Cost of Living in Italy: A Guide for International Students

Cost of Living in Italy A Guide For International Students

Italy, renowned for its rich cultural heritage, is a popular destination for international students. High-quality education-delivering institutions in this country witness a competitive rush of students every academic year. The best part about studying here is the affordability of living. The cost of living and studying in Italy is much lower than in other Western European countries. This blog is a comprehensive guide related to the cost of living in Italy for international students.

Table of Contents

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Average Cost of Living in Italy: Major Cities

The cost of living in Italy depends on multiple factors including the city you are living in, accommodation, transportation, etc. Below is the list of top cities in Italy with their cost of living index.

City in ItalyCost of Living Index

Note: Details are last updated in June 2024.


Cost of Living in Italy for International Students 

The cost of living in Italy for international students includes tuition fees, housing and accommodation, food and groceries, utilities like internet, healthcare, transportation, and other leisure costs. Let’s have a detailed look at all these costs. 

1. Housing and Accommodation

After tuition fees, housing and accommodation are the most significant expenses that an international student in Italy needs to take care of.

There are various options available for student accommodation including student housing, shared apartments, private rentals or living with a local family. Sharing accommodation can cut down housing costs by a considerable amount. 

Students with separate housing pay somewhere between 400 to 700 EUR per month while the costs cut down to 250-500 EUR per month if housing is shared. 

Student accommodations are much cheaper with rent ranging between 250 to 300 EUR monthly.

2. Food and Groceries

Monthly food expenses can range from 150 EUR to 250 EUR if you decide to cook at home. If you buy groceries from cheap local supermarkets, grocery expenses can range between 150 to 200 EUR per month. 

If you dine out, budget meals at restaurants can cost between 8 to 15 EUR.

3. Utilities and Internet

One thing to note is that utility and internet bills are higher when you stay alone. The best option is to have a shared accommodation that can drastically reduce per-head costs. Utilities including electricity, heating, cooling, water and garbage can cost between 100 to 200 EUR per month

Internet costs typically range between 20 to 40 EUR per month

The monthly plan for mobile is 13 EUR and the top major mobile companies in Italy are Vodafone, Tim, Three and Wind. 

4. Healthcare and Insurance

Italy’s healthcare is recognized as one of the best in the world. Healthcare becomes more accessible with health insurance plans. A visit to a private doctor in Italy can cost you between 80 to 90 EUR with separate 8-9 EUR costs for over-the-counter medicines and antibiotics. Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN) is the national health service in Italy which offers student registration at just 149.77 annually.


5. Commuting and Transportation

Public transportation in Italy is very efficient and the network is conveniently spread throughout the cities. Commuting through public transportation is very convenient and affordable. Students can get a monthly pass at around 35 EUR. Students can also avail of the student discount on public transport.

Here are some tips related to commuting and transportation in Italy:

  • Bicycle rentals are available in several cities
  • Monthly passes for students
  • Reductions and discounts are available if you book rail tickets in advance
  • Leisure/Entertainment Costs

Italy is filled with cultural activities and heritage sites. The country offers heavy discounts on these activities for students. 

Entertainment expenses including movies, concerts, fitness clubs, dining out, etc. can cost between 80 to 200 EUR per month. It entirely depends on how much a student wishes to spend on leisure.

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University Tuition Fees in Italy for International Students 

University tuition fees vary according to the chosen city, university and program in which you’re enrolled. Tuition fees in Italy are generally on the lower side compared to other Western countries. Fees are also different in public and private universities. 

1. Tuition Fees at Public Universities

Tuition fees are based on the program that the student is studying and the type of course (Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD). Also, it can be on the higher side for non-EU/EEA students. 

The average tuition fee ranges between 0 to 5000 EUR annually.

2. Tuition Fees at Private Universities

Fees at private universities are much higher than the fees at public universities and it is generally not discriminated on the basis is you being an EU or non-EU/EEA student.

The average tuition fee for private universities ranges between 3000 to 35000 EUR/year.

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Scholarships and Funding Opportunities

Italy offers multiple scholarship opportunities for international students. It helps them manage their expenses without affecting their academic schedule and performance. Some available options are:

1. Italian Government Scholarships for International Students:

The Italian government offers scholarships for international students to cover tuition fees and even a monthly stipend to cover living expenses. The basis for awarding this scholarship is the academic merit of the student and financial support. 

2. University Scholarships:

Many universities in Italy provide scholarships on the basis of merit, financial need, or the program the student is enrolled in. Politecnico di Milano, University of Padova, Bocconi University, and Bologna University are among such universities. They offer scholarship programs between 5,000 to 12,000 EUR annually. 

3. Erasmus+ Program:

To ensure equal opportunities, Erasmus+, an EU Programme provides financial assistance to students in Italy wishing to study for a semester or full academic year.

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How to Reduce the Overall Cost of Living in Italy

Cost of Living in Italy as an international student has its own set of difficulties, with managing finance being the biggest challenge. Create a budget to track your expenses and prioritise essential costs like rent and food. 

Here are some ways that can help you save some extra euros while studying in Italy:

1. Location:

Choose affordable cities that offer high quality of living at lower prices since the total expenditure of the student highly depends on the location of the accommodation. Cities like Milan, Rome and Florence are among the most expensive cities to live in. While cities like Bologna, Naples and Noto in Sicily provide much cheaper accommodation and other facilities.

2. Accommodation:

Accommodation cost depends on the location of the residence and if it is on-campus or off-campus accommodation. On-campus accommodation is less expensive than off-campus housing. Also, sharing accommodation can drastically reduce your rent and utility bills.

3. Tuition Fees:

Always make informed decisions about universities, whether it is public or private. Public universities have much lower tuition fees than public universities. Also, students can take advantage of various available scholarships which are awarded on the basis of academic merit and financial need of the students.

4. Transportation Costs:

Transportation cost is a very crucial consideration while making budget decisions for international students in Italy. Opt for public transportation and take advantage of student discounts available on such transportation. Biking or walking can be a good option if the university is near to your accommodation.

5. Part-Time Work:

If the student has extra leisure time, he/she can also consider doing part-time work. Many students take this option to support their studies. But, make sure to double-check visa regulations and university policies related to student employment.

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Italy offers both academic and cultural advantages to international students. A student has to understand and navigate through the adjustments related to the cost of living and lifestyle. Planning in advance, budgeting wisely and taking advantage of various scholarship opportunities can take off the financial burden and will help in making the most of your time in this beautiful country.

FAQs on Cost of Living in Italy

Is Italy expensive to live in?

Italy’s cost of living is moderate compared to other Western European countries. The country provides high-quality living with excellent cuisine and culture.

How much money do I need to make to live in Italy?

Depending upon the city and chosen lifestyle, a monthly 800-1800 EUR is sufficient for an international student. This amount includes coverage for accommodation, food, transportation, leisure activities, etc.

Is it cheaper to live in Italy or the USA?

Italy offers great affordability in terms of living, transport, groceries and education. The average cost of living in Italy is much cheaper than in the USA.

How much is the rent in Italy?

While cities like Rome and Milan have rent costs on the higher side, many cities in Italy offer accommodation under 300-700 EUR per month. This is also affected by the lifestyle of the student.

Is healthcare free in Italy?

Healthcare in Italy is not entirely free. However, it is highly subsidised. By enrolling in the National Health Service and accessing public healthcare services at a low cost.


Cost of Living in Italy Accessed on 01st June 2024

Scholarships offered by the Italian Government to foreign students and Italians residing abroad (IRE) . Accessed 01st June 2024

Erasmus+ EU programme for education, training, youth and sport Accessed 01st June 2024

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