Exchange students @unibo: language requirements and training

Language requirements and how to improve your Italian.

There are no language requirements to be accepted to the University of Bologna. However, to make the most of the lectures and your studies, you are strongly recommended to have acquired the following levels before starting your mobility:

  • For course units in Italian: knowledge of Italian to at least CEFR level A2
  • For first cycle (bachelor’s degree) course units in English: knowledge of English to at least CEFR level B1
  • For second cycle (master’s degree) course units in English: knowledge of English to at least CEFR level B2.
  • For Medicine and Nursing students there may be specific requirements and recommended higher levels of language proficiency.

How to improve your Italian

The University of Bologna gives you some opportunities to improve your Italian: ICON online self-study L2 Italian courses for CEFR levels A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, an L2 Italian MOOC on the Unibook platform for beginners (select course: Modern Languages ITA101). The courses are free of charge.

In the first and second semesters, the University Language Centre 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), September-December (extensive courses) and February-June (extensive courses).

To find out the application deadlines, read the timeline.

To enrol you must first sit an online test to assess your knowledge, just before the semester in which you want to attend the courses. At the end of the online test, you must register for the oral test which is also compulsory to enrol in the courses.

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 fulfil the whole request.

If you study in Cesena, Forlì, Ravenna or Rimini, you can attend courses at the University Language Centre - CLA, in Cesena, Forlì, Ravenna and Rimini campuses (Romagna).

Two editions of language courses will be held, starting in September and in February.

To find out the application deadlines, read the timeline.

In order to enrol an online and an oral language assessment test are required. 


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”.