Università di Bologna

Bologna is the lively, historic capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, in northern Italy.

Founded in 1088, the Università di Bologna is considered the oldest operating university in the world. Lovers of Italian culture and history will be right at home in the bustling city of Bologna, with nearly 1 million people living in the greater area of Bologna, in Northern Italy.

Bologna itself was declared as the "City of Music" in 2006 by UNESCO, and is ranked at the top of the Italian cities in terms of quality of life. The University currently has approximately 100,000 students in its 23 faculties, with campuses in Cesena, Forlì, Ravenna and Rimini. Bologna is has maintained its high esteem and is consistently ranked highly - currently #182 out of the top 200 universities in the world, and #1 across Italy, according to QS World Rankings 2014.

Key Information


Bologna, Italy




Fall, Winter

Program Type


Application Information

Application Status


20-21 applications

Please keep an eye on this page. If spaces open up, this application will show 'open'

University-specific additional requirements

One academic reference required - see the Eligibility section below.

21-22 applications

Opens Nov. 1, 2020

Program Details

Study is restricted to Arts & Humanities or Sciences students.

The Faculty of Arts & Humanities at the University of Bologna offers a variety of programs, including Anthropology, Archaeology, Art History, Classics, Communication, Film Studies, Geography, History, Italian Studies, Literature, Music, and Philosophy, in addition to unique programs such as Fashion studies and European studies. 

The Faculty of Science at the University of Bologna offers a variety of programs, including Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Geology, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Physics, and Statistics. 
The exchange agreement with Bologna for science students falls under TASSEP. 
TASSEP is the Trans-Atlantic Science Student Exchange Program, a consortium designed specifically with the curricular needs of science students in mind. Canadian science students have access to a variety of European Partners in the consortium.

The European system works on the number of credit points rather than courses - however, in terms of course transfers, 6 ECTS = 1 UCalgary half-course equivalent. At Bologna, students are typically expected to take 24-30 ECTS (12-15 UCalgary units) per semester.

The Transfer Credit Database contains information on previous courses which have been transferred from this institution, however students are not limited to these courses and are strongly encouraged to contact their academic advisor for any other specific transfer credit information.

The academic year is divided into two semesters, which run from late September to mid January and from early February to late June.

Please Note: Italian visa applications may require travel to the Edmonton or Vancouver consulates to finalize your study permit and take biometrics as needed, in advance of your departure. Please check with the embassy or consulate, or the government website regarding study visa/permit requirements as soon as possible to verify if this will be required for you.

  1. Costs

    Exchange students pay their tuition and academic fees to the University of Calgary. Other expenses are paid directly to the service provider. Also, remember to include things like visas, insurance, vaccinations, etc. in your budget planning.

    Cost of living information can be found online.

    Bologna cost comparison vs. Calgary: Click Here

    Please Note: Italian visa applications may require travel to the Edmonton or Vancouver consulates to finalize your study permit and take biometrics as needed, in advance of your departure. Please check with the embassy or consulate, or the government website regarding study visa/permit requirements as soon as possible to verify if this will be required for you.

    Student Tips: "Things are a bit more expensive in Bologna [vs. the rest of Italy] because typically the north of Italy is more expensive than the south. But housing was cheaper [than in Calgary], though going out and food costs were almost the same."

  2. Funding

    Did you know that you can take your UCalgary funding with you on exchange? 
    Since you remain a degree seeking student at UCalgary while on exchange you remain eligible for any 
    awards and scholarships you are eligible to receive from the university as well as student loans.

    If you are accepted by our office to study at Bologna, you may be eligible for the following scholarships:

    Calgary Italian Sportswomen's Dinner Association Award for Study in Bologna - one annual award of $500, open to students accepted to Bologna. Selection is based on academic merit, and applicants must have completed at least 24 units (8 half-courses) in the previous Fall/Winter terms before award application. Those selected for Bologna will be sent details on the scholarship application due August 15th each year - note, an additional letter of recommendation may be required.   

    International Study Travel Grant: Students studying abroad may be eligible for the University of Calgary's International Study Travel Grant. For more information on eligibility, application details and deadlines, please click here.

    Italian Study Abroad Award: One award, provided by Calgary's local Italian community and facilitated by the UCalgary Italian Department. For more information, please click here.

