Before coming to the University of Bologna

What to do to spend a study period at the University of Bologna.

Finding your way

To find out if the University of Bologna is the right destination for you, consult the Student Guide

Course Units

As an exchange student, you can choose course units from different Degree Programmes and Schools.

Look up in the list of the degree programmes offered and use the filters to select the Type, Campus and Language. The degree programmes marked with the Great Britain flag are entirely delivered in the English language or have a curriculum delivered in the English language.

Look up in the course unit catalogue and use the filters to select the Campus/School, Type and Language.

Pay attention to the Campus you have been assigned to and choose the course units delivered at your Campus. The academic offer for the coming year is published online in June.

You can also choose course units from first cycle (L, undergraduate) and second cycle (LM, graduate) programmes, but you must carefully assess whether your own general knowledge is suitable for the level of course you wish to attend. In any case you must agree on your choices with your university, as it will have to recognise the credits you obtain in Bologna. Some programmes have a limited number of places, if they have restricted access. Consult the School websites and contact the International Relations Offices at the School for more information. 

Teaching calendar and course timetable

Each School has its own lesson and exam timetable. Lessons generally begin in September or shortly afterwards, and may be annual, six monthly or divided into several sessions. The lesson timetables are set yearly, just before the start of the programme.

Consult the calendars and timetables of each School. For some course units the calendars and timetables are also available in the course unit page.


One Italian credit (CFU, Credito Formativo Universitario) equals one ECTS credit. Credits are obtained exclusively on passing an exam or internship.


If you have chosen Bologna, your university must send a message of nomination to 

You will then receive a first e-mail (“Acceptance message”) inviting you to do your online registration. In order to complete your registration you must upload a passport photo of your face in JPG file format. Once registered, you will automatically receive a second confirmation message containing  the name of your exchange coordinator (for Erasmus+ mobility) and your username and password.

Some online services will be granted only after registering your arrival (Check-in) at the Exchange Students Desk in Bologna or at the International Relations Office of your Campus.

To attend the lessons you do not have to be enrolled in the courses but it is recommended to submit your study plan to the International Offices at Schools in order to check the availability of the course units.

To attend the lessons you do not have to be enrolled in the courses. You must only register for the exams, you will have time to do this after your arrival. However, if you want to attend the Italian language courses, you must register beforehand. If you wish to do an internship, check the possibility well in advance asking the International Relations Offices at the Schools.

Organising your trip

There are no set arrival dates. You must decide when to leave for Bologna according to the starting date of your courses. Some Schools and Departments organise guidance sessions. The start date of your exchange period corresponds to the date of your Check-in, i.e. when you register your arrival at the Exchange Students Desk in Bologna or at the International Relations Office of your Campus.

Learning Agreement

The first thing to do is to draft the Learning Agreement (compulsory for Erasmus+ students, optional for others).

The Learning Agreement is the study plan agreed with your university, which undertakes to recognise the exams passed and the credits obtained during the exchange period, and the exchange coordinator at the University of Bologna. The form is provided by your university.

Find out the available course units.

You may contact the International Relations Offices at the Schools to check your options and notify them immediately if you wish to carry out an internship. The Learning Agreement must be approved and signed by your university and the University of Bologna, before starting your mobility, if required by your home university, or immediately upon arrival at the University of Bologna.

If you are carrying out your mobility within the Erasmus+ Studio, Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility (ICM), Swiss European Mobility and Overseas (a Unibo programme) programmes, at the online registration or later, you will be able to upload your Learning Agreement on your personal homepage in AlmaRM, in order to get it approved. You will be notified via email at mailbox about the approval or rejection of your Learning Agreement, along with its reasons. After approval you will be also able to download a signed copy of your Learning Agreement.

Visa and Residence Permit

If you are a non-EU citizen and wish to study in Italy for more than 90 days, you will need a Visa to enter Italy

If you stay for less than 90 days, find out from the Embassy (or Consulate) if you require a Visa. You must apply for the Visa from the Italian Embassy in your country of residence, providing the letter of invitation from the University of Bologna. Important: you must apply for a Visa for study purposes.

To receive the letter of invitation your university must send a photocopy of your passport and the estimated dates of arrival and departure to the Exchange Students Desk or to the International relations Office of your Campus.

You must apply well in advance for the Visa, as the visa issuing procedure can take several months.

