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Perhaps you have already looked at a few homepages of some Unis, but are still undecided where it would be best for you to start with design. Perhaps you have already decided on the university at Bolzano, but still have loads of questions and you do not know exactly to whom you should turn for answers.

As students we had exactly the same questions that you have now when we started studying in Bolzano. In order to make it a little easier for you, we have created this information website.

Here we introduce you to the university and the design faculty and try to answer the most important questions about studying in Bolzano. In addition, we pass on a few insider tips to make your everyday life as a student easier.

Take things easy and we’ll see you later in Bolzano,

Dirk Bendinger, Joachim Falser, Thomas Kronbichler, Evelyn Senfter, Francesco Siddi

First class

We are studying in Bolzano at a small, still young faculty. That has many advantages. In 2002, we created a fantastic designer environment with plenty of drive and verve and no rigid structures.

In addition to our first class equipment, large computer pools, workshops etc., you can always find a spot in our faculty where you can happily drop and leave everything late at night. And when you have any questions there is always a professor or workshop leader close by to help. We all know and help each other. We think that there are very few universities that could beat us for personal contact.

Our university also offers three languages. No other design faculty offers this anywhere in the world. Learning languages in an alpine setting. What better way is there to enjoy life!

Our success

Who can wonder that the university Bolzano’s work and study environment has won such high profile international awards in only a few years? (Link)

In the short life of our faculty, some students’ work has already been shown at exhibitions and fairs in New York, London, Milan, Amsterdam and elsewhere (Link). One graduate has managed to have a project on permanent display at Munich's Pinakothek der Moderne. If you would like to see how this work came about, then have a look at the light-hearted video of the international workshop «Rennpappe» (Link). And of course international press goes into raptures over our creativity and ideas (Link).

If you are an outgoing, open type of person and like to have fun and fiddle about, then you will certainly feel at home in Bolzano quickly. Who knows, maybe you will soon be showing your designs to important companies such as Rosenthal and Salewa.

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Widening your horizons

The special thing about studying in Bolzano is that you will get to know all the important sectors of design in three years. You will do projects and courses in graphics as well as product design. You will not be trained here as a specialist, but as an allrounder, as a designer who can turn his/her hand to anything. If you appreciate variety, are very curious and like thinking from several points of view, then Bolzano is dead right for you.

24 hour designer

As a design student you will have at some time or other only design in your head. On the one hand you will suffer stress to meet the deadlines for projects and on the other you will see design everywhere in your everyday life that will keep you busy. You cannot shake off being a designer just by going home when the university closes - fortunately!

In addition the faculty develops many projects in cooperation with local or international companies. Here you can gain a bit of practical experience.

Studying together

In Bolzano you will never study completely alone. Anonymity is a word you’ll never use. By working in small project groups (3 Profs for a max of 20 students) everyone is on an equal footing. That begins already in the admission workshop (Link) in July.

In the international environment of the university, it is of course very important that you can express yourself in Italian, German and English. All lectures and projects are held in one of these three languages, depending on the Professor. If you want to study in Bolzano, proficiency in at least two languages used in teaching is essential for admission. Detailed information can be found on the Faculty’s website (Link) can offer you a summer or term course at your level.

South Tyrol’s capital is bilingual (Italian and German) in its everyday life. If you want to do more for your knowledge of languages, then we can recommend an international flat share or a language tandem partner (Link). Perhaps that might be difficult to begin with, but it is the best way to learn languages.

International exchange

The Faculty for Design and Art has many excellent partner universities abroad. Here you can learn more about design and gain valuable experience abroad. You can find a short overview of our partner schools on our website (Link).

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There are three parts to the admissions procedure for our course in design: pre-enrolment, admission workshop and registration.

Your application is submitted online through the application portal available at (Link) from 2th of May to 13th of July 2016. You can get detailed information of which documents you need from the study manifesto (pdf download). There are special regulations for Non-EU candidates resident abroad.

