The Marco Polo programme for Chinese students

The Marco Polo programme is designed to facilitate the enrolment of Chinese students at Italian universities.

Through the Marco Polo programme, Chinese students wishing to enrol at a university programme in Italy can obtain an entry visa even if they have no knowledge of the Italian language. To participate, students must successfully attend an Italian language course lasting ten or eleven months at one of the Italian universities involved, before starting the chosen university programme.

Italian language courses

The University of Bologna does not offer Italian language courses for students of the Marco Polo programme. You can attend specific Italian courses for Marco Polo students at the University for Foreigners of Perugia, the University for Foreigners of Siena, the Third University of Rome, the "Dante Alighieri" Society, the University for Foreigners of Reggio Calabria. You can also attend Italian courses at other Italian universities participating in the Marco Polo programme, which can offer courses by agreement with private schools as well. Search for information on the portals of each university. Read very carefully the list of certificates that you can submit to enrol.

First and second cycle degree programmes at Unibo

You can enrol in all first, single, second cycle degree programmes delivered in Italian at the University of Bologna.

You can access all open access degree programmes with no limits on places.

You can access all restricted access degree programmes, for which there is a quota for international students (non-EU with residency abroad). The available places are published on the calls for applications each year. There are no reserved places for Marco Polo students:  you will always compete under equal conditions with other non-EU students with residency abroad.

Find out the first cycle, single cycle degree programmes and second cycle degree programmes offered at the University of Bologna.

Pre-enrolment and entry visa, for enrolling in degree programmes in the a.y. 2025/26

To obtain an entry visa to Italy, you must pre-enrol on the portal.

Carefully read the guidelines on how to pre-enrol on the website of the Italian Ministry for Universities and Research, (available from June 2024).

When pre-enrolling, you must indicate:

  • where you will attend the Italian language course in the academic year 2024/25; if you choose a private school, this must have an agreement with an Italian university or AFAM in order to run the courses. Important! To matriculate, you must submit one of the following Italian language competence certificates of at least B1 level:  CELI (University for Foreigners of Perugia), CILS (University for Foreigners of Siena), PLIDA (Dante Alighieri Society), CERT.IT (Roma Tre University), regardless of the location you have chosen for the Italian course. Different certificates will not be accepted;
  • the degree programme you wish to enrol in, in the a.y. 2025/26, which must be in Italian.

To enrol in a degree programme you will need to follow the admission procedures for the a.y. 2025/26.

Enrolling in degree programmes, a.y. 2024/25

For enrolling in a First Cycle, Single Cycle or Second Cycle Degree Programme you must comply with the rules set by the University of Bologna.

Application procedures vary from programme to programme. To learn
more about admission requirements, deadlines and methods please read the “Admission” section on the first cycle, single cycle degree programmes and second cycle degree programmes website you are interested in.

Important! If you are a Marco Polo student:

  • you must attend the Italian language course in the period and at the school or university chosen upon pre-enrolment on;
  • you must obtain one of the following Italian language competence certificates of at least B1 level: CELI (University for Foreigners of Perugia), CILS (University for Foreigners of Siena), PLIDA (Dante Alighieri Society), CERT.IT (Roma Tre University), regardless of the location you have chosen for the Italian course. Different certificates will not be accepted. The exams must be passed by 30 December 2024;
  • you must verify one of the certificate above mentioned through Studenti Online. Log in to Studenti Online, select "Calls" and "Programma Marco Polo per studenti cinesi a.a. 2023/24 - verifica certificati di lingua italiana”. Upload a [.pdf] copy of the certificate and of your passport. The International Desk will carry out the checks and will publish the results directly on Studenti Online. The online certificate verification procedure is available until 30 December 2024; beyond this date, contact the International Desk;
  • you must submit the certificate to the Student Administration Office upon enrolment and in any case by 28 February 2025;
  • you do not have and you cannot sit the Test ITA-L2 delivered by CISIA scheduled for non-EU students.

Bear in mind that that Marco Polo students can only enrol in degree programmes taught in the Italian language.

Watch the video China - International student

China - International student

Zhong is an international student from China and chose to attend the University of Bologna - watch the video


Asia Institute


via Zamboni 25 - 40126 Bologna

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ASES - Area Servizi Studenti - International Desk

Students enrolling in degree programmes or single course units


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