Foundation Year

The Ca’ Foscari Foundation Year is a propedeutic year-long programme designed to prepare international students for undergraduate studies at an Italian university. Students take courses on Italian and European history, Academic English and Italian language, along with a Study Track that aims to provide a basic introduction to the main disciplines available at Ca' Foscari and Iuav for future study. 

Enrolment for the 2022/2023 a.y. is now closed. We are not accepting further applications. 

Tel. +39 041 234 7343

Programme 2022/2023

Students must have a certified B1 level of English when they enrol.
In order to pass Foundation Year and obtain the final certificate, students must successfully complete each of the three learning modules:

1) general curriculum

  • in English
  • for University preparation to all students: Modern and contemporary Italian history, Critical thinking and Academic skills for university preparation

2) study track

  • in English
  • it aims to provide students an elementary background in the subjects they are interested in pursuing during their undergraduate studies: Economics and management, Humanities and arts, Science, or Architecture, Art and Design

3) language module

  • it focuses on either Italian or English, depending on the degree programme they are planning on enrolling in
  • to be chosen between: International option (English), Bridge option (Italian), or a customised option for Native Speakers

Focus on English with an elementary Italian language course. Choose this option if you are not a native speaker of English, or want to do your undergraduate studies in English.


Intensive Italian from beginner to pre-intermediate (A1-B1). Choose this option if you want to do your undergraduate studies in Italian, or if you are a native speaker of English and want to learn Italian.

Native Speaker

Advanced Italian and English: academic Italian with extra disciplinary courses in English. Choose this option if your level of both Italian and English is above B2, or native speaker.

Who should take the Foundation Year?

  • Students who have less than 12 full years of schooling at the end of high school and have (or will shortly have) their school leaving certificate
  • Students wanting to improve their English or Italian language skills before beginning an undergraduate degree at a university in Italy
  • Students who studied in the American school system and got (or will get) their High School Diploma, but do not have the three Advanced Placement exams required to enrol at an Italian university
  • Students who have completed their studies within the British school system and got (or will get) their General Certificate of Education/A-levels, but do not have the three A-levels required to enrol in their chosen degree programme at an Italian university
  • Students who have a vocational qualification

Eligibility for Foundation Year

Students applying for the Foundation Year need to meet the following obligatory eligibility requirements:

  1. have an adequate certified mastery of English (a minimum of B1 according to the CEFR)
  2. have finished their 11th year of schooling OR are currently enrolled at high school in their 11th year of schooling 
  3. hold a high school diploma, school leaving certificate, or equivalent, or will have one at the completion of the current school year (NB: in this case enrolment in the Foundation Year is conditional on the student receiving a High School Diploma)

Underage students (minors)

Students who have not yet reached 18 years old at the time of their application can apply for the Ca' Foscari Foundation Year provided they will turn 18 by March 31st of the year of programme completion. For the 2022/2023 programme this means students must be born no later than 31st March, 2005.

In this case, the underage student is required to have his/her parents:

  • Sign a consent form for admission
  • Initiate the process of nominating a legal guardian residing in Italy for the duration of the Foundation Year programme until they reach legal age

Required documents

  • Final high school leaving qualification (or Certificate of Enrolment, if you are currently attending the last year of secondary School and your final leaving qualification is not yet ready) and English or Italian translation if required
  • Transcript of records of the final year
  • Certification of a B1 level (or higher) of the English language (see the following webpage for recognised certifications), or proof of having studied at least one full year of high school in English
  • Valid ID (for EU and Italian applicants only) or passport
  • Valid Residency Permit (for non-EU applicants residing in Italy)
  • Letter of motivation with your original and personal reasons for studying our specific programme 

Eligibility for University enrolment following Foundation Year

Upon successful completion of the full Foundation Year, students will be eligible for enrolment at Ca' Foscari. Participation in the Foundation Year does not entitle students to directly access their chosen degree programme; students must take an entry test, where necessary.

