Ciao y’all! Naturally Kenya here, and today, I’m going to be talking about what it is like to study engineering in the US
versus Italy… Okay. Honestly. I don’t need these. I have contacts on, but I was
trying to make geek effect… nerd effect… you know… Because every engineer is in
a nerd, right? Sure… Ciao y’all! NaturallyKenya here, and welcome back to my
channel. Make sure to subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already. Today is
going to be a fun video, because I am talking about what it’s like to study
engineering in the US, where I’m from versus Italy. As some of you may or may
not know, I actually moved to Italy last year to complete my master’s degree, but
I have my bachelor’s degree in the U.S. in Civil Engineering. That’s a little bit
about me, but I’m gonna go into a few pointers of what it’s like in the U.S. vs
Italy. Number one is the format. For example, in the U.S. if you do a bachelor’s
degree it is four years and in Italy the bachelors is three years, plus the two
years that you will do for your master’s degree. So in total it will be five years.
Whereas, in the U.S. if you did a master’s and a bachelor’s degree, it would be a
total of six years. So, the calendar and exam schedule is definitely a lot
different than the U.S. here in Italy, because in the U.S. generally the semester
is fourteen or fifteen weeks long and following that, you have an exam
period… and following that, I mean three- four- or five days later you’ll start
taking your exams for your four or five classes, and the thing that’s most
different here is that you have approximately two months or even three
months to take these exams whereas in the U.S. you have your 15 weeks plus
three or four days of nothing, plus holiday days — but they’re “technically” not holiday days, because you have
to study– and then it’s followed by a few days of exams.
Maybe two weeks or ten days where you have to take
all of your exams in that time period. Here in Italy, I have noticed that the
semester varies between 13 or 14 weeks and then you have months to take the
exams. For example, the fall semester in the U.S. will be from the last week of
August to the first or second week of December, and then you have your two
weeks or so of exams. Here, I have classes from the end of September to
around the middle/end of December before Christmas holidays, with a
period of two or three weeks break, and then you have the option to take those
two exams in January and February of the following year, but also you have a
summer session that you can take those exams in, as well. Which I will go into
more detail later in the video about. So, to summarize, the semester in the U.S. is
a bit longer by two weeks, but the time you have to take your exams is minimal,
up to approximately ten days. Where in Italy, it’s 13 or 14 weeks of the
semester and you have two months + to take your exams in that time period. In
terms of admission, in the U.S. there were a lot of things that I had to submit
going from high school into University. For example, the application fee, there
was an essay, you had to obviously submit your transcripts, there was an option to
submit your resume as well, a letter of recommendation, your SAT or ACT scores,
like the list goes on and on. But for example, here in Italy, at least in my
case, I know there’s different specifications or degrees that have a
limited number of entrances available, but I just had to send my (for my
master’s degree), I had to send my high school transcript and my university
transcript and a passport photo and that was it. So it wasn’t like I had to do
brain surgery. There were no letters of recommendation – nothing like that for me
to study here in Italy. So the process was much faster in that sense. So you
didn’t have to prepare documents and documents and have a lot of different
effort, but like I said before this may just vary between universities in Italy.
So don’t get happy thinking that you might be in the same situation as I was. It could very well be quite different. Oh, the fun topic! The money
part. The tuition costs and fees… When you compare the U.S. to Italy this is
probably the most different topic. I’m actually going to be comparing the
school that I went to in the U.S. to Italy. So, for example, if I wanted to do a
master’s degree in the U.S. my tuition for the year will be approximately twelve
thousand dollars. Here it is! That is a full-time schedule and it calculates only the tuition. That’s not food, that’s
not water, that’s not housing, that’s not breathing, that’s not living, that’s
not socializing, that’s not walking down the street- well… okay. That could be
walking down the street, as long as you don’t have to take a bus or drive your
car. You’re good. That would be free. It’s essentially twelve thousand one
hundred and forty six dollars a year. I actually took it upon myself to convert
that into euros, so you can see that that’s one year. Here in Italy, the
tuition actually varies depending on if you choose a public or a private school.
It can be anywhere from five hundred euros from people from developing
countries, to up to maybe four or five thousand euros. But, I mean, if you go to a
public university, I think it would bury anywhere between one thousand euros and
maybe three thousand. I know that it definitely varies based on your personal
income and your university. And supposedly there are scholarships
available. There are Italian government scholarships available. The United States
was not on the eligible countries list, so I wasn’t that lucky. There are
definitely opportunities available for people coming from different countries.
You really just have to do your research and look into it. Because, generally, it’s not
