First of all, you will be in Bergamo, NOT Milan! While about only 1 hour by car from Milan it is a completely different experience living in Bergamo than it is living in Milan. Forget the big city, Bergamo is a small provincial town. But this comes with many charms. Although maybe not a city you are familiar with as an international, this city is breathtaking. Rolling hills, mountains, and picturesque buildings will be your day-to-day. And since it is not far from a big city, you do not necessarily have to sacrifice the joys of the city completely. Bergamo also has a bustling international airport, which will make travel to and from the city easy.
The University Location
The hospital you will spend your time at is Papa Giovanni XXII. Out of all the medical schools in English in Italy, this hospital is probably the most modern (there are even automated robots that deliver items to patients). The modern feel of the hospital can definitely help boost your ego and make you feel like a cutting-edge student. However, do not let this be your only deciding factor, it does necessarily mean that your training will be of any higher quality than any of the other cities.
Public transport is quite restricted since Bergamo is a small town. The main way to get around is by bus. An annual bus pass will cost you around €150. Bicycles are a good alternative, and if your budget permits a car can come in very handy.
The weather is quite volatile, but expect humidity throughout the year. 30 degrees Celsius in summer and 0 in winter is the typical range that you can expect to experience. Snow is rare, and it rains on average 83 days a year.
Cost of Living
Bergamo is not the cheapest option, but it is more affordable than Milan. It is more expensive than a southern big city but cheaper than a big northern city.
Rent can cost you a bit over 400 euros per month for a single room, this can be reduced if you get an apartment with roommates.
An annual bus pass is around 150 euros.
Food cost is about the same as in any northern area, and it depends on your taste and where you buy it from.
Bergamo is safe. It is a small provincial city so being outside at night is completely fine. Of course, you should exercise common caution nonetheless.
The city is small, so if you enjoy busy city activities, clubbing at night and generally enjoy a more hectic vibe, then this will not be for you. If you like the peace of quiet of a smaller city, like being close to nature and prefer less intense activities, this could be for you.
Being close to the mountains you will have easy access to hiking trails, skiing, and many other activities.
The campus is more modern than most of the other English medical schools. The university also partners with the University of Bergamo, meaning you can use these facilities. The main campus is also located in Milan, meaning that if your travel to Milan you can use these as well. As far as hospital quality goes, it is probably the most developed of your English-taught medical school choices in Italy
There are 25 EU seats and 13 Non-EU seats for Bicocca. The EU seats are mainly filled by Italians, the non-EU are completely mixed. The small class size can be quite beneficial as you will be able to get closer to your professors and the class as a whole. Of course, the downside is there are fewer people to meet.
You can retake exams as many times as you want, but only 3 times per academic year. The exams are held 7 times per year (about once every two months).
Usually, exams are in both written and oral format, with multiple choice questions and essay-style questions being prevalent.
You need to pass prerequisite subjects before taking the exam for the subject following. For instance, in order to take the exam of a 2nd year anatomy course you would need to pass the exam of the anatomy course in the 1st year. You may still attend the 2nd year course and will not be held back a year, however.
Rankings vary depending on the ranking agency, but Bicocca has often been placed first in Italy. Do not let rankings influence your decision too much, however, as they have almost no impact on your future employment possibility and mean very little in terms of the university experience.
Tuition fees can vary from €156 to a maximum of €3600 per year. Your parent’s country of residence can be used to determine what this amount will be (based on the country’s GDP per capita).
Alternatively, you can also base your tuition fee on your family’s income, with poorer families paying no fees.
Check out the university’s dedicated page regarding school fees to see what applies to you. https://en.unimib.it/services/offices-and-facilities/fees-and-funding
Competitiveness (IMAT Test Score)
Bicocca is considered one of the more competitive universities based both on the appeal of the university and the limited number of seats. Of course, the actual cut-off score changes every year, but if you are non-EU you should be confident in getting a high score if you wish to apply to this university. Below are the previous final IMAT cut-offs…
Scholarships based on family financial situation and merit exist and are found here
There is a Mensa cafeteria which allows you access to canteen food at 1 euro, regardless of your family income, or for free if your family income is low enough. There are also cafes, restaurants and bars that charge normal prices.
You need to attend 70% of lectures to sit the exam, however, it is up to the lecturer’s discretion whether this is enforced or not.
What Subjects Will I Study?
You can find a list of the subjects you will study here. What is unique about this university is that technology courses are integrated into the medicine and surgery degree, which provides an interesting mix to your studies
Course website: https://en.unimib.it/