Eligibility for enrolment at other Italian Universities is not guaranteed. Students who are planning on enrolling at other Universities or Tertiary Institutions should contact the appropriate office at the Institution in question.

N.B Students who have completed their Foundation Year still need to provide a Declaration of Value or a Cimea Statement of Comparability when applying for a Bachelor's degree if they belong to certain categories.

Programme dates

The Ca' Foscari Foundation Year runs throughout the academic year, from October 2022 until June 2023.

  • Orientation: Monday October 3rd - Friday October 7th, 2022
  • Classes start: Monday October 10th

Application process

Enrolment for the 2022/2023 a.y. is now closed. We are not accepting further applications. 


You application will be submitted entirely online through our online application portal.

Students must first create an account, and can then start to fill out the application for the Ca' Foscari Foundation Year. For assistance, please read the Handbook above.

The deadline for applications is May 20th, 2022.

Once we have evaluated and approved your documents, you will receive an email to let you know your application has be sent to the Admissions Committee for acceptance into the programme. Your application status at this stage will be "Ready for Admission Committee". If there are mandatory documents missing from your application, you will be notified and will have 7 days to send them to us.

If the Admissions Committee approves your application you will be sent an acceptance letter or a conditional acceptance letter (see below). If your application is not approved, you will receive a letter of rejection explaining why your application has failed.

Please note that we aim to reply to your application within a month; please do not send emails requesting early admission approval - we will reply to all applications in the order in which we receive them.

To accept your place within the program you must pay the first fee installment of €300 within 14 days after you have been accepted or conditionally accepted onto the programme.

  • The payment must be made online. Once you have been accepted (or conditionally accepted), you will see that your application will have a new task to resolve (Application Fee Payment FY), and you will receive an email with all the relevant information on how to pay.

IMPORTANT: Once you have carried out your payment, you will have to click a second time on the payment link to finalise the process; the status will then change to "PAID" and the task will be resolved. 

Following your enrolment in the Foundation Year, we will notify you by August if your chosen Study Track has not been activated. You will have the chance to transfer into another Track, or request reimbursement.

Conditional admission

If you receive a letter of Conditional Admission, you are required to send us certain documents (such as your final diploma/qualification and language certifications) in order to complete the enrolment procedure.

These documents must be uploaded to your application by August 31st, 2022.

Tuition costs


Total tuition is €5,000. Tuition includes all teaching activities and tutorials, and all University administrative and support  services. Extra curricular activities, transport, accommodation and living expenses, if any, must be covered by the student.

Tuition costs are to be paid in three installments

  1. €300 14 days after receiving the acceptance letter
  2. €1,700 by September 15th, 2022
  3. €3,000 by November 30th, 2022

Fee reductions 

Every year, a limited number of fee reductions of €2.000 per student are available for the Ca' Foscari Foundation Year. The fee reductions are assigned on the basis of merit and motivation, and are applied to the third fee instalment. 

The Call for Scholarship Applications will be published as soon as the evaluation of all applications has been completed (around mid-July). Please note that students will be asked to provide a certified CGPA (cumulative grade point average) for the last three years in order to apply.

Withdrawal policy

If an accepted applicant notifies his/her withdrawal from the programme, the School will implement the following withdrawal policy (referred to the payment of the first installment only)

  • Students can withdraw from the Foundation Year with a full refund of the first payment (€300) up until August 31st;
  • Students who withdraw following August 31st are not eligible for reimbursement unless extenuating circumstances (including a documented visa denial from the Embassy) can be demonstrated

Students who are unable to meet the payment deadlines will be promptly withdrawn from the program without reimbursement, unless specific arrangements have been made in advance, and in exceptional circumstances only.

General Curriculum

Study Tracks

A. Economics & Management

B. Humanities & Arts

C. Science

D. Architecture, Art & Design

Language Modules

International Option

I semester

II semester

Bridge Options

Intensive Bridge B1 

Bridge B2

Native Speaker Option

Students in this option take academic writing in Italian and an optional C1 Italian language course, along with two extra disciplinary courses taught in English. They are also required to write a short thesis aimed at demonstrating advanced academic skills in either Italian or English.

