The University of Trento

The School of International Studies (SIS) at the University of Trento was founded in 2001 and is constituted as a Centre of the University. It has a strong multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary identity which reflects the complexity of modern societies that implies that no single disciplinary approach is sufficient to understand the rapid social, political, economic and institutional changes currently occurring both in Europe and worldwide. Departments contributing to the School’s activities include law, economics and management, sociology and social research, and arts and humanities. The School currently offers a two year Master’s Degree in International Security Studies (IMISS), together with the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies (Pisa), Trento leads on our Causes of Conflict Pathway. School of International Studies, University of Trento.

Contact: Prof Paolo Foradori, School of International Studies

Phone: +39 461 283838


Why Trento?

The charming city of Trento is located in the Dolomites (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) in the north-east of Italy and is the destination for those IMSISS students selected for the ‘Causes of Conflict’ study track pathway B. The University of Trento is a dynamic middle-sized University, and one of top Italian universities in terms of both teaching quality and research. It ranks highly in both national and international rankings (1st for scientific production according to the Italian National Agency for Evaluation of the University System and Research; 1st in Italy in the The Times Higher Education (THE) Europe Teaching 2018; a top 10 institution in Italy in THE and QS World University Rankings). In surveys in recent years by Rome’s La Sapienza University for Italia Oggi and by national newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Trento emerged as the city with the best quality of life in the whole of Italy.

IMSISS students on the Trento track are based at the University’s School of International Studies, advanced centre for interdisciplinary studies founded as a result of close and continued between the University’s departments of Law, Humanities, Economics and Sociology and Social Research. Through the variety of expertise and of its staff, the School of International Studies is ideally placed to investigate the root of conflicts as well as factors impacting on their continuation and resolution. Students will study four core modules dealing with the causes of conflicts from different disciplinary (sociology, law, economics/geography, history). These modules include practical elements, and students will also have the opportunity to choose remaining credits from a variety of optional modules.

When arriving in Trento, IMSISS students also enjoy access to modern and university-run accommodation, subject to availability. The University of Trento has dedicated staff who support incoming students, assisting them both before and during their time in Trento for matters including obtaining visas, reserving accommodation, obtaining residence permits, information sessions, administrative , social integration, welcome activities, guided tours and excursions and much more.

The city is located in an alpine valley around 1 hour’s travel from Verona and Lake Garda, and is close to both Austria and Switzerland. The city is also neighboured by the Italian Alto Adige/Südtirol Province, and consequently the German-speaking areas of Italy. The region has a complex history, including South Tyrol’s pursuit of self-determination between the end of the 1950s and the 1980s. As a result of these historical and geographical features, the University of Trento is particularly committed to scholarship on the maintenance of peace, the self-determination of peoples, the protection of minorities, and the prevention of inter-ethnic conflicts. The School of International Studies regularly cooperates with the Universities of Bozen and Innsbruck and has partnership agreements with a host of local, national and international think tanks, NGOs and other organizations.

Benefits of placements for students

From IMSISS Student Umaima Zia

My time in Trento was an extraordinary chapter in my academic journey. For four months, I had the privilege of immersing myself in the captivating landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history of Italy while studying in this beautiful city.

Trento, with its charming streets and architectural wonders, provided an inspiring backdrop for my studies. The courses I took allowed me to delve into diverse subjects that expanded my knowledge and understanding. I gained some practical skills along the way by participating in the CoESPU Stability Policing training in Vicenza, map-making using QGIS by integrating spatial data and applying cartographic principles and conducting text analysis through software like Atlas.ti.

What made my experience truly remarkable were the exceptional teachers who guided and supported me throughout. Their dedication and friendliness created a nurturing learning environment where I felt encouraged to explore, ask questions, and grow academically.

Beyond the classroom, I had the opportunity to embrace the Italian way of life and the warmth of its people. I made lasting connections with fellow students from around the world, and together we immersed ourselves in the local culture, cuisine, and traditions.

Looking back, my semester in Trento stands out as the pinnacle of my master’s program. It was a transformative period that not only enriched my academic knowledge but also allowed me to create lifelong memories and friendships.