Italian Government Scholarships for Foreign Students

The cost of studying abroad, as we all know, may be rather daunting. If you wish to pursue higher education in another country, you should know that students who want to study in Italy can apply for a range of scholarships. We will explore some of the most prominent scholarships for international students in Italy in this article and other financial aid alternatives available to you if you wish to study in Italy.

Italian Government Scholarships for Foreign Students

Top Italian Government Scholarships for Foreign Students

The following are the most prestigious Italian government scholarships for international students: 

1. Italian Government Scholarships (Masters/PhD Degrees):

For the academic year 2021-2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) is offering the Italian government scholarships to foreign citizens not residing in Italy (IRE)* to foster international cultural, scientific, and technological cooperation, promote Italian language and culture, and support Italy’s economic system in the world (according to Law 288/55 and its subsequent changes and additions). The Italian government scholarships are available to pursue study, training, and/or research at both public and legally authorized Italian Higher Education Institutes.

Host University: Italian Higher Education Institutes.

Level and Fields of Study: Master’s degree (Laurea Magistrale 2° ciclo), AFAM courses, PhD program, research under academic supervision (Progetti in co-tutela), Italian language and culture courses are all eligible. 

Target: International students from the countries listed below are eligible. 

Tuition Fees: Depending on the policies of each university, grantees of the Italian government scholarships may be excluded from paying enrollment and tuition fees. Courses in the Italian language and culture, for which enrollment fees are due, are not eligible for exemption.

Health and Medical Insurance: Grantees will be covered for the length of the award by MAECI-contracted health and medical/accident insurance. Pre-existing physical and pathological issues will not be covered under insurance. Grantees of Italian government scholarships will be paid a monthly allowance of 900 Euros every quarter, which will be deposited into their Italian bank accounts.

Value/duration of the scholarship: Depending on the sort of study, the scholarship can last for six or nine months. Applicants who earned a MAECI grant in the Academic Year 2020-2021 can apply to continue or finish a multi-year degree program using standard procedures. Only applicants who have made adequate academic progress are eligible for renewals (15 university credits minimum). A good evaluation letter from the tutor will be required for Ph.D. programs. 

Academic qualifications: 

Only international students not residing in Italy and Italian nationals living abroad (IRE)* who possess the necessary academic qualifications to enroll in an Italian university or institute may apply. With the exception of renewals, Master’s Degree/Higher Education in Arts, Music, and Dance (AFAM) Programs/Italian Language and Culture Courses applicants should not be more than 28 years old by the deadline of this call. With the exception of renewals, applicants for PhD programs should not be older than 30 at the time of application.  By the end of this call, applicants for Research Projects under Academic Supervision must be under the age of 40. 

Proficiency in the language: Applicants must provide a certificate of Italian language proficiency in order to enroll in an Italian-taught course. Having a B2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is the minimum requirement (CEFR). Candidates who have taken an Italian-taught course at the University may submit a language certification from a University department’s language teacher. Applicants must produce a language certificate proving their English language proficiency to enroll in an English-taught course. Applicants for Italian language and culture courses must submit a certificate of fluency in the Italian language. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level A2 is the minimal requirement (CEFR). 

Instructions for Applying: The application period has ended. Applicants must, however, complete and submit the online application form found on the official website after registering. Applications must be submitted by July 13, 2021, at 2 p.m. (Central European Time). It’s critical to read the Call for Applications for 2021/2022 and go to the official website to get the online application form and further information on how to apply for this scholarship.

Deadline: The deadline is July 13, 2021. (annual) 

Course begins in AY 2021/2022 in Italy. 

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2. University of Padua (Bachelors/Masters Degree):

The University of Padua offers scholarships to extremely outstanding individuals interested in pursuing a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree at Padua that is entirely taught in English. 

Institution hosting the event: Padua University (Italy) 

Study Subject(s): The University offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees entirely in English. 

Scholarships awarded: Up to 50 people 

Group to be targeted: International students with exceptional talent from all over the world are invited to apply.

