What Is Foundation In Italy?

Foundation in Italy is a preparatory course for students who want to study abroad in Italy. In cases where students’ current high school education has not been completed as a minimum 12-year program or if the high school grade point average for the field of education is lower than the required level, there is a foundation program in which they are directed to complete these deficiencies. In these preparatory programs, which are offered for grade point average and foreign language knowledge, students can receive education for an average of 1 year. During the program, students can take introductory courses for their target university department and improve their foreign language competencies. Foundation education is determined according to the needs of students. Students who do not have sufficient academic knowledge and skills to continue their undergraduate education apply to this program, in which verbal or numerical course grades are added according to the department of interest, and the high school education received. This program is offered at many educational institutions worldwide and helps students adapt more quickly to undergraduate studies, which are more complex than the high school level.


Foundation in Italy is training that aims to prepare students for 12 months, with courses offered in various disciplines before 3-year undergraduate or 5-year undergraduate and graduate programs. This education, also called foundation year, is provided to international students who aim to study at a university in Italy and who have completed 11 years of high school education to complete their missing credits. In addition, during the teaching, students both get used to the Italian language and culture more quickly and can easily transition to the undergraduate education system. They will start at the next stage.

Which Universities Provide Foundation Education in Italy?

Students doing research to participate in foundation programs in Italy encounter many program alternatives offered at public or private universities. It is possible for students who choose any of these to receive preparatory education entirely in English or wholly in Italian. Universities providing preparatory education in Italy are:

University of Pavia

University of Pavia both offers Italian preparatory courses and gives students the chance to continue their undergraduate education here. In addition to studying Italian, students in Pavia are also given preparatory courses in one of the humanities, natural sciences, medicine, economics, law, and politics during the program. Students who succeed in the Foundation final exams also meet the prerequisite for enrolling in one of the undergraduate departments of the university. However, students who want to enroll in departments with limited quotas must take the university admission exam. Students who pass the preparatory exam are also exempted from paying tuition fees and taking the Italian proficiency exam in the first year of their undergraduate education. During the preparatory education program, students take one of the 450 hours of Italian language and culture course and one of the 300 hours of elective courses whose language of instruction is Italian. These courses can be one of the following sections:

  • Humanities: Art History and Archeology, Italian Literature, Ancient and Medieval History, Philosophy
  • Science and Medicine: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics
  • Economics, Law, and Politics: Political Science, Modern History, Economics, Law

Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome

Campus Bio Medico

The Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, as a foundation, offers a program designed especially for students who aim to receive their education in Italy from departments such as medicine, surgery, food science, and dietetics. This training helps international students prepare for application exams and improve their academic English and Italian proficiency. Students who want to apply to the program must first complete 11 years of education and prove that they have B2-level English knowledge. In the preparatory education of Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, the following courses are taken in credits and hours:

  • Physics: 3 credits and 37.5 hours
  • Chemistry: 5 credits and 62.5 hours
  • Biology: 9 credits and 112.5 hours
  • Italian: 24 credits and 300 hours
  • Mathematics: 3 credits and 37.5 hours
  • Logic: 4 credits and 50 hours

A total of 48 credit courses are completed in 600 hours. Students who successfully complete the preparatory program can count their foundation year courses as equivalent undergraduate courses if they also get the required score in the Medicine and Surgery admission exam prepared by the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome and thus gain the right to be exempted from these courses.

Ca’ Foscari University of Venice

Ca' Foscari universitesi

With its foundation program, international students who want to study at a university in Italy qualify for the next step. During the program, students can also receive an education in accordance with the basic courses of the undergraduate department they aim to study together with Italian history, English, or Italian courses. Candidates are required to have B1 English knowledge to enroll in the program. For the students to complete their education, they are expected to take the courses of the following three groups and show the desired success:

  • General Courses: Modern Italian History, Critical Thinking, and University Preparation
  • University Entrance Courses: Economics (Group A Courses including Mathematics, Introduction to Finance, Business Administration, Introduction to Law and Data Analysis), Humanities (Group B Courses including Italian Literature, Art History, Philosophy, and Introduction to Classics), Science (Mathematics, Group C Courses (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology) or Architecture, Art and Design (Group D Courses including Italian Architecture, Communication, Visual and Interior Design, Fashion Design, Environmental Planning, and Visual Arts)
  • Language Lessons: International Option (English), B1 or B2 Pass-through Option (Italian), or Special Options for Native Italian Speakers