Arriving on Campus

Foundation Year students receive comprehensive pre-departure arrival information and assistance with the visa process, and upon arrival will find out how to access students services at Ca’ Foscari such as fully equipped libraries (open late), student cafeterias, campus-wide wifi, the buddy programme for international students, and more.

Visa requirements

In order to complete enrolment in the Ca' Foscari Foundation Year, students from non-EU countries must have a valid study visa, even if they are to follow some of the programme online. Your visa needs to be requested once you have been accepted and have received your letter of eligibility, by pre-enrolling through the Universitaly portal.

If you pay the first instalment on time (and the task is resolved within your application) the School be able to will confirm that you are enrolled in the programme, and you will then be able to proceed with your visa application.

Residence permit (Permesso di soggiorno)

All non-EU students staying in Italy for longer than 90 days are required to apply for a Residence permit. You will need to prepare your documents and apply at the Post Office as soon as you arrive. You will then be given an appointment at the Questura (Police station). For further information see the website, or contact


There are a limited number of places at the Santa Marta Residence reserved for international students who arrive in October for the first semester. Please contact us for further information. If you wish to receive information on all accommodation options our Housing Office can assist you for a small fee: find out more on their webpage.

To find out more about what the University has to offer, read through the Ca' Foscari Welcome Guide.


Living expenses

Your weekly grocery shop will be around 40-50 euros, but if you wish to eat out, that will cost around 10 to 30 euros per meal.

In terms of transport, getting around Venice is always best if you go on foot, but you can take the vaporetto (public transport by boat) for €7,50 (for a 75 minute trip). Alternatively, you can register for a monthly transport pass for all public transport (bus, tram, vaporetto) that costs around €140, with special discounts applying to students under 26. More information is available here.

Working while studying

As the Foundation Year programme is not a university level programme, there are no funds to support the students, as they are not yet enrolled to a university.
Furthermore, we do not encourage students to work during the programme because lessons can be planned at any point during the day, from 8:30 AM to 7 PM, and the workload for this programme is intensive.
We therefore strongly recommend students to come to Venice after they have made sure they will be able to sustain themselves once arrived.

Enrolment at Ca' Foscari following Foundation Year

Students who successfully complete the Ca' Foscari Foundation Year will be eligible for enrolment in any of the many undergraduate programmes at our University. Foundation Year students will be guided through the enrolment process during the months of December to March, with enrolment taking place from February to June.

Participation in the Foundation Year does not entitle students to directly access their chosen degree programme; students must still take an entry test, where necessary.

Application process for Foundation Year students

For the purposes of enrolment in a degree programme, former Ca' Foscari Foundation Year students are equivalent to EU citizens / Italian residents. This means that they should follow the procedures outlined here.

Foundation Year students can apply to Ca' Foscari during any of the admission rounds: from December through to September for open-admission programmes, and until June for limited admission degree programmes (for which an admission test is required). However, it is strongly suggested you apply early in case there are issues with your documents, pre-requisites or qualifications.

"Dichiarazione di valore"

In order to be admitted to an undergraduate degree programme at an Italian university you must obtain an official certification of your high school leaving diploma certifying the legal value of your high school leaving qualification in the country where you obtained it. This is called "Dichiarazione di valore". You can usually request a "Dichiarazione di valore" from the Embassy or the Consulate of Italy in your country.

You are not required to provide this document for admission to the Foundation Year, but we strongly recommend you start the process before you leave your home country for Foundation Year.

Financial aid for international students at Ca' Foscari

The three best performing students who successfully complete the Ca' Foscari Foundation Year and then enrol in a degree programme at Ca' Foscari will receive a scholarship of € 6,500 for tuition fees on the first year, which can also be renewed provided they complete 42 ECTS per year.

For further information on enrolment at Ca' Foscari as an international student please visit the webpage or contact our International Welcome Unit. We look forward to having you with us!

Last update: 12/08/2022