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Scholarship amount and duration: A subsistence stipend of €8,000 is included in the scholarship and a tuition price remission. The only charge that beneficiaries must pay each year is an admittance fee that corresponds to the regional tax and marca da bollo. The Departments of the University of Padua also offer partial scholarships.  For Master’s degree candidates, the scholarship can last up to two years, while for Bachelor’s and Single Cycle degree candidates, it can last up to three years. 

Eligibility: To be considered, you must meet the following criteria:

  • do not have Italian citizenship (except for dual citizenship with Italian); 
  • hold a non-Italian upper secondary school certificate (for Bachelor’s or Single cycle degrees applicants) or a non-Italian Bachelor’s degree (for Master’s degrees applicants) allowing admission to the Italian University system; 
  • do not reside in Italy; apply for one or more English-taught degree programs at the University of Padua according to the procedures and deadlines 
  • Apply for up to three-degree programs and pay the pre-enrolment fee (€ 30) before the application deadline.

Application instructions: If you match the qualifying standards listed above, you will be automatically evaluated for the selection process. There is no need to fill out a separate application or submit any other documents save those required to apply for the desired degree program. Depending on the program, the deadlines are either 2 February 2022 or 7 March 2022. The second deadline is May 2, 2022, for unrestricted access degree programs for which no scholarships were given during the first application session. To access the online application system and for more information on how to apply for this scholarship, read the Call for Applications 2022/23 and go to the official website (link below).

Deadline: The program will begin in September 2022. 

3. Bocconi University (Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree):

For the 2021-2022 academic year, Merit Awards and Bocconi International Awards will be available to first-year undergraduate and graduate applicants depending on their academic status. 

Institution hosting the event: Bocconi University is a university in Milan, Italy. 

Level/Study Subject: The university offers a bachelor’s or master’s degree program. 

Scholarships awarded: There is no information available. 

Group to be targeted: Non-Italian citizens 

Scholarship worth, benefits, and duration: The Merit Award comes with a full tuition waiver worth up to € 12,000 per year (for undergraduate) and € 14,000 per year (for graduate students) (for Graduate). The Bocconi International Award entails a tuition discount of 50% for both undergraduate and graduate programs. If the requisite minimum academic progress is met, the awards will be automatically extended for a maximum of two years (for Undergraduate) or one year (for Graduate). 

Eligibility: Outstanding International Applicants who are accepted to the first year of a Bachelor’s or Master’s program at Bocconi and whose academic profile is considered to be among the top applicants will be considered for a Bocconi Merit and International Awards based on their admissions application submitted to Bocconi University.

Instructions on how to apply: The application period has ended. You must apply to a Bocconi University undergraduate or graduate program to be considered for the scholarship. There will be no need to submit a separate scholarship application. The candidate’s academic performance will be the primary criterion for evaluation. The whole dossier submitted to the Admissions office will be reviewed in addition to academic success. The penultimate wave of admissions deadlines is 8 April 2021 for undergraduate students and 27 May 2021 for graduate applications, but applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. To access the online application form and for detailed information on how to apply for this scholarship, go to the official website (links below).

Deadline: The deadline is April 8th/May 27th, 2021. 

The course will begin in 2021/22. 

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4. LUMSA University (Masters Degree):

The International Scholarship is offered by LUMSA University in collaboration with CANDRIAM and FEEM (Fondazione ENI Enrico Mattei) for students worldwide who wish to pursue a Master in Management of Sustainable Development Goals (MSDG), a specialized Masters program taught entirely in English. 

Institution that will serve as the host: LUMSA University is a public research university in Los Angeles, California 

Subject matter: Sustainable Development Goals Management Master’s Degree 

Scholarships available: 10 

Those who will be affected: Students from all around the world are enrolled at the university. 

Value/inclusions of the scholarship: The scholarships are intended to be used as a contribution toward tuition fees and cannot be exchanged for cash. The following ten scholarships will be awarded: 

  • 1 scholarship of €9,000.00 for academic excellence 
  • 3 €7,000.00 advanced scholarships 
  • 6 €5,000.00 partial scholarships 
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There may be more partial scholarships of €5,000.00 available if other contributors can be found. 

