4 Reasons Why this Italian City is a Hit with International Students

4 Reasons Why this Italian City is a Hit with International Students

Stephanie Lukins

Updated May 18, 2020 Updated May 18

Sponsored by University of Padua

Situated in northern Italy, Padua has been a top study destination since its university’s establishment in 1222. The three-century long rule by the Republic of Venice ensured the freedom of teaching, research and study which attracted many of the best scholars and students from all over the world. Not to mention its stunning blend of culture and architecture, along with some of the best food and drink in the world.

To find out what else makes Padua an attractive study destination for international students, we spoke to a few of them from the University of Padua to find out.

An exciting city with a small town feel

“There’s always something to do, and you will quickly feel at home in Padua's historic streets,” said US student, Ysadora Ashton Mirabelli-Montan, who’s studying the Master’s degree program in Italian Food and Wine.

Stylish boutiques along with independent cafés, bars and restaurants are often frequented by the young and hip student population in Padua. Within the university campus and beyond, there’s a real sense of international community here to make you feel at home in no time – no matter where you’re from.

30 percent of the local population are students, so it’s safe to say Padua is very much a student-centered town with lots of things to see and do, according to Ysadora: “There are all types of entertaining places where you can spend time with friends.”

Music lovers can also rejoice as Padua plays host to a myriad of concerts and music festivals: from trap music to opera, jazz to pop, many national and international music artists are invited to perform in various locations around the city throughout the year.

Both the city and university of Padua are home to over 20 museums between them. Padua also boasts Europe’s first university botanical garden, Orto Botanico di Padova, which was established by the University of Padua in 1545.

Padua is no stranger to olde-worlde markets either. Each day you can pick up fresh fruit and vegetables in abundance, or root your way through the flea market for excellent vintage finds.

It’s home to Italy’s second oldest university

Founded in 1222, the University of Padua is one of Italy’s oldest and most prestigious universities. Its range of multidisciplinary degree programs, many of which are taught exclusively in English, attract hundreds of international students to study here each year.

“I chose to study here because the program has courses that fit my needs and interests and there are opportunities to perform research here,” said Greek student, Christos Giannakidis, who’s studying the Master’s degree program in Physics.

The university’s distinguished reputation for research and world-class teaching staff also make it an attractive option for students from both home and abroad.

“I chose to study at the University of Padua because it’s one of the best universities in Italy and it had my desired master’s program,” said Astghik Stepanyan, an Armenian student who’s studying the Master’s degree program in Medical Biotechnologies.

“The professors are great, intelligent and always try to improve themselves according to students’ requirements,” she said.

The University of Padua also boasts its very own ‘Buddy Scheme’, where international students on their Erasmus, exchange or full degree course can be paired up with a master’s student at the university who is there to help them with any query or issue they have about university life. 

And for those who are looking to up expand their language repertoire, the university’s Tandem Face2Face program is a great way to do this. The language learning scheme lets you partner with another student whose native language is different from yours, enabling you both to develop your language skills.

The food and drink is enough to write home about

Padua is allegedly where Aperol, the key ingredient to the world-famous ‘Aperol Spritz’, was invented.

“Spritz is the best drink I have ever tasted,” confessed Ysadora.

It’s a local evening tradition for groups of friends and couples to enjoy a glass or two of Spritz in one of Padua’s piazzas, and this makes for a chilled and relaxing atmosphere across the city.

There’s more to life in Padua than Aperol though. Studying and living in Padua means it won’t be long before you’re sampling some of Italy’s finest cuisine. From pasta to pizza, gelato to coffee, the Italian food scene will always leave you wanting more. 

It’s a bike-friendly city

Padua is a city that loves to cycle. With almost everyone taking to two wheels to get around the city, it’s enough to give the likes of Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Oxford a ride for their money (pun intended).

“It’s a beautiful city, and the roads are almost always flat so you can cycle around easily,” said Astghik.

Although, this doesn’t necessarily mean everyone follows the rules of the road. Be sure to keep your cycle helmet nearby as you embark on your leisurely cycle rides, whether it’s to your 9am lecture or an afternoon chill in the park with friends.

Still not convinced?

This article was originally published in November 2019 . It was last updated in January 2020

Written by

As the sponsored content writer for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com , Stephanie creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics. 

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