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Changing universities: how it works and when it’s worth doing it

Dec 2, 2022 | Study

Choosing a university is not always done with proper care: it may happen to choose the nearest one and easier to reach, the one that inspires us the most in that moment or about which we’ve been best told about. Often, however, when the academic year has already begun, we realize that the educational offerings of another university are more in line with our goals and ambitions. Is it therefore possible changing universities? Absolutely!

If you are thinking of moving to another university, this is the article for you. Today we explain how the process of transferring to another university works and when it actually pays to do so.

Timing and cost of relocation

The first thing to know is that it is not possible to change during the current year. In fact, the transfer can be made between August and September, which corresponds to the new enrollment period. In exceptional cases it can also be made beyond this time frame, paying a small late fee. What you need to understand about this procedure is that it always varies according to the regulations of the individual university. 

Therefore, we recommend that you consult both the regulations of the university you are leaving and the one you want to apply to. This way you’ll be able to understand how much time you have to proceed with the transfer, what paperwork needs to be turned in, what the costs are, and which exams will be recognized to you. 

Another factor to consider is that transferring has a cost, which is called a leave fee, that must be paid to the university you are leaving. The price can vary, although it is usually around 300€.

Changing universities: same course or different faculty

If you are considering changing universities but keeping the same degree program, you should be careful! Not all exams are always recognized: these may have a different name or even have different course credits.

In case you want to enroll in a degree program with a limited number of students, you should have no problems with enrollment (as long as you have not run out of available places). Obviously, you will have to pass an entrance test, if required, and then, in order to enroll, you will have to wait for clearance from the university to which you want to transfer.

On the other hand, if your intent is to change faculty, we strongly advise you to check if there are any exams in common that you can get validated. It often happens that very different faculties nevertheless have exams in common that can be easily retrieved by the student who is transferring, without thus risking losing all the CFUs acquired at the previous university.

Validating exams

As just mentioned, recognition of exams taken can be partial or full, depending on the number of CFUs the passed exam has compared to the equivalent one in the new curriculum. 

To validate exams, you will have to submit official documentation that you passed the exam with all the details (date, grade, field and credits). 

After that, to be eligible, the committee will have to assess whether the two exams match. If there is not a perfect match, the latter may also decide to grant only part of the credits (partial credits) or to offset some of them, in case of excess, on other subjects. 

Finally, as regards Language and It exams, it is also possible to validate them through other certifications.


Changing universities can seem like a complicated process. Infact, as you have just learned, you only need to follow the regulations of both universities, step by step, and carry out the whole process carefully. 

Always remember to carefully check that the exams coincide, so that you can keep as many course credits as possible. In case this is not possible, but you are still willing to change, don’t worry; what matters is that you are determined in your choice and ready to start again on a new educational path.

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