Whether it’s the cuisine, the history, the scenic vistas, or the culture that calls to you, there are many roads that can lead you to study abroad in Italy – and not just Rome. From fashion to business to the arts, this diverse country offers students unique opportunities to engage with Italy’s ancient past as well as its modern present, encouraging them to experience firsthand a culture that embraces tradition and innovation every day.
Going overseas to study is one of the most important decisions you can make as a student, and it’s important to find a program that fits your individual needs and interests. But with the sheer number of programs out there, choosing just one can be overwhelming. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten study abroad programs in Italy, ranked by the Go Overseas community.
These programs have been chosen based on the special things they offer that make them stand out as the best of the best. That combined with verified reviews from happy past participants make these study abroad programs great options for students with dreams of studying in Italy in 2023.
As varied as this fascinating country, these ten programs will show you that no matter what your interest or field of study – food, finance, medicine, language studies, or performance – there is a program for you in Italy!
Best for multiple locations: CIS Abroad
Program length: summer, J-term, fall, spring
Price point: $$
What's included: housing, airport pickup, pre-departure and in-country support and orientations
- CIS Abroad offers academic advising and financial aid counseling to all participants.
- Past participants loved the schedules which allowed for weekend travel.
- Meals are not included though some accommodation has access to kitchens to cook at home.
- Rome and Sorrento locations have fewer class options for those studying the natural and applied sciences.
With CIS Abroad, you can choose from artsy Florence, coastal Sorrento, or iconic Rome. Each location offers study abroad experience during J-term, summer, or an entire semester. Whether you want bustling city life or something a little more laidback, CIS has got you covered.
Although the locations vary, all three cities include excursions and cultural activities that immerse you in Italian cuisine, art, and architecture. Classes you have to choose from are held in both Italian and English so don't worry if you're just beginning your Italian language journey.
"CIS abroad was more than amazing at making sure every question I had was answered and set me up with support systems both abroad and at home before I even left."
Best for choice of subjects: SAI Study Abroad
Program length: summer, J-term, fall, spring, full year
Price point: $
What's included: accommodation in a shared apartment or optional homestay, airport pickup, cultural experiences and day trips, insurance, orientation, visa assistance, 24/7 emergency support
- Internships for credit are available and do not require Italian proficiency (though this can expand your options!)
- Alumni rave about the quality and comfort of the student apartments where they stayed.
- Meals are not included for students staying in shared apartments. Meal plan units can be purchased separately.
- The homestay option for those who want a more immersive experience costs extra.
Do you dream of wandering the winding streets of Florence? Well, SAI's program at Florence University of the Arts (FUA) might just be for you. FUA offers a multitude of courses taught in English across 14 subjects which are perfect for students who haven't quite mastered Italian yet. You can take classes in literature, the sciences, business, economics, history, fine arts, graphic design, and more.
Additionally, SAI guarantees to help students with basically every part of the study abroad process. They coordinate application processing, course selection, visas, housing, health care, transcripts, and virtually any other part of the experience you may have questions about. SAI also organizes a number of excursions throughout the region so that you can see all that the country has to offer.
"This program was the perfect fit for me in every way. First, SAI. I loved SAI so much, I ended up becoming a student ambassador for their program after I came home! SAI provides students with every resource they need to be successful abroad. I had access to real people right in Florence who were always ready to help me at any moment. More than that, the classes, trips, and experiences offered by SAI were perfect opportunities to explore our city."
Best for studying and interning: CAPA in Florence
Program length: fall, spring, summer
Price point: $$
What's included: housing in a shared apartment or homestay, some meals with homestay option, Florence bus pass, excursions, cultural activities, insurance, 24/7 support
- Past participants felt safe and secure through the support of CAPA's friendly staff while in Florence.
- Internship placements are at top organizations like the British Institute of Florence -- spruce up your CV!
- Students who choose to live in a shared apartment must budget extra for meals to cook at home or eat out at restaurants.
- Students will need at least two semesters of Italian language study under their belts before interning.
CAPA in Florence gives you the opportunity to balance engaging studies with an invaluable internship experience. Placements are available for a variety of majors and interests. Once you receive your class schedule, your internship site coordinator will work to fit your work around your studies. Best of all, your internship is included in the overall program fee and won't cost you extra.
As a CAPA student, you can choose from several programs including their Global Cities curriculum which covers a variety of subjects, or pick a concentration like business, Italian language, or creative arts and art history. On the weekends, get involved in activities like cooking classes, and be sure to grab your camera for excursions to Siena and the medieval city of San Gimignano.
"This program offers so many interesting courses, along with plenty of extracurricular activities to get out and explore the city. The CAPA Florence staff members are some of the friendliest, warmest, and most caring people I have ever met and were ALWAYS there for support."
