(Original post by rofrir)
thanks, have you applied for the course yet? I have heard Italian universities are not so reputable, one of my friends was admitted but didn't go. what dou think of Italian universities as a whole?
thanks if anyone answers...
I think I can answer you quite fairly from the point of view of an Italian native. It really depends on where you go. First of all, you should not consider at all the universities in the south of Italy. Those are not good, and even if they were, they have such a bad reputation that graduating there would be just plain useless.
There are, however, some good universities (depending on which subject you want to apply for). For example, the language centre specialized in translation in Trieste is very well known and I can assure you of its quality and reputation. If you manage to get in, you won't be dissatisfied.
For Economics and Law, Bocconi is possibly the best choice in Italy. I would add that it is not true that Bocconi is not very competitive. It is true that it is easier for international students to apply, but, especially for natives, it is very difficult to get in. Bocconi has very high standards and tends to admit only those who have good grades and potential. Also, even if the admission criteria may seem a bit lax, you must take into account that in Italy we have a totally different system than in England. Admissions are usually the fairly easy part - it then gets difficult when you have to "survive" your first year. Most students fall out after the first year, so don't think that just because a lot of people have gained entrance (which will probably not be the truth, anyway) the University is not competitive. That being said, if you are interested in going there, you should not be discouraged by this at all! If you have interest and enthusiasm for the subject, you should manage quite well.
Another excellent university in Italy (arguably the best, especially in scientific subjects) is the Normale di Pisa. It is notably a selective university, but the standards are very high. For medicine, the best one is the Sapienza di Roma.
All these universities are private; there are some state universities which are still very good (the University of Bologna is the oldest university in Europe, founded in 1088, and is excellent for Law, and Padua (Padova in Italian) has gained a very strong reputation in the last decade).
So, I wouldn't say that Italian universities are terrible as a whole, but I really suggest you make an informed choice, if you decide to go there. It is no use choosing a low-rate university, for one. Also, you should consider that is true that Italians don't generally speak a great English. But, you have to consider two things: first, that is not true for everyone, especially for academics. If you apply for a course in English, you will probably be taught by competent teachers, who know the language. Secondly, this enables you to really learn the language. I mean, what point would there be in going to a foreign country and only speak English?
I hope I have been useful. Feel free to ask any further questions you have!