The University of Turin – Studying Medicine in Italy

The City

Size

With just under 1 million people, Turin is the 4th largest city by population in Italy and strikes a nice balance for those of you who want to live in a place with all the amenities of a big city but without the stress. What’s nice as well is that unlike the more famous cities like Rome and Milan you won’t be getting hordes of tourists and the associated tourist traps encroaching on your day-to-day.

Turin was actually the first capital of Italy and is filled with beautiful architecture, museums, and palaces and is situated right next to the alps. If you like a medium-sized city with beautiful scenery, this might be the choice for you!

The University Location

The University of Turin itself has many campuses around the city, and you will be spending your university hours in only one of them, which is the campus at San Luigi. This campus is actually outside the city of Turin and in a town called Orbassano, but do not worry too much about that. It is definitely possible to live in Turin and travel to Orbassano daily. 

Depending on your location in Turin it will take between 1 hour to 30 minutes to travel to the university. Bus 43 will take you all the way to the university and leaves roughly every 25 minutes. Obviously, if you choose to live in Orbassano the travel time will be less, but keep in mind that living in a small town can be very restrictive on your student life. Almost all students prefer to live in Turin as appose to Orbassano.

Here you can see a typical travel route for someone living in Turin, and the time taken to travel by bus to the university. 

Transport

Transport is quite good by Italian standards in Turin. The city has a metro, trams, and buses and is easily traversable by bikes, electric scooters and of course by car if you have one. The city is medium-sized and the traffic is quite manageable. 

Monthly costs for buses, trams and trains are about 30 euros per month, however, there are student discounts available. This year there was a considerable (roughly 80%) discount on a yearly ticket!

Weather

Being surrounded by the alps means that the city experiences very little wind. In winter you can expect it to get quite chilly (expect around 7-10 degrees Celsius) and in summer quite hot and humid (expect around 25-31 degrees Celsius).

Cost of Living

Overall Turin is quite affordable for the northern part of Italy, but it is more expensive than the typical southern city

Rent is quite affordable compared to some other northern cities. Obviously, rent will vary based on where in the city you are, but if you pick a cheap area and get one or two flatmates you can expect to pay around 250-350 euros per month. If you want to live in the fancier part of town and in your own single apartment, then expect around 600+ euros. 

A typical standard restaurant meal in an average area can cost around 10-15 euros depending on the cuisine, and this will rise to about 20-25 euros if you go to the scenic city centre

Safety

Turin is safe. You can generally feel safe being outside after dark, but of course, being street-smart as you would in any other European city is recommended. Pickpocketing is also quite rare here. As there are very few tourists compared to other Italian cities you are unlikely to encounter many scammers on the street. Of course, always use your common sense. 

Activities

Turin has pretty much everything the typical city offers you. You will have easy access to gyms (which usually cost about 20-30 euros per month), restaurants, bars, parks and more. The city is very student friendly and there will be international students not only in medicine but from engineering (studying in the Polytechnico), the humanities, sciences, law etc (in other University of Turin campuses). There are also a lot of exchange students from Erasmus that come to Turin every year, so you will have plenty of internationals to meet. 

The University

The campus is quite basic. You will have all your lectures at the university hospital in San Luigi Orbassano. There are lecture halls, a small library, cafes/bars, study areas and outdoor areas in this facility. The university is actually within the hospital, so you will not be far from the patients. Here is a view of the lecture halls from the outside

The Students

There are 102 places each year (as of writing this article), meaning you will have plenty of people to get to know. Generally, a bit above half of the students are from Italy, with the rest coming from all over the world. You are also likely to meet a few Erasmus exchange students in your class.

Exam Structure

Most exams are oral exams, with a few being written. In some cases, it is mandatory to both a written and an oral exam to pass the course. You can generally attempt an exam 3 times per academic year and there are 7 times per year each exam is held.

MD-PhD Program

A selective program offered by the university for students who later wish to study for a PhD. Students will undergo university as normal, but will on the side also study other subjects to fast-track them to a PhD

This highly competitive program provides students with a considerable financial scholarship amount, free accommodation and free university tuition.

More information here https://www.medicine-mdphd.unito.it/do/home.pl 

Ranking

There are various rankings for the medical school in Turin, but all agree that it is one of the better courses in Italy. A typical ranking agency places Turin anywhere from 15th to 5th in the country. Do not worry too much about official rankings however, they are not that important.

Tuition Fees

Currently, tuition fees are set at a maximum of 2800 euros per year. 

If applying from a poor family background this can be reduced to 156 euros per year.

You also have the option (if your parents do not live in Italy) to base your income on the GDP per capita of your parent’s country. This will mean tuition can range from 300 to 1000 euros based on the GDP per capita of the country in question

Competitiveness to Entry (Test IMAT Score)

Of course, the exact score varies every year. In general, Turin is considered less competitive than most northern Universities (lower than Milan, Pavia, and Bergamo) but in general higher than southern universities. However, this can easily change based on applications for the year in question. Here are the past IMAT scores required for entry.

20212020201920182017
EU3642.338.836.837.7
Non-EU40.844.939.931.3N/A
Past IMAT Test scores required for entry to the University of Turin to study medicine in Italy

Scholarships

Anyone can apply for a scholarship based on family income. Your eligible amount can range from 0 to 7000 euros per year. This is available to both European and Non-European students. Furthermore, canteen meals are available for a very low price for eligible applicants. There are also subsidised dormitories. 

Scholarships are handled by Edisu: https://www.edisu.piemonte.it/en 

You can find more information on the university’s dedicated scholarship page: https://www.unito.it/servizi/lo-studio/borse-e-premi-di-studio 

Canteen Facilities

There is a Mensa (state-sponsored fee-reduced canteen) as well as a bar, café and restaurant at the university campus.

Educational Facilities

You will have access to lecture halls, an anatomy simulation centre, labs, and of course an entire hospital where you can do your clerkships. 

Attendance Requirements

You are most often required to attend 70% of your lectures. Failure to do this can result in a lower grade, extra tasks before sitting the exam and in the absolute worst case the requirement to attend the course again (very rare).

For many courses these attendance rules are not enforced, you will have to see what each lecturer is like. 

What Subjects will I Study?

Below you will see a summary of the courses you will study (excluding electives, practicals and hospital rotations). 

Year 1

  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • English language in a medical context
  • Physics
  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Genomics and Bioinformatics
  • Anatomy
  • Histology

Year 2

  • Physiology
  • Immunology
  • Pathology
  • Anatomy
  • Microbiology
  • Semiotics and Clinical Methodology
  • Pathophysiology

Year 3

  • Cardiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Medical English
  • Orthopaedics 
  • Traumatology
  • Urology
  • Hematology
  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Metabolic and Gastroenteric Diseases

Year 4

  • Head and neck diseases
  • Nephrology
  • Rheumatology 
  • Clinical immunology
  • Neurology
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry

Year 5

  • Internal medicine
  • Medical Genetics
  • Laboratory medicine
  • Radiology
  • Statistics
  • Mother-child and reproductive medicine
  • Oncology

Year 6

  • Emergency medicine
  • Surgery
  • Public health
  • Occupational medicine
  • Internal medicine

You can find the official courses here. Go to “Studying” then “Courses” and click the year of study. Note that often separate courses are grouped together into a single course. https://www.medinto.unito.it/ 

More Information

Link to the medical school homepage: https://www.medinto.unito.it

Link to the university homepage: https://my.unito.it/

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