A 2-minute video is a very important first hurdle of your application. This video must be uploaded on your personal account and does not need to be a technically lavish Hollywood-style film and you do not necessarily need Hi-Fi equipment for it. A digital camera with which you can make video sequences can do the job just as well. In the video you should introduce yourself briefly and describe critically an object or image of your choice, for instance a photo, poster or advertisement.

If you want to study in Bolzano, proficiency in at least two languages used in teaching is essential for admission. Detailed information can be found on the Faculty’s website (Link).

Admission Workshop

If you convince the examining board with your video, you will be one of the 90 applicants who will be invited to go on to the next phase of the enrolment procedure.

From 22th to 24th July 2016 there will be an admission workshop at the Faculty of Design and Art in Bolzano. During these days you have to take part in two individual projects to establish your creativity and willingness to experiment. You will also have an individual interview to assess your personality.

After the workshop the university will inform you immediately if you can begin to study in September or not.

You can find detailed information on the selection procedure in the study manifesto (pdf download) and on the web pages of the Faculty of Design and Art (Link). You can get further help by e-mail, or telephone from the faculty secretariat (E-Mail: / Tel.: +39 0471 015 000).


Enrolment, your last step before starting study, is really very easy.

Just complete the enrolment form and present it to the student secretariat along with confirmation of payment of study and provincial fees. All documents must reach the university by 26 August 2016, 12:00 midday.

If you are an applicant from abroad, then you should have a look at our study manifesto (pdf download), to see if you should hand in further documentation (for example a declaration of equivalent value or a translation of your secondary school certificate).

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Admission Workshop

Tuition fees

Studying in Bolzano has its price. For the coming academic year tuition and provincial fees together come to 1343,50 € (payable in two installments).

Should you think you might need financial support for this amount, then we recommend that you apply online for an educational grant (Link). If you fulfill certain criteria, the department of the Autonomous Province of Bozen dealing with the advancement of education, university and research might be able to help you with a small injection of cash and to reimburse your fees.


In addition, you can apply to the Autonomous Province of Bozen for a room in a student hall of residence (Link). All halls of residence in Bozen are located centrally and are very well equipped with for example free Internet connection and modern kitchens. A single room in a hall costs approx 290 € a month. Only the St. Benet hall in the old Muri-Gries monastery costs 10 € more, but for this breakfast and the use of a swimming pool are included in the price.

If you cannot manage to get a place in a hall of residence, or prefer private accommodation, then the best place to look is on the noticeboard next to the university’s student secretariat or on the advisory service website (Link). Particularly at the beginning of term you will find plenty of offers of accommodation there.

Unfortunately the cost of accommodation in Bozen is not exactly reasonable compared to other cities. You will have to expect to pay at least 300 € for a room of 15 m² in the centre of town. However especially at the beginning of term the housing market in Bozen is not too bad and many design students are looking for pleasant flat mates to share with.

Food etc.

Bozen is especially well-known for its expensive shops and boutiques that are usually beyond the reach of us students. Also food in South Tyrol is more expensive. A tip for newcomers to Bozen. Espresso, drunk at the bar, costs 1 euro everywhere here. Food in the university canteen is reasonable. There are lunch and evening menus for about 3 €.

Once you have settled into your new university town then you will soon get to know where Bozen’s night life is cheaper and what the Saturday market at Piazza Vittoria has to offer. Also some shops in town offer special student prices.

All in all you can manage to get through the month in Bozen with 250 € by using your head a bit when you shop.

Jobs while you study

Unemployment in South Tyrol is only about 4,5 per cent. If you want to earn something while studying, then you should not have any difficulty finding a suitable job. Some of these jobs are advertised on the noticeboards in the university.

Occasionally the design faculty offers jobs that exercise your creativity. Keep your eyes and ears open!

  • Management: Prof. Antonino Benincasa
  • Layout: Joachim Falser, Thomas Kronbichler
  • Text: Dirk Bendinger, Raffaella Fusina
  • Translations (it) (en): Raffaella Fusina, Studio Bonetti Bolzano
  • Pictures: Free University of Bolzano-Bozen
  • Coding and Screen Design: Francesco Siddi