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My Italian University

Attention! This blog post is written many years ago when I was not even dreaming about becoming a professional travel blogger. You are warned that the quality of the text and/or pictures might not be the best. 🙂

La Sapienza

Here are my impressions about my studies in Rome.

My university is called La Sapienza  – Università di Roma (Wisdom in translation). They say it’s the biggest university in Europe – it was found in 1303 and has campuses all over the city and around 150 000 students. Huge !

Coming here and getting used to the how things work (almost nohow) was hard in the beginning. My Master program in English was the first experience ever for them, so, I was aware it won’t work perfectly. But it would be really nice if they would at least know themselves this program exists… So, let’s start from


  • The only support provided is Segreteria stranieri (International office) told us not to worry and enjoy the sun when we asked for our schedule – totally Italian style! 🙂 Of course we were worried, because we could see that the 1st semester has already began and everybody is studying. When trying to find it in the faculty, nobody could help us because they’ve never heard about Master in English. My friends from Engineering faculty missed the first week because they simply did not know it has started.
  • When enrolling to the system, they said not to give them our foreign diplomas, so we did not. At the end of the first semester it appeared that we still are not enrolled in the university system (called INFOSTUD) because they DID need our diplomas as we didn’t provide it to them!!! After all the efforts and mess we were finally registered, but it was already too late. Too late because we needed to register in the system in order to attend our examinations, and we never had access to this system before.
  • The system itself was quite confusing to use because it is completely in Italian and crashes all the time. We were given a training of how to use it AFTER the exam session. We figured it out ourselves, what could we do! 🙂
    I think such situations are not exceptions,unfortunately they’re more like rules. My friend, studying in University of Bologna (the oldest one and ranked # 1 in Italy), cannot graduate already for half a year, and it seems like it will take more time for him because of some “mistake in the University system”, to which they say “we are afraid we do not have enough information to figure out what the problem is”.
  • The professors also surprised me much in the beginning – most of them don’t speak good English and if they do they do it with a horrible accent. My English was never perfect, but it definitely got worse here… They are surely good and qualified professors, but in Italian, not in English. Although, there are always some exceptions.
  • The lectures are very similar to Russian ones – theory is explained by a professor using slides or marker and a desk. To be honest, I was expecting European education to be more practical. The lecture is 2 hours, but usually the lecturer is 15 min. late, it is like an unwritten rule.

So, I can see that La Sapienza is very interested to attract students from all over the world, but first they have to adapt all their facilities for the comfortable use of a foreign student. There should be some orientation before the beginning of semester; staff should speak English, at least in libraries, enrollment services and so on. There are lots of Erasmus student, but they are mostly Spanish, so it is very easy for them to understand Italian, and they don’t have to register in Infostud, be enrolled and other stuff. On some point it is good for me, because I was practicing my Italian, but I am sure most of fresh comers would be stressed to do that.


Even though the organizational aspect is pretty weak, there are a lot of benefits you can enjoy by being a student in my uni, but they are more about activities, not studies.

  • Well, it is very well-known university, at least in Italy, so I won’t have to explain what that is on my job interview.
  • Very rich student life. If you want to participate, you have a choice of endless amount of student organizations with different aims. I found one for myself, –  I highly recommend it if you study in Europe and in Technical university. It is called BEST (Board of European Student of Technology). They have local groups in 90 cities in 32 countries. BEST organizes fun international courses in different European cities, with the help of which I traveled to 5 countries almost for free. And friends met in those trips are priceless!:) Except BEST, there are also ESN, AIESEC, AEGEE etc…
  • Very cheap canteen – for 2,1€ you can eat primo, secondo, contorno and a dessert. Primo – pizza or pasta (of course 😉 ), secondo – meat or fish, contorno – salad or smg like that. So you can imagine how much we like our canteen, it’s quite good, and it’s cheaper to go there then to cook!
  • My group is so international, I still can’t remember where everybody is from. We have just 3 Italians (yep, as I said they don’t like to learn languages), the rest are from different parts of Africa, Russia and Serbia. Very different people with different mentalities, which makes them very interesting!
  • Openness of the university – I can attend ANY course I consider interesting (if I find time after my complimentary subjects). I went to Spanish lessons, but it could have been Japaneese or medicine, as I want. Everything is open for students, it’s a rule.
  • All types of sport activities – for instance the membership which includes football, dances, judo, yoga or rugby would cost you just 90€ per year. It might be that it’s not comfortable to reach sometimes, the swimming pools are almost outside the city, but mostly the facilities are near the main campus.
  • I believe that the tuition fee is affordable. It will be calculated according to your family wealth, I’d say it’s around 500 to 1000€ per year. But it is always a possibility to receive a “Borsa di studio” (Scholarship) and study for free, just to pay some taxes around 50 € per year, if I am not mistaken.

