One of the things I am really proud of, is the fact that I was able to finish my 6 years of medical studies in Pavia without asking my parents for money nor without getting any loans. In this post I will tell you how I was able to pull it off and give you several feasible and practical options that you can implement too, even if you don’t have any special skills.
Planning your finances and having a good idea of how you are going to make it through your medical years in Italy could easily make the difference between having a stress-free studies with comfortable life or having to abrupt your degree because you can’t financially support yourself any longer. During my studies my finances were based on 3 pillars: scholarship, (part-time) work and savings and in order to achieve a secure, stress-free life in Italy you need all 3:
- Scholarships. We have discussed this already elsewhere and although it is a lump sum (up to 4000€/year) it has two limitations, the first is that you cannot rely on it because there are often things beyond your control that can cause you to lose a scholarship or not to get one in the first place. Secondly, even the full scholarship does not cover your expenses (~10.000€/year) completely.
- Savings. Savings is a very important pillar which “buys” you time in stressful times like the exam sessions or in years when you miss the scholarship, but you have to keep in mind having enough savings for 6 years of life in Italy is impractical. For the peace of mind I would suggest you to have enough money set aside to support yourself for at least 6-12 months.
- Work. Now we come to the main point of this post – student work, and below I provide you with 3+ viable income sources for your studies. As a student you have different requirements from your potential work as opposed to a non-student. You have to find a part-time, flexible and good paying job, because your free-time is limited and sometimes non-existent (exams). Moreover, if you are a non-European, than your student visa limits you to 50% working week. If you are not Italian and don’t speak Italian fluently than your options are even more limited. I was working my whole degree as a part-time home-based software developer, but chances are you don’t have the same skills, therefore below I suggest 3+ ways you could earn money during your medical school. The interesting part is that you can start developing those income streams already now, and even start making some savings.
As always, preparation is key, so start learning a skill today and begin building your financial security for your medical studies. I hope you find this post helpful and will be glad to read your comments on our facebook group!
Alex is a graduate of Harvey Medical course in English, taught in Pavia University and the founder of MEDschool.it. He currently pursuits his carrier in Ophthalmology and ophthalmic gene therapy research in Germany.