Eligibility: The Scholarships are only available to students who have been accepted to the Master in Management of Sustainable Development Goals. Scholarships will be given out on the basis of academic achievement. Scholarship applicants will be evaluated on their adherence to the MSDG issues in their study path or graduation thesis, curriculum vitae, publications on the topic of sustainable development, and other qualifications and certifications connected to international study scholarships, among other things. 

Instructions for submitting an application: Candidates will be evaluated based on their MSDG applications, therefore there is no need to submit a separate scholarship application. Those interested in being considered for the scholarships must say so on the MSDG application form and submit it by July 10, 2020. It is important to visit the official website (link found below) for detailed information on how to apply for this scholarship.

Deadline: The deadline is July 10, 2020. (Annual) 

Italy is where you’ll be studying, and the course begins in October 2020. 

5. (Masters Degree):

Studying for a Master’s Degree in Europe is a great option. is offering a scholarship to students from all around the world who have the potential to be global leaders. Candidates must be planning to pursue a master’s degree in a European university or graduate school. 

Institutions that will serve as hosts include the following: Graduate schools and universities in Europe 

Levels of study/subjects covered: A master’s degree in any topic and any language is required. 

Scholarships available: Unspecified 

Those who will be affected: Students pursuing a master’s degree at a European university while studying overseas. 

Value/inclusions of the scholarship: One postgraduate scholarship of up to €5000 is available to assist with tuition costs. 

Eligibility: Applicants must have a valid bachelor’s degree and meet the university’s admission standards or graduate school to which they are applying. They must also meet the program’s linguistic requirements. They must have applied (or will apply) to a European university or graduate school (see the Official Website for an official list of European countries). Applicants must plan to begin their Master’s degree studies between the Fall/Autumn 2020 and the Spring 2021 academic year. The degree program must be completed in Europe or online through a European institute. They must have or be eligible to apply for an appropriate study visa (if applicable), and they must be studying abroad in a nation in which they are not citizens or currently reside (unless currently studying abroad). 

Those who meet the following criteria are eligible:

  • Interested in different cultures and with a global outlook 
  • Excited to begin their voyage and share their experience with the world 
  • High academic achievers with consistently excellent results 
  • Involved in extracurricular groups and activities and Motivated and inspired to positively improve the world 

Instructions for submitting an application: Applicants must produce a 500-700 word essay in response to the following question: “Why did you choose your study abroad country, and how will it help you grow as a globally conscious leader?” It is required that the statement be written in English. The application deadline for Spring 2021 is August 17, 2020. For further information on how to apply for this scholarship, please visit the official website (link provided below). 

Deadline: The deadline is August 17, 2020. (Annual) 

Countries in which to study: Europe 

The course will begin in the spring of 2021. 

6. Erasmus Mundus/VLIR_UOS (Masters Degree):

Erasmus Mundus Scholarships and VLIR-UOS Scholarships are available to students applying for the International Master of Science in Rural Development (IMRD) starting in the academic year 2020/2021. Top-up Grants are also available from Ghent University to selected candidates from countries on the OESO-DAC list. Each year, three European students and twelve non-European students are chosen for Erasmus Mundus scholarships from a pool of at least 15 applications.

The Management Board may decide to grant additional scholarships to applicants from specified locations in addition to these 15. VLIR-UOS scholarships support students from developing and transitional countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America who wish to study IMRD in English at a Flemish university or university college. The Ghent University Top-up Grants are awarded to top IMRD applicants. 