Best for diverse student body: John Cabot University in Rome
Program length: academic year, fall, spring, summer
Price point: $$
What's included: you pay tuition and fees directly to the university with housing and meals at a separate cost
- A meal plan for the campus dining hall is just under $600 for the entire semester.
- Much of your learning is done outside of the university walls -- Rome is your classroom at JCU.
- The cost is higher than enrolling directly in an Italian public university but US federal financial aid is accepted.
- No excursions or extras are included.
While John Cabot University isn't a program per se, it's an opportunity to enroll directly for a summer, semester, or full year at an American-style private university in Rome. Easily transfer credits you earn back to your home university after studying a variety of courses in English (and Italian, of course!) across disciplines like psychology, Italian studies, international business, art history, marketing, and more.
One of the best things about John Cabot is its small class sizes and diverse student body. The university hosts over 1,000 visiting students a year representing 70+ nationalities. If you wanted to avoid programs made up solely of other American students, then John Cabot might be the perfect place for you.
Although direct enrollment might sound scary, the university makes it easy to apply and once accepted, secure university campus housing in a dorm or apartment and even sign up for a meal plan at the campus dining hall. Enrolling directly at JCU is ideal for more independent students who want to plan their time in Rome on their own terms.
"I enrolled in the John Cabot University Summer I study abroad program excited and with high expectations. My experience out performed in almost every way. The initial orientation was very smoothly done with a lot of support and communication from a variety of staff and older enrolled students. There are plenty of activities and trips to join if you need the guidance as well."
Best for housing options: CEA Study Abroad in Rome
Program length: summer, fall, spring
Price point: $$
What's included: accommodation in a shared apartment, airport pickup, visa assistance, cultural activities and excursions, insurance, 24/7 emergency support, on-site staff support
- Alumni felt fully supported by CEA while abroad -- good for first time travelers!
- Classes are immersive and get you out and walking around Rome to put everything from art to history in context.
- Alumni studying in the warmer months disliked the lack of air conditioning in student housing.
- Some students encountered mobility and accessibility issues in Rome.
CEA Study Abroad in Rome provides you with full support, immersive classes, and ample opportunities to explore both the capital and the rest of the country. Aside from planned excursions and activities, you'll also have time for independent travel with your new friends and classmates.
A highlight of CEA is the accommodation. Choose from several housing options that best suit your needs. Included in your program fee is housing in a shared apartment. If sharing a bedroom with 2-3 other students isn't quite your speed, you can opt to pay an additional fee for a homestay with a local Italian family. If you'd prefer to share with an Italian university goer in a student apartment that can be arranged, too. For the more independent travelers, you can find your own housing and request a housing rebate to receive part of the program fee back.
"This has been an amazing experience! The history and architecture that Rome has to offer is unmatched and beautiful. Also tickets to other European countries are extremely affordable, so my roommates and I were able to travel to Greece! CEA has a lot of free events that were integral to my experience."
Best for healthcare students: Atlantis
Program length: 1-10 weeks
Price point: $$$
What's included: housing, several meals a week, excursions, transportation, insurance, mentoring
- There are no language requirements for participating in the program.
- Shadowing rotations expose you to a wide range of specialties like neurology, obstetrics, and emergency medicine.
- Cost may be prohibitive for some, but financial aid is accepted and scholarships are available.
- You will need to budget extra for lunches and dinners.
Atlantis is the perfect way to gain 60+ clinical shadowing hours while exploring the beauty of Italy. Atlantis' program is tailor-made for a range of healthcare students including future medical, nursing, occupational therapy, physician assistant, and pharmacy students. Mostly planned over breaks and holidays, you'll be able to fully focus on your studies during the semester.
You'll experience one specialty a week with an overall program that covers most of the 15 competencies assessed on med school and PA school applications. The clinical shadowing program with Atlantis is so successful that they boast alumni in 40 of the top 50 medical schools in the US. Set yourself up for success with Atlantis!
"This experience honestly changed my life, as I grew to be exponentially more passionate about the field of medicine than I ever had been before. I learned so much about healthcare in Europe, met so many amazing people who had similar goals as me, and was able to experience living abroad in such a meaningful way."
Best for business & management: IES Abroad in Milan
Program length: fall, spring, full year
Price point: $$
What's included: accommodation in homestay, student dorm, or shared apartment, meals depending on housing type, insurance, excursions and cultural events, visa assistance, 24/7 emergency support
- Participants have the option to engage in community-based learning or an internship with a local company.
- Alumni had opportunities to participate in language exchanges with Italian peers that really helped improve their fluency.
- Student dorms include most meals but cost extra.
- Non-US students found that the program was tailored to Americans.
Situated in the business capital of Italy, IES provides students with one-of-a-kind coursework that takes advantage of this diverse and state-of-the-art city.
Take classes on managing fashion companies and the history of the Mafia or add complementary electives such as art history, political science, or photography to balance your course load. Extensive field study options and internships allow students to study economics and Italian business culture at one of the top business schools in the world.
