between Italy and some countries which entitle the holder to receive free services from the National health service.
– Subscribe to a private insurance policy in Italy
Finally, it is possible to take out a private health insurance upon arrival in Italy.
Here you can find the contacts of the International Relations Offices of the Sicilian higher education institutions participating in the project.
You can contact these services for any doubt!
University of Catania
Maria Luisa Leotta
International Relations Office
Piazza Università, 16 – 1st floor, Catania
(+39) 095 7307017
Conservatory of Messina, Info Point:
+39 090/6510291 (monday to friday ante meridiem time)
University of Palermo, Help desk for international students
Master of Arts in International Relations – LM 52 – International relations: email@example.com
Academy of Fine Arts – Erasmus office
Prof. Luca Pulvirenti
Head of International Relations and Erasmus Mobility
Tel. +39(0)91580876 – fax +39(0)91583746
The first thing we advise you to do is to go to the welcome office of the higher education institution you enrolled in.
At the welcome offices you can find all the necessary support to settle into the academic and social environment of the Sicilian city that is hosting you.
Remember that within 8 days since your arrival you’ll have to submit an application for residence permit.
112: is the European emergency phone number. It can be used for any type of emergency or request for help. The calls are received by a single response centre and are then distributed by an operator to the relevant emergency service, including:
Carabinieri Corps: judicial and military police, to be contacted for assistance in the event of crimes – contact number: 112
State Police – contact number: 113
Fire Brigade – contact number: 115
Ambulance and Emergency Rescue – contact number: 118
The tax identification code is a unique 16-digit alphanumeric code issued free of charge by the Italian Revenue Agency.
The tax identification code is used to identify Italian and foreign citizens residing on the Italian territory as far as the relations with local administrations and public offices are concerned.
The request for the tax identification code can be made at any territorial office of the Revenue Agency.
It is necessary to have your own tax identification code in order to:
– enrol in an Italian higher education institution;
– open a bank account;
– enter into any type of contract (rental, telephone line, internet, etc.);
– register with the National health service.
Remember that you will have to go personally to the Revenue office to request the Tax identification code because you will have to present an identity document (ID or passport) and fill out a form for the issuing of the tax identification code.
Important: you may be required to show your residence permit.
Accommodation is one of the most important and delicate aspects when arriving in a host country. At your Sicilian institution you will find all the support necessary to identify the accommodation that best suits your needs.
Remember that you can start searching for accommodation even before reaching Italy. Education institutions provide an online database, with many accommodation solutions which have been selected in the private market.
To search for accommodation, you can also ask for support from student associations.
Italy has a public health system called “Servizio Sanitario Nazionale” (SSN), National Health Service, organised into “Aziende Sanitarie Locali” (ASL), Local Health Companies.
Find here the list of ASL in Sicily.
International students can apply for voluntary registration with the National health service and choose their general practitioner.
In this case, you will have to pay an annual flat-rate contribution valid per calendar year (until December 31st).
Alternatively, you can choose to take out a private health insurance policy for the duration of the course of study you are enrolled in.
If you choose this option, remember that the policy must be accompanied by a certificate of compliance with Italian law, signed by the insurance company, which exempt you from registering to the Italian National health service and the relative choice of general practitioner.
To open a bank account, you need a valid identity document and the tax identification code.
We remind you that the Italian bank account must have the following characteristics:
- IBAN (International Bank Account Number) also known as CLABE or Aba, depending on the country of origin: it is an alphanumeric code that identifies the Bank Account.
- BIC (Bank Identifier Code) / SWIFT, necessary to be able to transfer money worldwide.
Many higher education institutions have a bank on their campus where you can request information.
many banks offer subsidized solutions for students.
If you need support, ask the Welcome Office of your institution or the student associations of your host city.
Once enrolled in a Sicilian higher education institution you have the right to use all the services made available to your fellow Italian students.
Among these there is certainly a very important and strategic cultural heritage for the advancement of your studies: the network of libraries of universities and the Sicilian Region.
In addition to the library network you will be able to access the laboratory network, the free WiFi service available on campus, the university canteens, the sports infrastructure network … Many institutions also offer psychological support to students.
Check all the services offered by the Sicilian higher education institution that you have chosen for your studies.
Sicilian higher education institutions provide Italian language and culture courses for international students participating in Study in Sicily.
