With just over 200,000 people in the city and 650,000 in the metropolitan area, Messina is a small city. Located on the warm cosy Island of Sicily, you will have access to beaches, historical sites, and modern amenities at a very affordable price.
If you are happy for a more quiet town with a great beach culture, with a touch of typical southern Italian chaos added in, then Messina could be for you! If you prefer the big city or want a more functioning place to live, then perhaps consider the northern cities.
The University Location
Your classes will be in the “Biological Tower” at Azienda Ospedaliera Policlinico Universitario “G. Martino” (the university hospital). You will do both lectures and rotations at this hospital, so it will function as both a campus and place of hospital experience. Given the small size of Messina, you will not be further than half an hour from your university.
As a student, you will pay just €30 per year for a transport pass covering all transport in the city. This will include the bus and the tram. The city does not have a metro. It is very easy to travel out of the city, either to other parts of the island or to the mainland. In general, the small size of the city means that walking and cycling are great options as well to get to where you need to be (but given the cheap transport ticket, this is hardly necessary if you don’t enjoy it).
The winters are mild in Messina, expect lows of about 10 degrees Celsius. In summer it gets hot and can be around 33 degrees Celsius. Luckily you are never far from the beach. The climate is all round very good, with a lot of sunny days. You will get some rain in winter, and you will not get snow in winter.
Cost of Living
The price of rent is very cheap compared to other parts of Italy/Europe. Expect around 200 euros for a shared apartment, and around 300 if you chose to live alone.
Transport as mentioned is very affordable at 30 euros per year.
Food is cheaper than in the north of Italy, especially if you shop at a market
Eating out can be quite affordable, if you avoid fine dining and restaurants aimed at tourists then 10 euros can get you a decent dinner.
When people think of Sicily the first thing that often comes to mind is the mafia. However, they are very unlikely to bother you as their domain is organised crime, not petty crime. You should of course exercise normal common sense when being out alone at night, but overall it is a safe place.
Restaurants, swimming pools, bars, nightclubs and of course amazing beaches. You will also have access to many historical sites and buildings and can tour the island easily by bus. Sicily will not be boring.
You will spend your time at a university hospital, meaning the campus is quite basic. But you will have lecture halls, hospital facilities, labs and a nice view of the coast.
With 45 EU seats and 38 non-EU seats, you will have a medium to large-sized class. The class will also be quite diverse, with a fairly even split between Italians and non-Italians from around the world.
Most exams are oral, but sometimes there can be a written exam required to progress to the oral. Occasionally there can be just a written exam, which is often multiple-choice.
Each subject has an exam 7 times per year. For most exams, you can choose to reject your grade. However, some professors have started a new system whereby once given a grade you must accept it. Meaning that if you are not doing well in an exam, you should ask to quit the exam as appose to waiting for the final grade (it is strange, I know).
Here is what the university officially claims is its policy (remember things can be different in practice, but do not assume it will be different)
“Can I refuse the mark?
No, it is not possible. The student is allowed to withdraw from a written exam at any time during the exam. The student is allowed to withdraw during an oral exam until the Commission has expressed the final evaluation. The student who has withdrawn is allowed to repeat the exam in the following exam session.”
Official rankings place Messina among the lower-ranked universities for medicine in Italy (around 40th to 26th). However, you should not care much about official rankings, they hardly matter at all in terms of future employment.
International students: pay 750 euros.
Italian students: fee-based on ISEE (family income) at a maximum of 2000 euros.
Messina is not particularly competitive compared to the other universities. Below are the past minimum scores required to enter the program. Note that these can change considerably in the future.
Scholarships are handled by Ersu Messina, here you can apply for a lump sum and accommodation scholarships based on your family income. Find out more here https://www.ersumessina.it/
The university also offers a rental assistance scholarship based on family income. You can apply here https://www.unime.it/didattica/servizi-e-agevolazioni/unita-agevolazioni-e-premialita-studenti/programma-casa-unime
Part-Time Work at The University
The university does offer assistance in getting part-time work at the university. You can investigate further here https://www.unime.it/it/servizi-agli-studenti/collaborazioni-part-time-studenti
There is a Mensa (state-sponsored fee-reduced canteen) as well as a bar, café and restaurant at the university campus.
Regarding attendance requirements, the university officially says…
“Attendance is mandatory for each subject of any academic year. The attendance records of each
Integrated Course will be issued following the achievement of at least 75% attendance, as long as
the hours attended for each discipline within the Integrated Course are not less than 50%.
What happens if enrolment occurs after the beginning of the course and I don’t reach 75%
- If possible, the professors of the first year will give you the possibility to make up classes if you ask for it.
Can I ask for the recovery after the first year?
- If you don’t reach the 75% attendance, you will be enrolled in the first repeating year.
Do I need to pass all the exams to access the following year?
- No, you need at least 75% attendance in each Integrated Course in order to pass to the next year.”
What Will I Study?
You can find the list of courses here…
FAQ about the course: https://archivio.unime.it/sites/default/files/FAQ.pdf
University website: https://archivio.unime.it/it