University of Siena

The University of Siena offers a foundation program for students who aim to study at a university in Economics or Business Administration. In this preparatory program, where the medium of instruction is English, students must have at least a B1 level of English to apply to complete their education for 12 years. In addition, students who have proficiency in English but do not have knowledge of Italian can also enroll in the program. The foundation education program of the University of Siena is as follows:

  • Mathematics: 15 credits
  • Economics and History of Economics: 9 credits
  • Social Sciences and Law: 9 credits
  • Italian: 18 credits
  • English (starts at B2 level): 9 credits

University of Parma

The University of Parma offers a foundation program preferred by students who want to study in Italy and those who wish to study at a music conservatory. Aiming to complete the deficiencies of international students in terms of both language and culture, the people who participate in this program also gain Italian proficiency up to B2 level during their education. The foundation education of the University of Parma is carried out in cooperation with the A. Boito Music Conservatory. Students who choose lessons from music groups beyond general education lesson groups have the opportunity to enroll in conservatory lessons. The Foundation program is as follows:

  • Core Courses (38 credits): Italian Language and Culture, Intercultural Communication, and Italian B2 Foundation Courses
  • General Education Courses (22 credits): Modern History and Geography

The undergraduate-level courses offered at the University of Parma are as follows:

  • Humanities
  • Law and Economics
  • Science
  • Medicine
  • Technology

In addition to these, the music training offered by the A. Boito Conservatory is as follows:

  • Choir Study
  • Ear Exercises
  • Music History
  • Harmony and Analysis

University of Pisa

The University of Pisa also offers students IMAT and Mathematics exam preparation courses. Candidates can choose from the Humanities Module, the Science Module, or one of the modules designed for native speakers of Italian. The details of the modules are as follows:

Humanities Module

Education is given in English. The program includes Italian education up to A1 and B2 levels.

Compulsory courses; Introduction to Italian Literature I (6 credits), Introduction to Italian Literature II A (3 credits), Greek and Roman Archeology (6 credits), Modern European History (9 credits), Introduction to Art History (6 credits), and Italian Language and Culture (24 credits) credit) was determined.

Elective courses are Principles of Economics and Business (3 credits), Ecology for Agriculture (3 credits) or Introduction to Philosophical Thinking (3 credits) for the fall semester; for the spring semester, it is Geoscience (3 credits), Logic and Reasoning (3 credits) or Italian Literature II B (3 credits).

Science Module

A 40-hour course program is offered in this module to prepare students for the IMAT exam. Lessons are in English. Candidates who aim to receive university education in medicine, natural sciences, dentistry, mathematics, health sciences, economics, computer sciences, engineering, pharmacy, and physics can benefit from this foundation program offered by the University of Pisa.

Compulsory courses; Basic Mathematics Language (6 credits), Physics (9 credits), Chemistry (6 credits), Biology (6 credits), and Italian Language and Culture (24 credits).

Elective courses are Fundamentals of Economics and Business (3 credits), Ecology for Agriculture or Introduction to Philosophical Thinking (3 credits) for the fall semester; for the spring semester, Geoscience (3 credits), Logic and Reasoning (3 credits), Italian Literature II B (3 credits) or Advanced Mathematics (3 credits).

Sapienza University of Rome

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Again, students are required to have a B2 level of English proficiency to enroll in the traditional foundation program. The preparatory program in this institution; consists of 3 parts: compulsory course group, elective course group, and auxiliary course group for the admission exams of different departments. The groupings are as follows:

  • Required subjects: Italian Preparation and Intensive Italian
  • Elective Courses: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics for those who aim to study in the field of Humanities, History of Art, History of Fashion, History of Italy, Italian Literature, and Sciences
  • Exam Preparation Courses: Clinical Sciences for departments such as Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Applied Sciences for departments such as Architecture, Economics, Engineering, and Humanities for departments such as Archeology, Art History, Law, Philosophy