Important: when you apply for the Visa, have your medical insurance stamped by the Embassy, otherwise you will not be able to use it to apply for the Residence Permit.

If your exchange lasts for more than 90 days, when you arrive in Italy you must apply for a Residence Permit. This is a compulsory procedure for all non-EU citizens wishing to stay in Italy for more than 90 days.

Learning Italian

There are no specific language requirements for studying at the University of Bologna (except for medical and nursing students ). However, before coming to Bologna you are strongly advised to have at least basic knowledge of Italian (level A2), in order to be able to study and make the most of the lessons.

You can sit the Italian Orienting Test in order to assess your knowledge of Italian. You’ll be also offered an online Italian language course. Erasmus+ students can benefit from the Online Linguistic Support – OLS provided by their home universities as well.

In the first and second semesters, the University Language Center runs Italian language courses for international students. Exchange students can attend one course free of charge.

If you study in Bologna, you can attend the Italian language courses at the University Language Centre, in Bologna Campus.

The courses are held both in the first and second semester, during September (intensive courses), October-December (extensive courses) and February-May (extensive courses), according to the Italian language courses schedule, A.Y. 2017/18 [.pdf].

For further information and for detailed course calendars and application deadlines.

How to enrol

To enrol you must first sit an online test to assess your knowledge, just before the semester of your arrival in Italy. At the end of the online test, you must register for the oral test which is compulsory in order to be able to attend the courses. The oral test takes place in Bologna. Candidates will be admitted to the oral test on a first come, first served basis, until all places of each level are filled. The tests are required to assess your level of Italian and to assign you to the most appropriate class.

The online test for the courses offered in the first semester opens in August. For the courses offered in the second semester the online test opens in January. A few days in advance, you will be sent an e-mail to your account indicating the date and time for the online test.

Only the students who have completed the online registration and have received the “Confirmation of registration” message will receive this notice.

Check your e-mail account regularly and sit the online test immediately, because the available places may not fulfill the whole request.

If you study in Cesena, Forlì, Ravenna or Rimini Campus, you can attend courses at the University Language Center- CLA, in Romagna campuses.

Two editions of language courses will be held, starting in September and in February, according to the Italian language courses schedule, A.Y. 2017/18 [.pdf].

For further information and for detailed course calendars and application deadlines.

In order to enrol an online and an oral language assessment test are required. The schedule of the online and oral test will be published on University Language Center- CLA website. The oral test, which is compulsory in order to confirm your registration and start attending classes, is held in Cesena, Forlì, Ravenna and Rimini.

According to the online test and the oral test, if your level is assessed as A2, B1, B2, you shall enrol in the appropriate course and attend the classes.

If, according to the test results, your language knowledge is assessed as A1 level (Breakthrough), you will be allowed to participate in the self-learning computer-based courses which will be organised at the Language Lab of the University Language Center. If your language level turns out to be C1 (Effective Operational Proficiency) it is assumed that you will be able to attend the classes and take exams and no language course will be provided to you.

The Italian courses end with an examination. If you pass the final exam (“Idoneo”), you obtain 5 credits (whatever your level) which are recorded in your Transcript of Records.

The exam grade is not given as a mark out of thirty, but simply as “Idoneo”/“Pass”.

Healthcare in Italy

The Italian National Health Service is called “Servizio Sanitario Nazionale” (SSN), and is divided into local Healthcare Boards (“Aziende Unità Sanitarie Locali - AUSL”). If you are a EU citizen, you must bring your European Health Insurance Card - EHIC in order to have access to medical care. Using your card you can go directly to a General Practitioner (“medico di base” or “medico di famiglia”) choosing one from the list available at, if you study in Bologna, or at, if you study at another Campus. All the costs will be charged directly to your insurance body.

For some specialist services, the payment of a “ticket” is required as a contribution to cover part of the costs.

For dental care, the national health system provides only diagnostic and urgent treatment.

If you are a non-EU citizen you have access to the National Health Service only after paying an annual registration fee of €149.77. The fee covers the calendar year from 1 January to 31 December and cannot be split.

If you have a health insurance purchased in Italy or in your own country and stamped by the Italian Embassy you may go to any General Practitioner.

If you need a specialist treatment, you can choose any doctor, also on the advice of your chosen GP. You must pay for the visits to the GP and any specialists, and then apply to your insurance company for a refund.


Check useful information about finding accommodation.