International Year One in Italy: Design, Fashion and Visual Arts

 –  Taught in English

  – Earn University credits

  – Progress to the 2nd year of a BA Degree


The International Year One is a 9-month program offered jointly by The Italian Academy and MADE Program providing students with the unique opportunity to enrol in the 1st year of Bachelor Degree program in Design, Fashion or Visual Arts with courses taught in English.

During the program, international students also attend Italian language classes to reach the necessary level to continue with their studies, interact with the local community and work in Italy.

Learn more about the program


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The best way to achieve an international mindset while earning a Bachelor’s degree

in an innovative and dynamic

Design Academy in Italy.


  • 4 Degree tracks available:
    • Design
    • Visual Arts
    • Fashion & Textile Design  
    • Animation and CGI    
  • Italian Language
    • Official CILS or CELI Italian language certification upon completion of the program

Program progression options

Upon completion students will be able to:

  1. Progress to 2nd year of Bachelor degree program at MADE taught in Italian
    • Scholarship reserved to all students that decide to continue the 2nd and 3rd year of the Bachelor degree at MADE Program:  the yearly scholarship value is a 50% waiver on International Tuition Fees
  2. Transfer to 2nd year Bachelor degree program at another university with courses taught in English or Italian  in the same academic track as the International Year One (course credits will need to be validated).

The International Year One awards Italian Ministry of Education university-level academic credits and grants admission to the 2nd and 3rd years of bachelor degree programs at MADE Fine Arts and Design Academy. Alternatively, students may choose to apply for credit transfer to any other University, Fine Arts Academy and Design School in Italy.


Design | Art | Fashion English-taught courses

60 ECTS Credits (1st year of BA)

  • Technical Design Drawing

  • Basic Design

  • History of Modern Art

  • History of Applied Arts

  • Design Methodology

  • Digital Tools in Graphic Design 
  • Artistic Anatomy (Visual Arts track)

  • Modeling (Fashion track)

  • Pathway workshops & MADE LABS


Italian Language courses

Language Certificate

  • Italian language classes:                   Beginner to Intermediate
  • Italian for Academic Purposes
  • CILS/CELI Exam preparation course

The course aims to train a textile / fashion sector expert in the product, in its main components and production processes: a designer capable of proposing an innovative, original and sustainable vision, which takes into account the contemporary context and its problems, from both a socio-cultural and a productive point of view. The student is encouraged to find a method of personal design and creative expression through a didactic that gives particular importance to experimentation, laboratory practice and the teaching of industrial and artisanal processing techniques, which represent the excellence of Made in Italy.

Professional opportunities

The course trains a flexible and internationally oriented professional, able to operate in differeknt areas within a production system made up of different types of companies: from tailoring and artisan laboratory to small and medium enterprises, up to large industry and agencies that express a demand for specific skills related to the fashion and communication sector. The course is a solid basis for studies at the master’s degree level, also in international contexts.


Visual Realities is based on the founding principles of the MADE Program, declined in the context of visual narration, at the intersection of graphic design and photography, illustration and video.

The course aims to prepare students for the new contexts and roles that visual arts has taken on with respect to a cultural landscape in constant transformation.

Professional opportunities

Recent years have witnessed a significant evolution in the role of those who express, communicate, and narrate through images. Today. Visual artists are involved in the productive processes of artefacts as well as in the production of scenarios for the flow of ideas. They contribute to the changing urban and extra-urban contexts in which they are invited to work. The aim of the course is to train young artists capable of dialoguing both with other artists and actors in the art world and with institutions, government agencies, and public and private companies. We aim to train artists who will contribute to the requalification of their local territory as well as distant and different geo-political contexts.

The course aims to respond to the urgent needs of contemporary global ecology through the study and application of new systems of production and information technology, while drawing on local and artisanal systems of production. This means working with materials and graphics, designing new products and new communications systems, coming to terms with new technologies, but also rethinking the role of local, artisanal, and industrial production in the contemporary world. Above all, it means questioning the ways we produce, market, and consume objects.

Professional opportunities

As young designers, students will be called upon to refine their understanding of themselves and their interests and to contextualize that understanding in the present, focusing on understanding the profound repercussions that their work will have in the world. New graduates, at the conclusion of an itinerary aimed at promoting the development of European-dimension professional skills, will be able to apply their skills as professionals in firms and companies working in the fields of product and service design, and visual and multimedia communications, as well as in private and public cultural and educational institutions. The training offered in the course will constitute a solid basis for studies in second level degree programs, both in Italy and abroad.