that organized. Oh, the good one! This is also a good one. Homework, which just
seems so different here. So in university in the U.S. for some of my classes, we
would have to take assignments, do the exercises and they will be do the
following class. So, if this was a Monday- Wednesday-Friday class, you’ll be
assigned Monday exercises, they would be due Wednesday. You would be assigned exercises
Wednesday and then they would be due Friday and so on. Friday-Monday, Monday-Wednesday and
Wednesday-Friday so on and so on. Here, it’s not necessarily like that. It’s
your responsibility to pick up all the information in class. The only homework
I’ve had so far are group projects and that’s not necessarily a homework
assignment because it generally goes over the entire semester. So, it’s not
like tonight you have to do THIS tonight, it’s due tomorrow. It’s not like that at
all at least not in the situations that I have been in I would definitely say in
the U.S. there’s a lot more homework. There are a lot more projects at least
for a my a master’s degree there will be more projects I’m assuming in the U.S.
There’s just a lot more I guess you could say independent work in the U.S. So, let’s talk about exams. Earlier, I
mentioned how we have approximately 10 days to take all the four or five exams
of a full-time semester, where in Italy there are different exams for different
dates. So, for example, if I’m taking four or five classes and the semester ends, I
have different exam dates available to take the exam for each class. Which is
also very important, because the exam format in Italy is a lot different than
it is in the U.S. specifically in the U.S. you have one try. That means if you
destroy the exam… I don’t know anyone that’s that was able to redo a final
exam… you essentially have one, try that’s it, and it’s a written exam usually or it
could be a presentation or project and that percentage of the final exam really
depends on how many exams were in the class earlier in the semester. So if
there’s like a first exam or a midterm for 20% and second exam was 20% and the
rest is homework and participation and then you get to the final exam that
could be 30%, but here in Italy the exams are a lot different than what I’m used
to in the U.S. This is probably the most difficult part of Italian University in
my opinion. I know that Italian students have taken oral exams almost their whole
lives, but for people coming from other countries it may not be the normal thing
to do. For me, that’s not a normal thing to do. You definitely have to know
of the theory, all of the formulas for some classes. It’s really honestly much
more mentally exhausting than the exams in the US were. The professor can ask you
anything he or she wants and you have to be able to describe that in detail. At
the end of everything, I really think that I’m going to become a better
engineer for these oral exams, just because we don’t necessarily have that
place for you to formally present your ideas and topics immediately. Like,
you have to think and answer the question in two seconds. I guess it’s a
skill that I think everyone should have. It is something that’s definitely
growing on me I definitely don’t think even after the two years in the master’s
program I will be completely an expert in it because it is still new for me, but
I just like to try my best anytime I have one of these exams. The
grade scale. For example, in Italy you are graded on a thirty point scale. You have…
well… I don’t want to say unlimited tries. You have more than one try. I think you
could even have up to five, six, seven eight tries, whatever the program allows
you to have, just for passing one class. Of course you don’t want to use five or
eight tries to pass a class, but the opportunity is there. Whereas in the US
you have one try and that’s all, so it’s like hit-or-miss. In the U.S. there is a
4.0 scale for university. Actually, I’m going to put the scale here. This is the
university scale that’s used by my university in Texas. You have a thirty
point scale here in Italy and I think… 18 is passing. I’m going to put exactly what
the Italian system in the U.S. system and how they align here, just for a
little bit of a comparison. At the end of your entire master’s program, you’re
actually graded on the classwork and the thesis for your final mark.
And last but not least, the resources and support. This is very different from me
being a student from the U.S. and coming to Italy, because it’s very different in
the U.S. Professors will allow you to have open office hours Monday-Wednesday- Friday from noon to 2 p.m. or by appointment, but it seems like here in
Italy a lot of the time, if you needed help to meet with your professor
you would actually have to do it by appointment. The time limit of office
hours are very small. They’re not… I guess… published as readily as they are in the
U.S. Also in the U.S., with your tuition fees you actually get certain services. I remember there was a gym or if you needed counseling services, certain
things like that those were all free and included with the tuition… Mmm… I say free,
but I mean I hardly think $12,000 means you know it’s free…you know that’s not
really free. So guys, that is the overview of what studying engineering is like in
the U.S. versus Italy. There are definitely a lot of differences- not necessarily be
positive or negative- but just it’s just different. You know? If you have any
questions or comments leave them for me down below. Make sure to like this video,
if I helped you in any way. Make sure to subscribe to my channel if you haven’t
already and I will see you in the next one. Ciao y’all!


