Florence by choice

Local university popular among foreign students

Aimee Bateas
May 5, 2011

Among the immigrants coming to Italy an increasing number are students who come here in search of ‘new experiences' and to receive a more valuable education than they might in their countries of origin.


A recent study of foreign students attending Tuscan universities conducted by the La Pira International Student Centre, which has tracked education of young immigrants for decades, reveals that after the University of Bologna, the University of Florence boasts the largest international student body in Italy.


According to centre's director, Maurizio Certini, international students are a major part of the economic and cultural bridge between Italy and their countries of origin, as well as a catalyst for international relations.


The data reveals that international students in Italy are mainly women (58 percent), mostly from the Balkans and Eastern Europe (61 percent), or Asia (20 percent; especially from China).

Students interviewed said they chose to study at the University of Florence because the city was an ‘art and culture mecca.' 



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