At 400,000 inhabitants in the city proper and 1,000,000 in the metropolitan area, Bologna is the largest city (and capital) in the Emilia Romagna region. It is also one of the wealthiest cities in Italy and scores very high on quality of life (in 2020, it ranked 1st out of 107 Italian provinces).
The city is conveniently sized. You are able to traverse the city very quickly (usually about half an hour is all it will take to get from one end to another). This does come at the cost of the city having fewer activities than some of the bigger cities, but you are definitely not starved of leisure. Bars, restaurants, parks, clubs etc are found all over the city.
Bologna is a vibrant, well-organised and well-balanced student city. If you prefer a more well-functioning city with a traditional yet laid-back ambience, then Bologna could be for you!
The University Location
Your lectures and rotations will be at the university hospital. This means that, unlike some other degrees, you will not have a massive university campus, and will mainly interact with other medical students during your university days. This is the norm for most English-taught medical programs in Italy.
Buses and trams make for affordable travel options, especially with the student discounts available to you. There is however no metro. Due to the small size of the city walking and particularly cycling are very good ways to get around for free.
Warm summers (at a high of about 30 degrees Celsius) and cooler winters (at a low of about 0 degrees Celsius) are the norms for Bologna. You can also expect a bit more rain on average compared to other cities in Italy, but overall the weather is nice and sunny.
Cost of Living
As one of the richer cities in Italy, you can expect things to be a bit more pricey than usual. Regarding rent, you can bring the cost down by sharing an apartment with roommates, which can let you get an apartment for around 250-300 euros per month. If you go for a single-room apartment, expect 450+ euros (depending of course on quality and location).
Bologna is safe. Of course, you should still exercise common sense when out and about, but crime is very low in general.
Restaurants and bars are everywhere, while clubs and nightlife, in general, are quite lacking as compared to the larger cities. You will find beautiful piazzas, castles and churches that give this city its charm. This city is best suited to students who prefer a quiet nightlife and more social life day-to-day.
The campus is typical of Italian medical schools in English. A university hospital as well as lecture halls. You can find pictures of where you will spend your days on the university website here
With 70 EU places and 20 non-EU places, you will have a large class. This is good for those of you who want a large pool of new people to meet. The majority of the EU spots will be filled by Italian students, while the non-EU will come from all over the world.
Exams come in a mixed format. They can be oral or written or mixed. You will have 7 times per year that you can take an exam, and you are free to reject an exam grade and take it again if you are not satisfied with your grade.
Bologna often ranks somewhere between 1st and 3rd in Italy for medical education. While that may seem impressive, this should not be the basis of your decision. Rankings mean very little in terms of what your future prospects as a doctor will be.
Based on your family income (ISEE) you can pay anywhere from €0 to €3,315,00. You will also have to pay €157 as a tax and stamp fee on top of the fees. For more information on fees, check out the university’s dedicated page here https://www.unibo.it/en/teaching/enrolment-transfer-and-final-examination/tuition-fees-and-exemptions
Bologna is often one of the most competitive universities to get into. While not indicative of future scores, you can see the past IMAT scores here…
Regional scholarships are handled by Ergo, which can provide lump sum payments, dormitory resistance and reduced canteen food (at Mensa canteens). You can learn more about Ergo on their website here http://www.er-go.it/index.php?id=5963
The university also provides certain grants, which you can investigate here https://www.unibo.it/en/services-and-opportunities/study-grants-and-subsidies/study-grants-for-international-students
For a list of all the types of benefits the university can provide, you can see their official scholarships page here https://www.unibo.it/en/services-and-opportunities/study-grants-and-subsidies/study-grants-and-subsidies
There is a Mensa (state-sponsored fee-reduced canteen) as well as a bar, café and restaurant at the university campus.
You are most often required to attend 66% 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 Will I Study?
Here is the list of courses you will study during your degree: https://corsi.unibo.it/singlecycle/MedicineAndSurgery/course-structure-diagram/piano/2022/9210/000/000/2022
Course website: https://corsi.unibo.it/singlecycle/MedicineAndSurgery/overview