The City of Pavia

Looking east from the University roofs

Looking east from the University roofs

A small city with a charming and well preserved historic centre by the banks of the Ticino River, Pavia is less than half-an-hour by train from Milan (Italian centre of finance, culture and fashion) and within easy reach of the Swiss border, the Northern Italian lakes and the Ligurian coast. Pavia offers a unique educational environment characterized by a strong sense of integration between university and city. The Department of Political and Social Sciences, hosting the Master in World Politics and International Relations, is located in the enchanting original structure of the University, where the Studium Generale was founded in 1361. The building is situated at the very heart of Pavia, in one of its most popular shopping areas, and is just a few minutes’ walk from the Visconti Castle and its park, and from the picturesque bank of the Ticino River.

In 2011 the Pavia rowing team came first in an international tournament against Oxford, Cambridge and Pisa

In 2011 the Pavia rowing team came first in an international tournament against Oxford, Cambridge and Pisa

The perfect combination of city and university life is illustrated also by its system of colleges. Pavia hosts the largest college system in Italy, comprising 15 colleges (two of them dating from the 16th century) providing students with comfortable accommodation and facilities, as well as a daily supply of social and cultural opportunities. In addition, the University Sports Center (CUS) offers modern training facilities for track and field, canoeing, rowing, volleyball, rugby, fencing, archery, sports for physically disabled, aerobics, basketball, swimming and sailing. The central location of the colleges, as well as their multicultural and multidisciplinary population, makes them the most appealing housing solution for many students. Apart from the colleges, however, Pavia also has a lively private market. For more information, see Fees and Accommodation.

Although the University and Colleges, with their many public lectures, classical music concerts, and exhibitions, are undoubtedly the core of Pavia’s cultural life, the city offers many other forms of entertainment, including those of the Teatro Fraschini (with an opera, ballet, and drama season), two cinemas (with frequent “cineforum” discussions, as well as movies in original languages), a Civic Museum located in the Visconti Castle, and many occasional events such as a jazz season, photography and fine arts exhibitions, and open air concerts.

Further information about life in Pavia can be found in the main University website

 Click here to discover the city of Pavia.


Ruslan Minich

Ruslan Minich, 2nd year Master’s student in World Politics and International Relations, 2014-15

“What you expect when you plan a visit to an Italian town is to see ancient buildings, to experience grand medieval architecture, and to enjoy being part of a unique and lively environment. Pavia is this kind of town. The old University, its perfect location, the good public services around town, and the availability of studying facilities offer the necessary conditions to facilitate the learning process. Thanks to the work of the many students’ organizations, entertainment is guaranteed: you will never be bored here! ”



Najam ul Hasan

Najam ul Hasan, 2nd year Master’s student in World Politics and International Relations, 2013-14

“Studying at the University of Pavia has helped me to approach knowledge through a different prism. Because I find the lifestyle and study environment so enjoyable, I have found new energies for studying and achieving my goals. The constant interaction with visiting international speakers and colleagues has given me a chance to think about world politics from a broader and more nuanced angle. I feel that I have made here many useful connections that will contribute to developing my network as regards both my professional and social life. My stay at Pavia has refined me as a student and will surely help me to build a good life and career ahead.’’