Program Information
What courses are offered in the Foundation Year Program?

The Program includes a 540-hour Italian language & culture course, and 260 hours of discipline-specific courses, entirely taught in English, based on the study track selected by the student:

EAIT – Engineering, Architecture and IT track

Introduction to Computational thinking and computer science
/ Technical Drawing (for architecture admission)
Language Empowerment and Academic Preparation (LEAP)
Italian language and culture
Logical reasoning and admission preparation


BESS – Business, Economics and Social Sciences track

Logical reasoning and admission preparation
Introduction to applied statistics and data science
International Business and Politics
Entrepreneurship and Business Strategy: Italian and European perspectives
Intercultural Mediation and Conflict Management
Language Empowerment and Academic Preparation (LEAP)
Italian language and culture


MLS – Medicine and Life Sciences track

Language Empowerment and Academic Preparation (LEAP)
Italian language and culture


DFA – Design, Art and Fashion track

Digital Tools in Graphic Design
History of Modern and Applied Arts
Workshops (area specific: Design/Fashion/Visual Arts)
Foundations of Design
Technical Design Drawing
Design Methodology
Language Empowerment and Academic Preparation (LEAP)
Italian language and culture

The program is entirely taught in English. Courses offered may vary each term and the complete class list is communicated to enrolled students prior to the start of the academic year.

What is the duration of the Foundation Year?

The Foundation Year program has the duration of a full academic year with 9 months of tuition and a total of 800 classroom hours.

The program is divided into 3 terms: Fall, Spring and Summer. Students may join the program at the start of the Fall term in September (intake 1) or at the start of the Spring term in January (intake 2).

Intake 1: September  to  June

Intake 2: January to September

Students who are planning to enroll in an Italian-taught degree in Italy may choose to extend the program by 3 months, for an overall 12 months duration (1000 hours classroom hours).

Is the Foundation Year certificate valid for access to Italian universities?

The Foundation Year program is offered in partnership between the Italian Academy and Italian Higher Education Institutions: Kore University and MADE Fine Arts Academy.  The Italian Academy provides the student services, housing, language training and academic support for students enrolled in the program.

Students receive a Certificate and Academic Transcript issued by Kore University of Enna (protocol n. 12794 of July 7th 2023) for successful completion of the Foundation Year BESS (Business, Economics and Social Sciences), MLS (Medicine and Life Sciences), EAIT (Engineering, Architecture and IT)  academic tracks. Students that complete the DFA (Design, Fashion and Art) track receive a Certificate and Academic Transcript issued by MADE Fine Arts Academy.

The Foundation Year Certificate attests:

  • the complete course list and number of contact hours completed by the student
  • the fulfilment of mandatory schooling and academic minimum requirements necessary to be admitted to degree programs at Kore University and other Italian Universities as defined by the MUR – Italian Ministry of University. Italian and international universities generally accept the Foundation Year certificate to fulfil their schooling minimum requirements, however, students should review this acceptance directly with the admissions office of the university of interest.

Students that obtain the Foundation Year certificate are still required to pass the national Admission Test to enroll in “closed number” degree programs in Italian universities.

Students that choose to take the CILS Italian language Exam during their program will also receive the University for Foreigners of Siena B1 or B2 language certificate, based on successful achivement.

In what language are the courses taught?

All the courses are entirely taught in English language.

What are admission requirements for the Foundation Year?

To be eligible for admission students must:

  • have a secondary education qualification, such as a High School Diploma or Certificate, obtained after at least 11 years of schooling, which qualifies for university enrollment in the country where it was issued. Please note that:
    • An official translation or apostille/legalization should be provided for original documents that are not in English, Italian, French, German, Spanish or Portuguese. As an alternative, you can contact the CIMEA Institute and request a Statement of Verification.
    • Students that have completed their studies in a country that is not listed among Lisbon Recognition Convention list should also provide a”Declaration of Value” which must be released and signed by the italian embassy/consulate of the student’s country of residence. Alternatively, you can contact the CIMEA Institute and request a Statement of Comparability.
    • Students in their final year of secondary school, can apply by submitting a Certificate of Enrollment or official letter issued by the current school that confirms their current status and expected graduation date to be conditionally accepted. They can submit the diploma at a later stage before the start of the program for full acceptance to the program.
    • Students are ineligible for enrolment if they have only partially completed their high school education within their respective school system. Examples of ineligibility include:
      • Completing only individual IB courses without obtaining an IB diploma or Bilingual diploma
      • Completing only O-levels/GCSE/IGCSE without obtaining a GCE or an A-level exam
      • Completing only 11 years of schooling in a system that requires 12 or 13 years in total
      • Additionally, the high school attended must be legally accredited to teach the programme. If our evaluation committee cannot verify the school’s accreditation, students must provide a certificate of comparability from CIMEA.
  • demonstrate independent-level English language proficiency. This can be proven with an official certification or assessed through an online interview conducted by the admissions board. If English is the student’s native or second language, they may be exempt from this requirement by providing formal proof of language status or current enrollment in English-taught curriculum. The following are valid language certifications and scores for admission to the program:

    • IELTS Academic: 5.0+
    • Cambridge Scale: 150+ points (Preliminary B or higher)
    • Duolingo English Test: 80+ points, or equivalent)
    • TOEFL iBT: 45+ points
    • equivalent certified tests from recognized assessment bodies
  • be 17 years old at the time of enrollment and have turned 18 by the end of the program.
    • If the student is still a minor by the start date of the program, they will have to demonstrate that a guardian has been lawfully appointed in Italy. In this case, at the moment of your enrollment, the student must compile and sign a “Statement of responsibility for minors”.
What are the application steps and deadlines?