  1. stef chik said:

    in italy if you get a scholarship you don't have to give any money back while in the US scholarships are basically loans

    October 1, 2017
  2. stef chik said:

    where are you studying sapienza or torvergata?

    October 1, 2017
  3. Quirky1128 said:

    I'm currently in Grad School in California, wishing I had chosen a school overseas. I think the hardest part for me is the time frame. My program is 3 years long! It's a combination credential and Masters degree program and its just too long for me. I wish I would have chosen something shorter. I'm on my final year but I'm starting to loose steam. I also take a comprehensive exam instead of doing the thesis. If I had chosen the thesis route, it would have been a longer program 🙁

    October 1, 2017
  4. Raul Hernandez said:

    You are obviously a good student. I hope you manage to get your degree and I must say I do rather enjoy your energy . Great video, very informative.

    October 7, 2017
  5. Caygri Web said:

    It S true there is more maths in Italy? Study more math in engeneer

    October 30, 2017
  6. Ginevra Fort said:

    I'm itslian= io sono italiana

    November 6, 2017
  7. Luca R said:

    but the most important thing = would you marry me?

    November 14, 2017
  8. PaMaK said:

    The one country have history while the other does not one more difference

    November 17, 2017
  9. Leonardo Bueno said:

    Hi, congrats on the channel, very informative. I’m a Civil Engineer in Brazil and I’m thinking about making my Masters in Italy. How is the work situation? Did you get a job to help with the expenses?

    November 19, 2017
  10. midnight816 said:

    12k for a year in the US for a masters degree? Wow… that's pretty cheap.

    February 10, 2018
  11. bhargavi raj said:

    hii ! I'm bhargavii from civil engineering final year !! and I want to study my masters in italy . can you please suggest me about the best university to study and specialization to takee ..
    plss answer my questionn☺

    February 20, 2018
  12. Uditi Ojha said:

    After completing master's in engineering, is there any chances of getting job?

    March 19, 2018
  13. Patel Kudester said:

    What is visa procedure to get masters in Italy as I am form India and I don't know how to get visa in Italy ?

    April 19, 2018
  14. Stefano Zannoni said:

    Sempre più bella

    April 24, 2018
  15. Books Friends said:

    I am writing my thesis in Italian to have la laurea but i really want to go to Italy so i can master my Italian and re-study Italian literature + translation in Italy.. I have lost 8 years in Morocco without making nothing )':
    Here in Morocco i don't learn well and my goal is to be a literary translator (Arabic/Italian).

    May 3, 2018
  16. Pugile MoltoBene said:

    Hey, Kenya! I'm finishing my PhD in approximately 18 months, following completion of my dissertation, and I would like to study in Italy and, potentially, teach (en Inglese perche mi italiano ne e molto buono, ma sono sicuro che migliorera). How many Universities teach primarily in English?

    June 24, 2018
  17. Karim Kouaouci said:

    thanks that amazing i apreciate that good luck 😉 😉

    August 21, 2018
  18. Georgia Cristofori said:

    YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS 😍 completely shocked

    August 26, 2018
  19. SACHIN SABU said:

    I have a question…
    Am from India & I have completed my civil engineering bachelors in India but had 6 backlogs… So is it possible for me to get masters admission in Italy…!

    August 31, 2018
  20. Dany Macedoni00 said:

    In what University do you study?(Italy)

    November 26, 2018
  21. ADA FREEMAN said:

    Am planing coming for my master degree from Nigeria ,Africa,cus of the cost of studying Italy …cheap…pls what advice are you giving me cus am starting procedure on Thursday.

    January 7, 2019
  22. ADA FREEMAN said:

    You are Beautiful

    January 7, 2019
  23. ADA FREEMAN said:

    New subscriber

    January 7, 2019
  24. ADA FREEMAN said:

    Pls can u make a video with best Italian university for art student…

    January 7, 2019
  25. ADA FREEMAN said:

    Is there English university

    January 7, 2019
  26. abhi joseph said:

    I am from civil engineering background and wanna do mastersin Italy and is it possible to do masters there and do a job in u.s or Australia and sister I have a doubt that which group Is better for masters of my stream. And can h suggest me some good universitie

    February 5, 2019
  27. corea 4sure said:

    Is there a reason why you chose to do your masters in Italy as opposed to the states? Would they recognize your masters if you were to go back to america? I am from Canada and have graduated with my bachelors in civil engineering with structural focus and I'm considering doing my masters in Italy as well but am uncertain if i should. The courses available definetly seem more interesting and advanced and more in variety there

    February 12, 2019
  28. TehPeaceMaker 00 said:

    How fluent were you in Italian before you came to study for your masters?

    March 25, 2019
  29. elena forneris said:

    for bachelor here in italy you have to pass a written test that’s different for every university. for example fo engineering i had to do a test about maths, phisics, a reading and logical math and based on your result you’re admitted, waitlisted or rejected

    March 27, 2019
  30. R838 said:

    you could fit two cocks in your mouth

    July 11, 2019
  31. Lawrence Reitan said:

    Italian University is no joke, they require you to know pretty much everything. Oral exams are hard, but the preparation you have to undergo to pass them will give you an edge when competing in the outside world. Unfortunately is less practical, but there is always time to practice at work, theory first…

    August 20, 2019
  32. Math Tricks said:

    I am studying at Politecnico di Milano, although it is very good and I acquired lots of knowledge. The university is literally crazy and I remember that one exam only 5 students out of 50 passed the exam!!!! Difinitly you will not pass the exam unless you know everything about the subject. But this system freaked me out because I used to the American evaluation system.

    September 7, 2019

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