Institutions that will serve as hosts include the following:

  • Ghent University, Belgium
  • Slovak University of Agriculture, Slovakia
  • University of Cordoba, Spain
  • Pisa University, Italy
  • Agrocampus Ouest, France
  • Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany

Study Subject: Master of Science in Rural Development (International) (IMRD) 

Scholarships awarded: 

  • Erasmus Mundus: 15 
  • VLIR-UOS: unspecified 

Group to be targeted: 

  • Applicants from Programme and Partner countries are eligible to apply for Erasmus Mundus Scholarships. 
  • Applicants from developing and transitional regions of Africa, Asia, and Latin America are eligible for VLIR-UOS scholarships. 
  • Applicants from underdeveloped countries are eligible for Ghent University Scholarships.
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Scholarship worth and benefits: 

Erasmus Mundus: The scholarships include a contribution to the students’ participation costs (such as tuition fees, library and laboratory costs, full insurance coverage, and any other mandatory costs associated with the student’s participation in the Master’s program); a contribution to student travel and installation costs; and a monthly subsistence allowance for the duration of the study program. Scholarship advantages differ depending on the Program and the Partner nations.

VLIR-UOS: This is a full scholarship that covers tuition, travel expenses, and an €1,150 monthly allowance. 

Top-up Grants at Ghent University: This is not a complete scholarship. The tuition charge is largely eliminated, and students are provided with a €654 monthly allowance. 


Erasmus Mundus: Students who are not citizens of the EU, Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein, Turkey, or the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are eligible to apply for Partner Country scholarships (FYROM). They cannot also be residents of these countries or have spent more than 12 months of their principal activity (study, training, or work) in any of these countries in the previous five years. Other students who do not satisfy the criteria for Partner Country scholarships are eligible to apply for Programme Country scholarships (this includes all nationals of the European Union, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Turkey,  Norway, and FYROM, as well as, people who have spent more than a total of 12 months in the EU over the last 5 years).

VLIR-UOS: Students who are natives of one of the 31 qualifying African, Asian, or Latin American countries are eligible to apply (see the Official Website for a list of countries). 

Ghent University Top-up Grants: Top IMRD applicants who are nationals of and residents of countries on the OESO-DAC list are eligible for Ghent University Top-up Grants. 

Instructions on how to apply: Scholarship applicants must submit their IMRD application online by February 28, 2020, and their supporting documentation by March 1, 2020. During the online application for the IMRD course, they must specify that they want to apply for a scholarship. For further information on how to apply for this scholarship, please visit the official website (link provided below). 

Deadline: The deadline is February 28, 2020. (Annual) 

Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain are all good places to study. 

The program will begin in September 2020. 


Finally, You can study in Italy on fully funded or partially funded scholarships. The Government of Italy and Universities in Italy offer scholarships to international students and local citizens every year such as the Italian government scholarships as well as all of those listed above. We have listed some best PhD Scholarships in Italy, Master’s Scholarships in Italy, and undergraduate level scholarships here. I wish you all the best as you go about applying for any of these Scholarships. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Italian Government Scholarships

In Italy, which university awards the most scholarships to overseas students?

The Scuola Normale Superiore is one of Italy’s most distinguished educational institutes. International students interested in continuing their education in the country can apply for a variety of financial help at this state-supported university. The fully-funded Ph.D. fellowship is perhaps the most popular scholarship program at the university.

Is it possible to study for free in Italy?

The Italian government offers Italian government scholarships to enable people to study free in their country. However, there are many scholarships are available from Italian universities, allowing master’s students to study for free in Italy. These prizes allow international students to receive a free master’s degree in Italy from the Polytechnic University of Milan, Bocconi University, and the University of Padova.

Is there a scholarship program in Italy?

Italian government scholarships are the most straightforward, reasonable scholarships, and it has some of the world’s oldest universities. International students can apply for the Invest Your Talent in Italy Government Scholarship for a Master’s Degree Program. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides funding for the scholarships.

How to Study in Italy for Free

Being able to study in Italy for free is very possible. You just need to develop your soft skills, then look for affordable universities in the country. The next step is for you to prepare your application for the school you selected. After that, apply for a schoolarship to study in Italy. We have created a list of them in this article already. If you have submitted a complelling application, you are sure going to get a fully funded schoolarship to study in Italy.

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