An integral part of the International Year One is students’ participation in workshops and labs where they can gain a first-hand experience of the application of skills sets, techniques & methodologies acquired in class.

Learning by doing is not just wishful thinking, at MADE Academy is the way all classes are run.

Thanks to these activities, students can enrich their artistic portfolio and gain a diversified experience: regardless of the chosen track, career-readiness is the goal of all Bachelor programs at MADE.

The MADE LABS Summer School is an unparalleled opportunity to interact with artists and designers from all over the world and to join classes with acclaimed thought-leaders in various disciplines and artistic.


The Italian language course is offered as an 6-month intensive program that allows students starting at beginner levels to achieve the required intermediate (B1) or upper-intermediate (B2) level of Italian language competence required to progress into Italian-taught degree programs, to integrate in the local community and to seek job opportunities in Italian firms.

Students are taught by expert, highly qualified native Italian language instructors that implement the communicative method in the classroom to achieve the best results in all 4 linguistic skills: speaking, writing reading and listening comprehension.

Students take part in an intensive CILS exam preparation course, which will cover the best practices for academic writing, preparation tests with CILS past papers and oral exam simulations led by instructors that are University of Siena CILS examiners.

The Italian Academy is a CILS exam center. Students will be able to enroll in any exam session during the academic year.

University of Siena CILS and University of Perugia CELI are the most broadly recognized Italian language certifications worldwide in the academic and professional world.

“I’ve always dreamed of studying Art in Italy, but I did not know Italian at all! But then I found out about the International Year One. In the first months of my International Year One in Siracusa I have been able to learn the basics of the Italian language, which I continued to improve thanks to the many Italian friends I met during my full year in Italy. Being in a class with local and international students has really pushed me out of my comfort zone, and now I have much clearer objectives for my future. Everyone at the Academy was really kind and helpful, and I loved that we could interact with our professors so easily. Now I look forward to continuing with my 2nd and 3rd year at MADE and graduate; after that, my dream is to work in a design studio in northern Europe: wish me luck!”

Top Reasons to Join the International Year One


Students who wish to choose carefully which discipline of art and design they want to study, while developing their practical skills and personal portfolio:

✓  Graphic design 
✓  Fashion design
✓  Product design
✓  Interior design
✓  Architecture
✓  Creative Art
✓  Photography
✓  Drawing
✓  New Media
✓  Visual Communication
Students seeking an international career with an English taught degree in Italy.
A modern institution with an excellent professor-student ratio that will prepare students to succeed in their academic and professional endeavors.
Classroom-based activities are integrated every semester with hands-on workshops, curricular excursions, project-based learning and traineeships.
This approach allows students to build a personal portfolio and artist CV, creating a direct connection to post-university employment opportunities.



Students that need to improve their Italian language skills.
The achievement of a recognized B1-level (intermediate) certification of Italian language is required to take part in Italian undergraduate degree programs.

#1  Prepares for the Italian job market

The vast majority of undergraduate degrees in Art & Design in Italy are taught in Italian. For International students, this often brings the additional challenge of learning Italian before applying to University, making it harder and time-consuming.

With the International Year One, International students can learn Italian while they are enrolled in the first year of the Bachelor Degree, thus gaining time while adding skills which will be highly valued in the job market.  

#2 Designed for International Students

Our students come from a range of countries, age groups and backgrounds. We welcome intelligent, creative, motivated people who are interested in moving into an art and design vocation.

#3   Opens the doors to the greatest opportunities

Besides allowing you to become familiar with the language and culture of Italy while studying in your first year of undergraduate degree, the International Year One also provides you with the opportunity to experience first-hand what University life in Italy is about, preparing you for the next big steps you will take.

Program Information

What are the program dates and fees?



9-month on-site program:

September 2024  –  June 2025

Tuition Fee: € 8,100 

Student Services Fee: €290

Application Fee: €60


Fees are payable in 2 installments.


Does the International Year One allow students to enrol into any art and design degree program in Italy?

The International Year One grants direct progression to the BA degree programs at MADE Program | Fine Arts and Design Academy.

