In this engineering exchange program, students enroll directly at Politecnico di Torino, one of Vanderbilt's partner institutions. This program is a good option for mechanical engineering majors who are independent, proactive, and self-motivated.
Torino is city in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, close to the Alps and Milan, as well as the famous wine region of the Langhe. The mix of Swiss and French influence distinguishes Torino from other cities in Italy, particularly in regards to its architecture and wide, Parisian-esque streets. Torino is also the birthplace of the aperitivo, the Italian custom of drinks and snacks before dinner, and is a regular part of the social fabric for locals. Generally, you’ll see fewer tourists in this city than in other popular study abroad locations in Italy.
Engineering departments are located on Politecnico di Torino’s main campus. The research center on this campus is shared with General Motors, which gives students unique research opportunities in the fields of mechanics, controls, and material sciences. Much of the Italian auto industry is based in Torino, including Fiat and Alfa Romeo. Fiat in particular has close relationship with Politecnico di Torino- one of the four Politecnico di Torino campuses is a redeveloped Fiat industrial site- which is reflected in coursework and excursions for mechanical engineers studying at the university.
All VU students must take between 12-18 VU credit hours while abroad. A full course load at Politecnico di Torino is 30 ECTS per semester. Students are advised to have back-up courses in case their top choice subjects are full or overlap with other desired courses. First year courses are not open to exchange students.
Exchange students are required to take an introductory Italian course for certification during the period between arrival and start of classes. Academic credit is not received for this course.
Academic environment, teaching style, course structure, and grading scale at Politecnico di Torino will differ from Vanderbilt. Class sessions may be longer and more lecture-based, and grades will often be weighted exclusively on final exams. Most final exams include both written sections and oral sections. Students should be prepared to make learning-style adjustments accordingly. Much of the learning in study abroad takes place outside of the classroom. Students should balance academics with community engagement, social/cultural activities, travel, and fully take advantage of what a semester in Torino has to offer.
Students will live in Collegio Einaudi student apartments about 10 minutes walking from the university.
Exchange students will need to procure an Italian visa. This can occasionally require travel to an Italian consulate as well as a visa application fee. Students should research the visa process after completing the application, but keep in mind that you will need official documentation from Politecnico di Torino before submitting your visa application.
Students must complete an application with GEO by the GEO application deadline. After nomination by GEO, students will fill out a Politecnico di Torino application directly with the university. Final admissions decisions will come from Politecnico di Torino.
Please note: Politecnico di Torino accepts nominations on a later timeline that other Vanderbilt study abroad programs. This means that students will not know if they are accepted into the program until after the Vanderbilt commitment deadline. A backup program is suggested.