La Sapienza University of Rome Guide

Sapienza University of Rome - University Crest/logo

Sapienza University of Rome is a collegiate research university located in Rome. Formally known as Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”, it is the largest European university by enrollments and one of the oldest in history, founded in 1303. The University is one of the most prestigious Italian universities, commonly ranking first in national rankings and in Southern Europe.
– Wikipedia

Sapienza University of Rome - Sapienza university building

 

STUDENT GUIDE INCLUDING THE ENTIRE CURRICULUM AND TIMETABLES CAN BE DOWNLOADED FROM HERE: Student Guide 2017-2018

The typical academic year follows this structure:

  • October-December: First Semester lessons
  • End of December: Marks the beginning of Christmas holidays
  • Early January: Remainder of Semester 1 classes
  • Rest of January: Study break
  • February: One month study break; Beginning of Exam season
  • March-May: Second Semester classes and one week Easter break.
  • June-July: Study break and exam session
  • August: University is closed
  • September: Study break and exam session

Q: First semester subjects:

  • Medical Physics
  • Chemistry and Introduction to Biochemistry
  • Biology and Genetics (I)
  • Anatomy I
  • Basic Medical Scientific Methods (BMSM) I
    • History of Medicine
    • Internal Medicine
    • Statistics

Q: Second semester subjects:

  • Biochemistry I
  • Biology and Genetics (II)
  • BMSM II
    • Psychology
    • Epidemiology
    • Legal Medicine
  • Histology and Embryology (including Cytology)

Q: Are the professors fluent in English? Can I easily understand them ?
I’ve never had any problems following lectures. While the professors speak with accents (obviously), and have very small pronunciation errors (such as muscle as mus-kel) their coherence is never hindered by it. During an oral exam their comprehension levels of answers would never be doubted. Overall I’m very confident in the English levels of the professors and have no complaints.

Q: What about exams? What are they like?
The exams in La Sapienza are pretty much up to par with the Italian standard. While some subjects have a written part, it is usually to allow an attempt at the oral exams. However this is a standard in every public medical university in Italy.

Q: What are the tuition fees and living expenses?
Living expenses in Rome are hard to estimate as it varies greatly from person to person depending on their wishes. The tuition fees are a maximum of €1100 euro a year (if you receive no deductions from your ISEE). I pay €380 euro a month for a private double bedroom which is a 30 minute walk from university, close to all amenities that I could possibly need, including a central bus and train station. However a lot of students prefer to live closer to the university (10/15 minute walk) which can increase the rent up to €500 euro a month for a private room. Bills usually cost no more than €40 euro a month.

For Italian students the school fees are calculated slightly differently (family ISEE), a more detailed breakdown can be found by clicking here.

Sapienza University of Rome - Table showing the different fees for students in developing countries and other countries with text explaining what countries qualify as developing

Q: I heard some universities offer Free Italian language courses? Is it the same for La Sapienza?
Yes, the course secretary organises Italian classes which are usually held twice a week completely free of charge for students enrolled in the programme.

Q: Do we study in the morning or afternoon? How are the classes organised?

Classes usually start at 9am and end around 2pm. There are optional and additional anatomy labs on Monday evenings, while as in semester 2 there are histology labs in the evenings once every few weeks.

Sapienza University of Rome - 1st year medical student's semester 1 timetable Sapienza University of Rome - 1st year medical student's semester 2 timetable

Q: What about accommodation?
Like most other universities Sapienza doesnt have private dorms (LazioDSU might) but works with companies (such as Sturent.it) to help students find accommodation. However most students opt for finding housing privately via sites such as Easystanza or Spotahome.

Q: What are the clinical years like in Sapienza?
Starting from 3rd year, students start officially spending time in the hospitals as part of their learning experience. However in first year students are given badges to access the hospital and are more than welcome to follow doctors around.

Q: Do we get paid for practical lessons ?
Students are not paid for the experience they gain as part of their mandatory education.

Sapienza University of Rome - Part of one of the university buildings