So, because it is big it is a snail-paced bureaucratic machine, it is really hard to change the system if you need it. But, in the same time, it’s fun, it has lots of services provided to students, which you would receive in other universities for big money only.

Except studying, I am, of course, discovering the eternal city everyday. It is truly fascinating how much fun and interesting stuff you can do in Rome. I even wrote 2 blogposts about it, you can read them here and here!

Ciao-ciao, baci! 



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MY ITALIAN UNIVERSITY Rome Italy Misstouristcom

By |2020-02-20T19:16:54+04:00September 17th, 2012|Rome, Europe, Italy|22 Comments
About the Author:
Yulia is originally Russian but truly is a world citizen in the heart. She was traveling around the world for over 4 years now. Her blog is created with the purpose to inspire people to travel more and to share her advice on how to travel "smart".


  1. pepps85 18.09.2012 at 09:49 - Reply

    Good luck 😀

  2. pubnknit 15.10.2012 at 22:18 - Reply

    When I was in Italy it was pretty difficult to get much of anything done quickly, I can’t imagine trying to enroll in a University! But that’s really cool, I hope everything works out for you.

    • ptichkablog 16.10.2012 at 10:58 - Reply

      Yep, that’s the way it is in Italy! I can not tell it improved much on my second year here…
      Anyway, I am not giving up and I will succeed at the end, thanks! 🙂

  3. iamrobinj 27.03.2013 at 08:06 - Reply

    After reading, I realize that you really had fun times there. I just hope you didn’t had confusions as you start your mastery in English.

  4. Dzhamilya 04.02.2014 at 19:58 - Reply

    Hi! I accidentally found your blog on the Internet. This year I want to apply to La Sapienza to Master program in Finance and Development in English. I would like to ask you some questions about enrollment if you don’t mind. Please write me on e-mail: [email protected]. Thank you so much in advance!

  5. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on sapienza university. Regards

  6. ajay 17.04.2016 at 18:33 - Reply

    How about politecnico milan? Does it have same disadvantages like sapienza?

    • Yulia 20.04.2016 at 11:27 - Reply

      Hi Ajay! I have heard that the North of Italy is much more organized and you shouldn’t face that problem! Goof luck!

  7. Arianna Hacatrjana 23.04.2016 at 02:07 - Reply

    Dear Yulia, how did you register for the IMAT exam?

    • Yulia 25.04.2016 at 14:13 - Reply

      hi Arianna, I did not pass any IMAT exam, sorry

  8. Any 01.07.2016 at 05:41 - Reply

    Thiis design is wicked! You obviously know how to keeep a reader amused.
    I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job.
    I really enjoyed what you had to say, and mre thhan that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

  9. Chris 19.02.2017 at 14:16 - Reply

    Hey Miss Yulia,

    Thanks for this great article and lovely pics..
    Love your blog, Keep up the great work
    Happy travel

  10. Nadir 10.05.2017 at 22:57 - Reply

    Can you tell me about the aerospace engineering quality there at La Sapienza University? I have got an admit there in the master program and I am from Pakistan.

  11. abhi 25.06.2017 at 14:38 - Reply

    hi yulia i am about to pursue aerospace engineering special masters degree in sapienza this year could you help me with anyone from the same stream like my seneiors mail id or some one who can help me with information
    thank you:-)

    • Yulia 02.07.2017 at 06:32 - Reply

      I dont think i know anyone from there, sorry, I studied economics

  12. Sharon 26.10.2018 at 02:20 - Reply

    In Italy, they have a different educational system and students usually take an oral exam vs the British educational system or American University.

    The British system require an annual written exam and you have to pass otherwise you will be kicked out or you are only allow to resit one time depending on the universities.

    The American Education system like Harvard will require student participation and exams for every semester. However, professors are very supportive and helpful to their students. In addition, they are punctual in class. If you are late, you might receive a penalty.

  13. Marie 29.11.2018 at 05:36 - Reply

    Hi! I’m thinking about going to this University and it looks great! I am from France but have been living in America for a while. I was wondering if it was an issue that I can’t speak Italian. Do we need to speak Italian to be able to attend some classes in this University?

    • Yulia 29.11.2018 at 19:52 - Reply

      Hello Marie!
      I do not know, it really depends on your program.
      Mine was completely in English

  14. Hani Fawaz Sankari 24.03.2019 at 16:33 - Reply

    Hello Yulia , Im thinking about attending this university (masters in economics) I already got accepted. Can you give me some tips

  15. Nicole 12.10.2019 at 16:21 - Reply

    This is great, I’m also living in Italy at the moment!

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