Student Accommodation in Italy – A Complete Guide
Written by Taru Medha
If you’re thinking of studying a postgraduate course in Italy, one of the many things to consider is finding a place to live. It is a big decision, especially if you are an international student, as your accommodation will inform how you experience life in Italy as a student. It is important to consider factors like budget, where you want to live and how you want your life to look like.
This guide covers the types of student accommodation available in Italy, how much they cost and some tips to make searching for your postgraduate home easier.
Student accommodation in Italy
If you’re a postgraduate student in Italy, you can either look for accommodation provided by your university or rent privately. University accommodations, also called dormitories, are more popular given their affordable prices but are also difficult to secure. If you’re renting privately, you can choose between renting a room in a shared house or renting an entire apartment by yourself. It is important that you choose what is right for you after considering your budget and what postgraduate experience you want.
Popular among international students, most higher education institutions in Italy offer student dormitories. The number of dormitories available differs between universities and cities. You’ll have your own room with a shared kitchen, bathroom and living space. Given their popularity, booking a place in a student dormitory is competitive and getting in your application early will increase your chances of securing a place.
How much does it cost?
University dorms are the more affordable accommodation option for postgraduate students in Italy. They usually cost around €250-€420 per month. Prices might differ depending on location. Rent in cities like Milan and Rome is usually much higher than the national average.
Advantages of student dormitories
- University dorms are usually located close to campus, so you’ll be spending less time and money on commuting.
- They are more affordable than renting rooms in private accommodation or entire apartments.
- There is plenty of opportunity to meet new people, make friends and socialise.
Disadvantages of student dormitories
- High demand and limited availability make finding a place in dormitories very difficult and competitive.
- Even though you’ll have your own room, sharing a living space with others means you do not have a lot of privacy
- University dorms can get noisy. However, it is worth checking with your university if they have postgraduate specific dorms which are likely to be quieter.
How to secure accommodation in student dormitories
You must get in touch with your university directly to find and book a place at a university dormitory. Your university student services and accommodation office manage these dorms and should have all the information you need. They can also provide guidance and support even if you are renting privately.
Remember, applications for accommodation are separate from your course application. Since dormitories are in very high demand, it is a good idea to get in your application as early as possible.
Since student dorms are difficult to secure, students opt to rent a room in private accommodation as an alternative. These are usually managed by private rental agents. You’ll have your own room with a shared kitchen, bathroom and living space. You can rent a single or a double occupancy room depending on your circumstances.
How much does it cost?
Renting a room in a private accommodation is more expensive than living in a dormitory with rent around €400-€600 per month. In most cases, you might have to pay for utilities like electricity, water and internet separately. It is important that you factor in these costs when setting your budget. Rent also varies hugely depending on the city you live in.
Advantages of shared rooms
- There is more privacy as you can choose how many people you live with and if you look for a place with a group of friends you also have a say in who you live with.
- You’ll have more chances to experience local culture than in dormitories which tend to be more international student focused.
Disadvantages of shared rooms
- Privately rented accommodation may not always be close to your university so you must account for how long your commute might be and how much it would cost.
- It is more expensive than living in a student dormitory.
How to secure accommodation in shared rooms
There are dedicated websites like casa.it and Uniaffitti that list rooms available to rent. You can also look at the notice board at your university student services and accommodation office.
If you’re staying alone, you might want to rent a studio apartment. Sometimes studio apartments come fully furnished for a short-term contract (less than a year). However, renting a whole apartment is expensive. To keep costs down, you and a few friends could come together to rent a two or three-bedroom apartment. This divides the rent and the cost of utilities between all of you making it slightly more affordable.
How much does it cost?
Rent for a whole apartment can be upwards of €1,000 no matter where in the country you are living. Cities like Milan and Rome are more expensive than the national average and rents vary hugely depending on location and size of the apartment.
Advantages of flats/apartments
- You have the freedom to choose the neighbourhood you want to live in. You can opt to stay further away from the centre of the city if you like a quieter environment.
- You don’t have to worry about conflicts with your flatmates if you choose to live alone.
Disadvantages of flats/apartments
- It is the considerably more expensive than any other kind of accommodation.
- If you’re living alone, you have fewer chances of socialising and meeting new people.
How to secure accommodation in flats/apartments
The easiest place to look for an apartment to rent is online on dedicated websites like casa.it. You can also look at the notice board at your university student services and accommodation office.
Top tips for finding accommodation in Italy
Now you know what’s available for international students in Italy, here are our top tips for securing your ideal accommodation:
- #1 Start early – Italy is a popular study abroad destination and student housing can be very competitive. It is a good idea to start looking for a place and putting in applications before you reach Italy.
- #2 Make yourself aware of your rights – Make sure you are aware of important things like whether you can terminate your lease early and who pays for any repairs before you sign anything. And make sure everything is stated clearly in your lease agreement.
- #3 Take help where required – Looking for accommodation can be stressful especially, if you’re an international student. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from someone you know to go check the neighbourhood out for you or help negotiate your rental price. You might want to ask someone to help translate your lease agreement if it is in Italian. You can also find support at your university’s accommodation office, even if you are renting privately.
- #4 Beware of scams – Be careful of people asking you to pay rent before signing a contract. Only pay once you’ve seen the place, read and signed an agreement and are fully satisfied with everything.
Now that you know everything about finding your home-away-from-home in Italy, you can think about how you’re going to make the most of your time in the country.
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