Which Italian medical schools to apply to

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Feb 13, 2022
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I am an American, 32 years old and plan to sit the IMAT. I want to study medicine in Italy with the goal of either staying in Italy or going to some other EU country upon finishing medical school. I do plan to return ever again to USA; I want to study there and practise only in Europe. I know Spanish to C2 level and French to around B2, which helps my Italian, which is currently around C1 level anyway. However, I was planning on applying to the English language med school courses at Italian universities anyway, since I do not know specific technical medical terms in Italian.

One thing that I noticed right away when I even had begun to start to study Italian was the North-South divide. I have the impression that all the medical schools in Rome and north of Rome are more prestigious and more well-funded than those of the South. Is this really true, and should I focus on applying to all Northern Italian schools, or are the ones in the South actually not as bad as they seem?

My three choices originally are Pavia, Torino and Padova. My impression is that Milano (the public uni, not the private uni) is the most difficult to get accepted to, since Milano is the most prestigious city in Italy. I was looking at Messina in Northeastern Sicily, which seems interesting to me, but I klnow nothing about the place. I know this sounds naïve and silly, but over half of what I hear about Sicily is something about the mafia, corruption and extreme heat due to climate change, so I am not sure what daily life is like there.

Napoli Federico and other Southern schools have lower IMAT averages for applicants who get accepted though. Are the Southern schools really easier to get into? How is the quality of education there compared to the North?

Not sure if it helps, but I have a BSc in Biology, a BSc in Mathematics and a BEng in Chemical Engineering. Given that most applicants to Italian med schools (and European med schools in general) come straight ouf of high school, I hope that my three bachelor degrees enhance my application.

Also, this sounds stupid as well, but I am mixed-race Chinese and Spanish, but Europeans say I look like a Muslim/Middle-Eastern. Would I face discrimination in any of these areas?

In any case, as an international non-EU applicant, I have a maximum of only three Italian universities to apply to, so I have to choose very carefully.
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