Before you come to the University of Bologna

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

Finding your way

Course Units

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

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

The catalogue for the following academic year is published online in June.

When choosing the course units you must pay attention to:

  • the rules and constraints of your exchange programme: for instance, exchange students within the Erasmus+ programme can choose course units of the subject area of the exchange programme in which they were selected and must have a Learning Agreement consistent with it;
  • the number of places available: some programmes have a limited number of places, if they have restricted access;
  • the excluded subject areas: some non-Erasmus+ mobility agreements do not allow the choice of course units in some subject areas. When choosing your destination check the excluded subject areas at your university;
  • the Campus: check the Campus you have been assigned to and choose the course units delivered at your Campus;
  • the level of teaching: except for some exclusions, you can 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 the course unit you wish to attend.

Always contact the International Relations Offices to check the course units you have chosen.

Please remember that you must agree on your choices with your university, as it will have to recognise the credits you obtain at the University of Bologna.

Teaching calendar and course timetable

There is no single date for starting the courses. Each Degree Programme has its own course and exam timetable. Lectures generally begin in September or shortly afterwards, and may be annual, six monthly or divided into several sessions. The lectures timetables are set yearly, just before the start of the programme.

The course timetables are set yearly, just before the start of the programmes and they are published in the course units pages starting from July. Only for the degree programmes in the Medicine and Surgery area at Ravenna and Rimini campuses you must consult the degree programmes websites.


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

Guidance sessions and information about teaching

The International Relations, Campus and Department Offices, which support exchange students for academic issues, organize events and provide informative material to help exchange students in their choices regarding teaching. Learn more.


After your home university notifies your appointment as an exchange student at the University of Bologna, you receive a first e-mail message (“Acceptance message”) inviting you to complete your online registration. During registration, you must upload a .JPG file with a passport photo of your face. You can also upload your Learning Agreement.

When you have completed your registration, you will automatically receive a second message ("Confirmation of registration") containing the name of your exchange coordinator (only for Erasmus + mobility) and your username and password.

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

Important: after receiving your username and password, immediately activate your mailbox and check it often because all official notices of the University of Bologna are sent only to the address

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

Important: in the first semester of the A.Y. 2020/21 lectures will be delivered both in the classroom and online. To access the classrooms, you will need to book through a special web application under development. The possibility of entering the classroom is not guaranteed to all students who wish to.

Please note that you must register for the exam sessions to sit exams and 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 want to carry out an internship you have to check in advance if it is possible: find the degree programmes of the subject areas of your interest, read the information on the related web sites (studying > curricular internship) and contact the relevant offices. For some degree programmes the information may be available only in Italian.

Organising your trip

There are no set arrival dates. You have to decide when to leave for the University of Bologna according to the starting date of your courses. 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. At the beginning of each semester you may have the opportunity to participate in the welcome sessions for exchange students, if available. The session dates are notified on Check-in.

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.

Contact the International Relations Offices 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 can upload your Learning Agreement to your personal homepage in AlmaRM, in order to get it approved. You are notified via email at mailbox about the approval or refusal of your Learning Agreement, along with its reasons. Furthermore, after approval, you can 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 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.

Important: you must apply for a visa for “Study – EXCHANGE AND MOBILITY PROGRAMME“.

To apply for a visa you must:

  • pre-enrol online via the Universitaly portal. In the application you must indicate: 
    - “Specify the reason for the visa application”: I want to spend a mobility period for study/traineeship (e.g. Erasmus);
    - “Course information”: Institution: Università di Bologna, Course type: Corso/i singolo/i – Single course(s), Course name: in the text field you must describe your position at the University of Bologna, e.g.: Mobility student for study, Mobility student for traineeship (and your reference teacher at Unibo), Visiting student (and your reference teacher at Unibo), Visiting PhD (and your reference teacher at Unibo);
    - “ID account at the chosen University / AFAM / Institute”: (if you are not a visiting PhD student).
    You will also need to specify the Embassy / Consulate where you will apply for an entry visa to Italy. The pre-enrolment application will be verified by the University of Bologna and forwarded to the Embassy / Consulate you have specified. The University of Bologna also issues you an invitation letter, when you have completed the online registration on AlmaRM and uploaded a copy of your passport;

  • contact the Embassy / Consulate to find out the requirements to obtain an entry visa for "Study – EXCHANGE AND MOBILITY PROGRAMME" and make an appointment if necessary.

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

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 lectures.

You can sit the Italian Orienting Test in order to assess your knowledge of Italian. You can also attend a MOOC.

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.

In the first semester of A.Y. 2020-21 courses will be available both in the classroom and online.

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), September-December (extensive courses) and February-June (extensive courses).

In the first semester of A.Y. 2020-21 courses will be available both in the classroom and online.

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 also compulsory to enrol in the courses.

The oral test takes place in Bologna. Candidates are 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. The online test for the courses offered in the second semester opens in January.

A few days in advance, you are 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 procedure and have received the “Confirmation of registration” message 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.

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 your language level turns out to be C1 (Effective Operational Proficiency) it is assumed that you are able to attend the classes and take exams and no language course is provided to you.

The Italian courses end with an examination. If you pass the 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” or “Non Idoneo/Fail”.

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 (TEAM in Italy) 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 are charged directly to your insurance body. If you have not been able to use your European Health Insurance Card when you go back, check if you can ask your insurance body to reimburse health expenses. Therefore keep payment receipts and health records.

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. To get medical coverage for the entire academic year, you can pay both the current year's fee and the fee for the following year on arrival. After the payiment, your registration must be activated. In Bologna you can go to one of the SSN offices in via Mengoli 32 or via Montebello 6.

If you have a health insurance (purchased in Italy or in your own country) 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