Do I need an Italian language certificate to study in Italy?

John Roman, U-Multirank

January 14, 2020 10:11 (CET)

Do I need an Italian language certificate to study in Italy

Which abilities are tested during Italian language certification exams?

All non-EU students looking to study in a programme in Italian, must show proof of a B2 Italian language level. To do so, several Italian language certifications are available, which are issued by universities, cultural institutions and certified language schools in Italy and worldwide. The most known and used ones are the CELI (Italian Certification as a Foreign Language) and CILS (Certification of Italian as a Foreign Language). Both differ a lot depending on which level exam you are sitting for. However, all of them have a very similar format. To receive an Italian language certificate like CELI, or CILS, several parts of the language are tested, including:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Listening comprehension
  • Oral expression
  • Writing expression

The Italian certificates CELI and CILS are language tests for foreign learners of Italian who plan to study in Italy, or who require recognised certification of their language skills. Each section of the examinations is evaluated separately – therefore, in order to pass the exam, all four sections have to be passed. The test can be taken at selected locations in Italy, or abroad. All examination candidates receive the same tasks and the examinations are graded by trained raters. The CELI, or CILS language tests measures all four of the above listed language areas and provides you with detailed results to show you exactly where your strengths and weaknesses are.

The CELI and CILS exams are accepted by all Italian universities and requires a minimum rating of B2 on all four parts. More information about Italian language certificates can be found, here and here.

What are the benefits of the CELI and CILS exams?

  • CELI and CILS exams can be taken in Italy and other locations worldwide
  • Mock tests and preparation materials can be easily find online
  • All examination candidates can retake the exam if they are not satisfied with their scores

Do I need an Italian language certificate in Italy if I am applying for degree programmes offered in English?

If you’re considering enroling in an international degree programme (in English), you won’t need to take an Italian language test. Nevertheless, learning Italian is recommended to improve your Italian language skills for everyday life. Students interested in an international degree programme offered in English will need to show proof of English proficiency (native English speakers will need to show proof of their country of origin, e.g. Passport). To receive an English language certificate like the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), four parts of the language are tested, including: reading, listening, speaking and writing. For more information on IELTS, or TOEFL, click here.

How can I find the best university in Italy for me?

If you’re considering pursuing a degree in Italy, then let us help you find the best university for you. U-Multirank’s ‘For students’ track offers personalised university comparisons, so you can find the university that best matches you. Create your own personalised university rankings today, and compare universities according to what matters most to you.  To start, make sure to select your desired study destination and we’ll help guide you through the rest.


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