The bachelor degree programs at MADE are:

All students that enrol in a BA at MADE after completing the Foundation Year receive an annual scholarship of € 4,500 partially covering tuition fees for the entire duration of the program. 

Upon completion of the International Year One, students may choose to transfer to a different Fine Arts and Design Academy in Italy, and have their academic ETCS credits recognized.

Depending on the academy or university, students may be asked to provide additional documentation or to pass additional exams for the program of choice. 

What are the prerequisites to enrol to the International Year One?

Students applying to join the International Year Once should provide the following documents:


  • Secondary school leaving certificate or diploma (minimum of 12 years of education)
  • English language B2 (Upper intermediate) level certificate: IELTS 5.5, Cambridge First or equivalent)
  • Statement of Motivation

What are the enrolment deadlines?

To apply to the program, students should follow the following steps:

  1. Complete the Online Application Form and upload the documents
  2. Complete payment of the Application Fee (€ 60)

Students that complete the application will receive an offer and the program contract. To complete the enrolment students should then:

  1. Make the payment of the 1st installment of the tuition fee
  2. Sign the program contracts


Tuition Fee Payment deadlines:

– 1st installment (50%) is to be paid at least one month prior to the start date of the program:

30 days before start of the program


– 2nd installment (50%) is to be paid by:

90 days after start of the program

NB. non-EU students that require a study visa should pay the 1st instalment of the Tuition Fees at least 60 days prior to the start of the program in order to receive the letter of enrolment for the Italian consulate. 


The 2023-24 International Year One starts in








Syracuse, Sicily


While the outgoing nature and warm hospitality of Italians is appreciated worldwide, international students living in the small and safe city of Syracuse are always surprised at the open arms welcome they receive from local people, which helps to create the friendly and comfortable atmosphere that all our students gladly recount.


Syracuse is also a strategic base for those who wish to enjoy all the beauties of Sicily, just a stone’s throw away from all the other major attractions of the island: the Valley of the Temples and the Scala dei Turchi in Agrigento, Mt. Etna, the highest volcano in Europe, and the hill-top city of Taormina. It is also very easy to reach all main Italian locations: the nearby Fontanarossa Airport connects Syracuse with all major cities (Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Naples), daily and with low cost flights.


Syracuse (Siracusa in Italian), listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a treasure trove located on the southeastern coast of the Italian island of Sicily. Over 3 millennia, it has collected a wealth of art and precious architecture, which bears witness to the passage of many glorious civilizations.


Today the city of Syracuse is a warm-welcoming, lively city with much to offer to adventurous souls and culture vultures alike: one may choose to explore the labyrinth of narrow streets of the historical center, take a stroll around the medieval castle that overlooks the natural harbor or explore the pristine beaches and marine reserves that surround the city.


The Italian Academy regularly organizes cultural exchange events to allow international students to meet and make friends with local students. It is easy in a city like Syracuse to make long-lasting connections and build friendships with Italian peers. We acknowledge that engaging with locals plays an essential role in developing confidence in the spoken language.


Student housing

Student Residence: Private rooms

Students may choose to live with other international students attending language and culture courses at The Italian Academy. All accommodation is at a short walking distance from the Academy.

Homestay: Private Room, Half-board

Students may choose to live with a Sicilian host-family in comfortable apartments close to the school with private bedrooms. Homestay accommodation includes 2 meals per day, breakfast and dinner.

This type of accommodation guarantees a safe, comfortable and fully immersive experience, which enhances our students’ linguistic and cultural learning.

About The Italian Academy

The Italian Academy is an international school specialized in offering language and culture programs with a focus on Mediterranean Studies. The Italian Academy is a University of Siena CILS local center.

Located in the city center of the city of Syracuse (Sicily), next to St. John’s Church, which gives access to the Catacombs and the Crypt of St. Marcian: the first place of Christian worship in the West, where St. Paul is said to have preached.  The villa is also adjoining the Archaeological Museum and the Basilica of Our Lady of Tears, while the Greek Theater and the island of Ortygia are at a short walking distance.

About MADE Program

Degree-granting Fine Arts and Design Academy, the first of its kind in Italy, that aims to work at the crossroads of design, art, traditional crafts, and local culture, creating an operational platform based in the South of Italy, in Syracuse.

The first step of an outstanding career in Art and Design in Europe

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

Call Us

Phone: +39 0931 61424

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Ready to Apply?



Ready to Apply?