About MIT-Italy

Italy and MIT share the same birth year (1861) and a passion for innovating through rigorous abstract inquiry and ingenious craft. MIT’s motto “Mens et Manus” perfectly applies to the talent for integrative invention which has distinguished Italy since the Renaissance and still makes it one of the world’s largest makers and exporters. The MIT-Italy program enables MIT students and researchers to experience Italy’s genius for combining technology and culture, science and beauty, and gives our Italian partners access to MIT scientific imagination and problem solving skills.

Opportunities for MIT students include paid research stays at partner universities and labs; in -country faculty led workshops; internships at small and large companies; teaching at Italian high schools over IAP. The MIT-Italy seed funds support more than a dozen new collaborations a year  between MIT-faculty and their counterparts at the Politecnico di Milano, the Universita’ di Pisa and the Universities and Research Institutions of the FVG region. To our Italian partners, we offer access to MIT “can do” culture through our students, the labs they come from and our expertise.

Program Opportunities


The MIT-Italy Program offers paid research and company internships to qualified undergraduates and graduate students in most academic fields.

Most internships take place in the summer and require a 8-10 weeks commitment. Some opportunities are also available at other times/longer periods.

  • Minimum GPA of 4.0
  • Language
    • Undergraduates must complete at least ONE Italian class – either in person at Harvard or online before departure.  EdX offers many online options. We recommend the Wellesley Italian  language and culture class: https://www.wellesley.edu/italianonline
    • No language requirement for graduate students

All Italy placements are custom made and a majority of them are at research institutes and small companies. While we cannot usually  place  all applicants the year they first apply to the Program—especially if they’re seeking a company internship and do not have much experience—you can increase your chances by considering a wider range of placements (research, teaching, participating in a faculty led workshop) and/or give us more time. First Years are strongly encouraged to plan their internship over a two-years time frame.

The Program co-director will begin to explore potential placements and contact hosts only after applicants have  committed to the program, completed the country application and have been accepted into the program. However, acceptance does not guarantee a placement. Placements in Italy tend to be finalized relatively close to departuremid February-late Marchhence the rolling deadline. Still, applying early increases chances of being placed.

  1. Complete the MISTI Launchpad Application – November 1st and rolling afterwards. First Years are strongly encouraged to wait until they know their Spring classes and research plans.
  2. Interview with Italy Program Co-Director - End of October to mid-March.
  3. Commit to MIT-Italy Program - March 1st by choosing it on the MISTI launchpad application
  4. Once approved, complete the Italy Program Application.
  5. Internship matching process - mid-January - mid-March.
  6. Mandatory Pre-Departure Sessions – late-March to early-May

How to Apply

Like all MISTI Programs, the MIT-Italy Program guarantees coverage of basic travel and living expenses, & health insurance.

Global Teaching Labs

The Global Teaching Lab Program sends MIT students to teach STEM subjects—with a strong emphasis on Physics—and DEBATE at Italian high schools for 3 weeks over IAP while living with a host family. Participants are placed at public schoolsmostly located in small townsteach individually for up to 20 hours a week under the supervision of a host teacher, and live with families chosen by the host school. All the teaching takes place in English, and is geared to emphasize experiential learning. In 2020, more than 70 students taught at 50 plus public schools.

Tentative dates for IAP 2022: January 7January 29th.

Please be aware that the GTL 2022 program may be cancelled at any time due to Covid by the MIT-Italy Program or by our partner schools.

Open to sophomores, juniors and graduating seniors in all disciplines who have taken classes at MIT in the subjects they will be teaching. Graduate students will be considered only if they did their undergraduate studies at MIT. First Years will be considered for debate only—high school experience required.

  • GPA 4.0 and above, with an emphasis on courses related to the subjects to be taught 
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Teaching experience (preferably at MIT)
  • No language requirement, but preference is given to students with some knowledge of Italian and Latin.
  • Selected participants must attend Global Teaching Labs and MIT-Italy training sessions and submit a report afterwards

The MIT-Italy Program covers round trip airfare prior to departure, with the host schools providing a small stipend for incidental living expenses after arrival in Italy. Participants stay for free with families selected by their host schools.

Applications are due by September 23rd. Please refer to the How to Apply page for MISTI GTL application instructions.

Due to the high number of expected applicants, there will be no individual meetings before or after the application deadline. Selected applicants will be informed by e-mail about interviews timing and location. The number and profiles of applicants who will be interviewed will depend on the number  and types of available spots. We aim at completing the acceptance and matching process by the end of October. Participants cannot chose their location, and may be asked to commit before being matched to a specific school.

For more information before applying, please attend the GTL online Information session on September 17 (more info to be posted soon).

The MIT-Italy program promotes not for credit workshops that engage MIT and Italian faculty and students in hands-on research on globally relevant topics.

In summer 2022, we will replicate the 2 weeks Venice sustainability summer workshop held by MIT professors Paola Malanotte Rizzoli (EAPS), Andrew Whittle (CEE), and Mary-Anne Ocampo (DUSP) in collaboration with Venice IUAV Faculty. The workshop, which will take place in the Pellestrina island and will host approximately 25 MIT and IUAV students, is open to graduates and undergraduates from all backgrounds with an interest in economic, social, and environmental sustainability. Participation in the workshop may be combined with an internship before or afterwards depending on dates and opportunity availability.

Watch this video for more insights on the Venice sustainability workshop.

Read the MIT News article: Saving Venice MIT-style at Italian research camp in Pellestrina

For the Summer of 2022, we're hoping to offer  a new workshop tentatively titled " Stitching together Italy's rural towns: disused railways infrastructure as a potential urban aggregator."Led by faculty and graduate students from the School of Architecture and DUSP, the workshop will  focus on the role of infrastructure in fighting desertification and bringing about new forms of urban aggregation.  Stay tuned and contact us  if  interested.

Application deadline November 1st and rolling afterwards. Pre-departure training and camp dates TBD.

  • GPA 4.0 and above
  • Some background knowledge on the workshop themes preferred
  • No language requirement, but preference is given to students with some knowledge of Italian language and culture.
  • After being accepted by the MIT-Italy Program, applicants will need to write a short statement of interest and meet with lead faculty to discuss their contribution to the workshop hands on research.

Applications open November 1st. Details about dates and workshop training TBD .

Global Seed Funds for MIT-Italy

The MIT-Italy Program supports faculty collaboration with several partner institutions, with more than a dozen new projects being launched every year.

inside sculpture on MIT campus
Polytechnic University of Milan campus

Progetto Roberto Rocca with the Politecnico di Milano

The Roberto Rocca Project supports collaborations between MIT faculty and research scientists and their Politecnico di Milano counterparts. Launched in 2005, the Progetto Rocca has been extended until 2025.

MIT campus dome building
University of Pisa campus

MIT–Unipisa collaboration with the Universita’di Pisa

The MIT-UNIPI Project supports about 4 new collaborations a year between MIT faculty and research scientists and their counterparts at Universita’ di Pisa.

Meet Your Program Co-Director

MIT Italy Managing Director Serenella Sferza

Get in touch with Serenella Sferza, MIT-Italy Co-Director, to get your questions answered.