The cost of living in Italy varies a lot geographically, one aspect is that the North of Italy is more expensive to live in than the South. Yet one needs to take into account that southern Italy still lags behind in terms of employment rates, economic development and infrastructure like roads etc, so it might be cheaper to live there but also harder to find work or get certain services.
The other factor that affects the costs is the size of the city. For example an average student’s apartment in Milan would cost around 500 euro per room per month and in Pavia which is a way smaller city the cost of the rent is around 250-280 euro. Generally the problem with smaller cities is that you can’t find the same services as in a big one, Pavia is a good exemption of this rule not only because it is relatively developed for its size but also because it is just 30 minutes away from the center of Milan (by train which costs 4€). Therefore in Pavia you enjoy both worlds – moderate prices of a small city and opportunities with services of a big city adding to the mix also a prestigious University.
The spending budget of a student is composed of three main elements: Rent & bills, Food, Study material/books, University fees and Nights out. So what you should expect to spend in Pavia in those sectors is:
- Rent: 250-270 euro for a room in an apartment of 3
- Bills (like gas, electricity, heating): aprox. 30-70 euro/month
- Food: if you cook you save by buying in the supermarket 40-50 euro/week
- Study materials are not a real expense because the books which is the major cost can be bought used and resold back to next year students.
- University fees: will be dealt with separately here: 40-300 euro/month (paid in two installments each year)
- Nights out: is something that varies from person to person, but Wednesdays are generally a night out and a shot of strong drinks costs around 1 euro, a pint of beer costs around 5 Euro, a bottle of wine in a pub/bar (to share with friends) 15-20 Euro.
So we can conclude that your spending will be between 500-750 euros/month which is what the students actually spend here according their lifestyle.
When you plan your stay, take into account that during the first months you will be spending X2-3 times more because you’ll need to leave a security deposit for the apartment (which is usually 2-3 months rent), to buy some basic things for the apartment (especially if you choose one without any furniture) and on “newcomer expenses” because it will take you some time to find the less expensive supermarket etc.
Be sure that you have money for around 12-18 months when you come, even if you plan to work or get the scholarship, in order to have some security zone economically.
Checkout what University of Pavia is writing about monthly expenses