Learning a new language is an additional skill that you can acquire from your experience within the Study in Sicily project.
Learning Italian language will also be useful for your integration into the social, sporting, cultural and economic fabric of the host city.
We will be happy to shoot with you short video clips telling about your progress and success in this language learning path.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to organize together a short video shooting to send to your old and new friends, in Italy and in your home country.
At this link we provide you with the most common terms used in everyday life, useful phrases to move around the city (from the supermarket to the cinema…) and idioms in Sicilian.
Student associations represent a unique and essential added value to your integration path in the context of Study in Sicily.
Local students, with past international experience, make themselves available to offer you support in all the areas of student life. Whether it is university courses, social and cultural life or looking for an accommodation solution, student associations are available to welcome and help you.
Find here the list and contacts for each city active in Study in Sicily.
University of Catania
Foreign Students Office
Via Santa Maria del Rosario, 9, 1st floor
University of Palermo
Sicily Foreign Students
Master of Arts in International Relations – LM 52: students representative (consult the M.A. web page)
Thanks to the agreements stipulated between the higher education institutions that adhere to the Study in Sicily Project in the various countries involved, all the exams that you will sustain and pass during your studies in Sicily will be validated.
In this way, once you have returned to your country of origin you can continue and conclude your course of study without interruptions or difficulties but, on the contrary, having acquired new skills and new social and professional networks!
The procedures for recognizing Italian qualifications and qualifications taken abroad, with the relevant documentation required to obtain such recognition, depend on the rules and specific legislation of the country where the recognition of the Italian qualification will be requested.
Each country has specific offices responsible for examining the application for the recognition of the qualification.
The documentation to be submitted is defined by the competent foreign authority. For this reason, you will have to check:
– to which office you must send the application;
– which documents are required;
– the most appropriate recognition procedure.
It can certainly be useful to contact the diplomatic representation in Italy of the country where you intend to obtain recognition of the qualification, in order to check the specific national legislation and the foreign reference authority responsible for these procedures.
The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) was born in 1989 within the European Community and was voluntarily adopted by numerous European institutions to facilitate the recognition of periods of study abroad.
Conventionally, ECTS credits express the learning volume based on the defined learning outcomes and the associated workload. Learning outcomes describe what students should know, understand and be able to do, after successfully completing a learning process. The workload indicates the time that students will predictably need to carry out all learning activities (lessons, seminars, exercises, projects, individual study, preparation and execution of exams, etc.) required to achieve the expected learning outcomes.
With the above in mind, 25 hours of student workload correspond to 1 ECTS.
If the higher education system of your country of origin does not adopt the ECTS system, the work you have done in Sicily can still be parameterized on the basis of the workload sustained, thus evaluating 25 hours of workload for each ECTS credit.
For any doubt, you can contact the international relations office of your host institution in Sicily!
To know more:
If the rental agreement you entered into corresponds to your period of stay in Sicily, there are no problems: the contract ends at the agreed deadline.
It is good practice to contact the landlord before the contract expires.
If you have any doubts, contact the student associations or the international relations office of your host Sicilian higher education institution.
If you are the owner of the utilities of your accommodation (water, electricity, gas, the internet …) you will have to contact the utility supplying service to communicate your desire to stop the service and follow the instructions that will be given to you in order to do so.
You can certainly contact the student associations or the international relations office of the host institution to receive the support you need.
Your experience can go viral and help many of your colleagues to take advantage of the possibilities offered by the Study in Sicily Programme.
By becoming Ambassador, you can participate in moments of promotion, diffusion and enhancement of the experiences gained thanks to Study in Sicily.
In person events or video messages, interviews, webinars, student fairs … there are many occasions in which you will be involved if you feel like it.
You will join a network of Ambassador students and get to know many others thanks to the promotion opportunities you can participate in.
Sharing is a value and we are sure that you will be pleased to talk about the successes you will have achieved by participating in Study in Sicily.
Write to email@example.com for more information.
The Alumni Network is a great opportunity. It is a social and professional network that will allow you to exchange ideas, consolidate relationships, and discover resources.
The network is also the small treasure of the Study in Sicily project, it is the voice that validates the strength of the study and traineeship experience in Sicily.
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org to join the Study in Sicily Alumni network