The University of Parma’s Foundation Year




The Foundation Year is an eleven-month, full immersion preparatory programme for international students wishing to enroll at the University of Parma or any Italian University or a Music Conservatory.

It addresses prospective students holding a high school diploma but who have linguistic or cultural gaps and/or less than 12 years of schooling, as required by Law to access university in Italy.

Thanks to this programme, international students will have the opportunity to:

  • improve their language competence in Italian up to B2 level (needed to enroll at an Italian University) and expand their intercultural communicative skills;
  • fill in any cultural and intercultural gaps to better integrate in an academic context in Italy;
  • obtain a one-year certificate of attendance (for students who do not have 12 years of schooling).


By the end of the course, students will be able to sit for an international language certificate at a B2 level, which will allow them to enroll at any Italian university or take Italstudio test to enroll at the University of Parma.  Link at the Laboratorio di glottodidattica.

Students of the Music Programme will be able to take courses offered by Conservatorio A. Boito in different music areas. Students who wish to continue studying music after the Foundation Year will be able to do so in the Italian music academy system, provided they pass the admission test.

Students can choose between two study programmes:

  • Materie comuni (38 credits):
    • Italian language and culture;
    • Intercultural communication;
    • Preparatory course for the Italian language certificate at a B2 level.
  • General programme (22 credits):
    • Contemporary History;
    • Geography;
    • 2 University courses to help students choose the most appropriate degree course in one of the following fields:
      1. Humanities
      2. Law and Economics
      3. Science (Chemistry, Biology, Pharmacy, etc.)
      4. Medicine (including Nursing, Veterinary Medicine, etc.)
      5. Technology (Engineering, Architecture, etc.)
  • Music programme (variable number of credits):

Music courses in many music areas offered by Conservatorio A. Boito in Parma.

  • Choral practice
  • Stagecraft
  • Eartraining
  • History of music
  • Harmony and analysis

The tutoring service of Conservatorio will previously assess students’ competences in order to better guide them. For further information on the music courses offered by Conservatorio, please contact




The University of Parma’s Foundation Year is organised in collaboration with Conservatorio Arrigo Boito di Parma

a major centre for music training at Italian and European level. Conservatorio A. Boito is an Institute of high culture and provides the highest artistic training, education, specialization, research and production in music.

For further information, please visit the website



The University of Parma and the Dante Alighieri Society (Italian: Società Dante Alighieri) started a collaboration which has led to the creation of the Foundation Year Integrated Programme (Italian: Programma Integrato Foundation Year – PIFY).

The Dante Alighieri Society has around 500 branches throughout the world and promotes the Italian culture and language.

Thanks to the coordination efforts provided by the head office in Rome and the collaboration of the University of Parma, the branches involved in the programme prepare students for their future life in Parma, providing them with an ad hoc language training.

Once in Parma, students enrolled on the PIFY continue their training following either the General Programme or the Music Programme, in view of their enrolment at an Italian university or a Music Conservatory.