Alongside your studies, you’ll have the chance to learn Italian and put it to good use as you enjoy living in this bustling and historic metropolis.
"I grew so much as an individual and developed more confidence and independence through this opportunity. I got to explore so many parts of the world. I would have never been able to do any of this if I had not studied abroad. It truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Best for language immersion: USAC in Viterbo
Program length: summer, fall, spring, full year
Price point: $
What's included: tuition and fees, airport pickup, visa support, insurance, 24/7 emergency support
- Classes are arranged in a way that gives students long weekends to travel.
- Alumni had many opportunities to immerse themselves in the Italian language both in the classroom and local community.
- Housing is not included in the program fee. Costs for a private bedroom, shared bedroom, or homestay vary.
- The cost of meals is separate.
Begin or build your Italian language skills in the charming setting of Viterbo, Italy. Students with USAC learn through immersive language and culture classes. Outside of the classroom, a quaint and quiet Italian town is waiting to welcome you.
One of the major benefits of this program is the opportunity to enroll in intensive language tracks for all levels of Italian speakers. In addition to language courses, you'll also choose from classes like Italian cuisine, art, history, and Roman civilization.
For an additional fee, you’ll have the chance to explore some of Italy's famous sites including Rome, Pompeii, Naples, and Florence. Students can also get involved in volunteering opportunities in the local community such as tutoring children in English or translating materials for art shops, museums, and tourism venues.
"My time studying abroad in Viterbo was one of the best times of my life! Highly highly recommend if you get a chance to study abroad you take it! It was very beneficial to take the language classes if you are studying in a smaller/less touristy town but it was the most rewarding part."
Best for inclusivity: CET in Florence or Siena
Program length: summer, spring, fall
Price point: $$$
What's included: accommodation in a homestay or shared student apartment, insurance, course materials, activities and excursions, pre-departure support, orientation
- Students who have special academic needs, are deaf or hard of hearing, or visually impaired are readily accommodated.
- The three-day excursion to Rome is covered by the program fee and includes transportation, hotel stay, some meals, and all activities.
- Electives are lacking for math and science.
- Some alumni commented that the academic schedule was extremely rigorous.
CET's programs in Florence or Siena focus on inclusivity for all students, whether you have special mobility needs, dietary requirements, or special education needs. They support students before and during their study program, making sure they are fully aware of the options available to them. Past students felt welcomed by CET from the very beginning.
Students can choose from a room in a shared apartment that is included in their program fee, or for a bit more, they can elect to stay with a local host family. Meals are at an extra cost but give you the ability to try your hand at shopping in Italian grocery stores and cooking with your roommates and friends.
Many classes are taught in English. You can choose from subjects like Italian cuisine and wine, art, culture, finance, marketing, politics, and psychology. There are also Italian classes at the beginning to advanced levels.
"Studying abroad with CET Siena was the most rewarding experience of my life so far! As a first-generation & Latina student, imposter syndrome made the idea of studying abroad seem impossible but everyone at CET Siena made me feel so welcomed and like I finally belonged somewhere."
Best for Student Support & Benefits: AIFS Study Abroad in Florence
Program length: summer, J-term, fall, spring, full year
Price point: $$
What's included: accommodation in a shared apartment, 10 meal vouchers a week for 5 breakfasts or lunches plus 5 dinners, excursions, cultural activities, on-site support
- The program can pair you with an "Italian buddy" to make local friends and practice your language skills.
- Trips to Rome, Venice, and Siena are included in your program fee as well as cooking classes and opportunities to do cheese, wine, gelato, and chocolate tastings.
- Apartment utilities are not included and must be paid separately to the landlord.
- You must choose between breakfast or lunch with the vouchers so be sure to buy food to keep at your apartment to cover the meals not included.
AIFS Study Abroad lets you live like a local as you earn academic credits. Complementing a wide variety of classes to choose from are cultural experiences that can only be had through an all-inclusive program like this one. Cultural activities, tours, and excursions included in your program fee will keep you busy and having fun between classes.
During your stay, experience open markets, olive oil tastings, soccer games, and opera with your fellow students. Visit the art you learn about in class! Cooking classes, guided city walks, and museums will ensure you experience as much of your home city as possible. With so much to do, you'll never be bored while studying with AIFS in Florence.
"AIFS also provides a great list of activities and field trips to take outside of class that are usually free or at a very low price. Activities included cooking classes (making homemade ravioli, and tiramisu), trips to Venice and other cities around Florence, and reduced tickets to Florentine Soccer Matches, ballets, operas and other performances."
Make memories in Italy in 2023
No matter which program you choose to study abroad in Italy, you are guaranteed to come away having experienced the deep richness of its culture, its food, and its people. The knowledge you carry home in your suitcase and the memories you’ll make will last a lifetime.