    Fogolâr Furlan di Calgary Scholarship in Italian Studies: One award, managed by The Calgary Foundation. Students who are Alberta residents working towards a major or minor in Italian Studies may be eligible. 

    Please click here for sources of funding as recommended by the UCalgary School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures & Cultures.

    Please click here for more information on funding provided by the UCalgary Study Abroad office.

The University of Bologna helps exchange students in finding accommodation. Although there are residence halls available, the number of rooms is limited. However, it is fairly easy to find accommodation in single or double rooms in student flats.

Student Tips: "I went to Bussola (the university agency) in order to search apartments. They would look up the landlords that were searching for either males or females, how many people, price range, etc. Afterwards, they would give this information to you and you had to call them to set up an appointment to see the apartment. Pretty much all the housing in Bologna is “off campus”, and I would recommend considering location as one of the more important factors in your decision. There are university residences but the concept of the university being in one place, like in Canada, and then the city as separate doesn’t exist. All the faculties are spread across the city centre, but I liked where I lived “off campus” and I would say the location was key. Definitely think about the proximity to a hospital, transportation that would take you to the main train station, a supermarket, and a pharmacy. Also, think about getting to your classes."

This exchange is open to regular, full-time undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts or Sciences, who have completed at least 1 full year (10 courses) at the post-secondary level, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 (B-). Students in the Faculty of Science may apply to this exchange through TASSEP.

Students must also have completed a minimum of two 300-level courses in Italian or possess equivalent language skills to participate in this exchange.

Download the "How to Apply" package for information on how to complete your application, FAQs, and what to do after you've applied. Applications will not be considered until they are complete.

Do I have to speak Italian?

Yes - the language requirement is set to help students function both in their studies as well as in day-to-day life. While many young Italians will be able to speak English, it can be a significant challenge to complete day-to-day tasks without at least an intermediate understanding of Italian.

Student Tips: "Italians in general are very carefree, and they like to take their time when doing things. "Punctual" seems to mean being 15 or 30 minutes late at its best."

What's special about Bologna?

Student Tips: "There were tons of libraries, they were often the most beautiful buildings (though a little crowded around exams). Try to visit as many as possible they are all so beautiful and different! The university had volleyball and basketball available on the weekends through student groups - in Italy the student groups were mostly independent from the university. I walked everywhere; it helps you find your way the city. It gets rainy, but the portici (arcs over the sidewalks) are very useful. I often wore rubber boots which were useful, and an umbrella is a necessity if you don’t live in the center. Transit is generally on time with many busses operating all over the city. I would recommend finding a place to live in the center. "

What supports and services are available at Bologna?

Bologna offers a wide variety of support services for students with accessibility needs. 

For information on accessibility of campuses across Europe, ESN has created "MappEd!" which allows you to check the accessibility of universities and cities across Europe. For city-specific services and places in Europe, the Jaccede interactive platform (website and/or smartphone app - both Android and iOS) also provides a searchable user-built database to identify important accessibility information of public places and locations.

Have questions?

Study Abroad 101

Please watch this YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment.

Watch Study Abroad 101

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how an exchange might align with your degree (e.g. best time to go, what courses you need).

After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/transfer credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.

Find your academic advisor

Study Abroad Advising

If you have questions about this exchange program, you can meet with the specific advisor for this program by booking an appointment through the link below. Appointments are currently on zoom.

1. Select “Book an Appointment”
2. Select “Study Abroad Appointments”
3. Select “Book by Appointment Type”
4. Read through the list of appointment types to select the most appropriate type and view available times.

Book an appointment

The exchange advisor for this program is: Saskia Schaelicke

How to Apply

Download the application guide

This PDF contains information on how to complete your application and what to do after you have applied.

Application guide

Identify three programs of interest

We recommend applying for your top three programs for the priority application deadline, as placement may be competitive. We will assess your applications in ranked order.

Check requirements and deadlines

These may vary by program, so check the individual program pages and make sure that you are aware of any different application deadlines or eligibility requirements.

Start your application

Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!

Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.


International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.

For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular study abroad program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Study Abroad Team will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

Please note if you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Study Abroad Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.