Students should find out the details on the dedicated page.

What are the fees for the program?

Application Fee: € 60

Enrollment Fee: € 290

Tuition Fee: € 7,500 (paid in installments)

Student Housing: based on option selected (paid in installments)

Is housing provided for enrolled students?

Students live in modern self-catering student apartments. The apartments have single or double rooms, shared kitchen, laundry, bathrooms, living and study areas. Generally 4 to 6 students live in each apartment. Limited places are also available for homestay accommdation, for which underage students are prioritized. 

Students are encouraged to apply early for admission to the program to secure their preferred housing option.

A required residency policy is in place for the Foundation Year program, instituted for the benefit of students:

  1. All  students are required to live in program-provided housing (unless exempt – see exemptions in ).  Students on residential programs benefit from the facilities and resources that support students’ success during their first year. Additionally, research and experience tell us that students who live on program-provided housing:
    • develop a greater sense of belonging to the program, find it easier to form friendships and participate more in student social life;
    • have appropriate living and study arrangements, which are key enablers of a successful participation in the academic program.
    • do not have to navigate the complexity and risks involved in independently sourcing adequate accommodation and legally-binding housing contracts with third parties in a new language and social environment.
  2. Exceptions to the residency requirement will be made for students who:
    • Change to Commuter Status and reside with a parent or legal guardian within 10 miles of campus (with notarized parent/guardian signature).
    • Are 23 years of age or older prior to the start date of the housing contract.
    • Present compelling individual circumstances, with supporting documentation, including a valid rental contract for the entire duration of the program in the vicinity of the Academy premises (considered on a case by case basis).
What documents are needed for underage students?

Underage students (minors) Students who have not yet reached 18 years old at the time of their application can apply for the Foundation Year program provided they will turn 18 by June 30th of the year of program completion. Underage students who are admitted to the programme are required to send extra documentation:

  • Consent form for admission signed by both parents
  • Official nomination of a legal guardian residing in Italy for the duration of the Foundation Year programme until they reach legal age
  • Parents’ ID
  • Legal guardian’s ID
  • Delegation form for requesting an Italian taxpayer’s code (codice fiscale)
What is the program Cancellation Policy?

Cancellation in case of visa denial: A full refund of all fees paid to the Academy is offered to the student if the visa denial is communicated in writing before the program start date (bank transfer fees are covered by the student).

Cancellation of enrollment by the student:

The service fee is non-refundable. In case the student gives notice of postponement, the student may start the program at a later date without being charged the service fee.

Cancellation must be made in writing. 

In the case of any refunds bank transfer fees are covered by the student.

The cancellation fee deadlines following will apply:

  • Any cancellation notice received more than 30 days prior to the start date of the course: tuition and housing fees paid to the Academy will be refunded.
  • Any cancellation notice received more than 30 days prior to the start date of the course: 25% of tuition and housing fees are withheld as a cancellation penalty; the remaining fees paid to the Academy will be refunded.
  • Between the start date of the course and 30 days after the start date of the program:  50% of tuition and housing fees are withheld as a cancellation penalty; the remaining fees paid to the Academy will be refunded.
  • More than 30 days after the start date of the program: there will be no refund of tuition fees or housing fees.


Cancellation of Enrolment by the Academy:

The Academy may cancel a student’s enrollment up to 30 days before the course start date should the minimum number of enrolled students to the course not be achieved. In this case the Academy will provide full refund of any fees paid and provide the option of postponement of the program enrollment for the next intake.

The Academy may cancel a student’s enrollment should the student breach any of the rules outlined in the Academy student code of conduct document or if their behavior is deemed unacceptable. If a student’s enrolment is canceled by the school due to breach of student code of conduct or student contracts signed with the Academy, there will be no refund of any fees paid.

When should accepted students apply for a visa?

Students can apply for an Italian Type D Study Visa only after completing the following steps of the application process:

  • Completion of the application form
  • Signing the Program Agreement and any additional required documentation
  • Payment of the Application Fee and 1st Installment of the Tuition Fees.

Students will receive an official Letter of Enrolment to be submitted with the required documentation to the Italian Consulate in their country. Students are encouraged to complete their applications and apply for their visa as early as possible, as some consulates may require extended periods of time (up to several weeks) to issue the visa depending on the time of year.  NB. The Letter of Offer issued upon review by the admissions committee of the students eligibility for the program is NOT valid for visa application purposes.

Are there any scholarships available?

Information on how to apply for the scholarhips will be available between June and July. 

Can students work a part-time job while attending Foundation Year classes?

Students who are 18 or older and have a type D Visa are permitted to work up to 20 hours a week. However, due to the full-time commitment and mandatory attendance required by the Foundation Year Program, holding even a part-time job might not be feasible.

Years established

Pathway tracks to Italian university

Get In Touch

Campus Location:

– Piazzale San Marziano, 1, 96100, Siracusa, Italy

– Piazza Duomo, 20, 96100, Siracusa, Italy

Telephone: (+39) 0931-61424


Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 9am – 6pm CET

Take the first step and contact our team. We are here to help! 

Our team of student advisors is glad to support you every step of the way: from enrolment and visa application, to departure preparations, orientation and settling into your new city and home.


Head Office: Piazzale San Marziano, 1, Siracusa, Italy

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Phone: +39 0931 61424

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