At the Scuola Normale teachers, researchers and students live in the same environment, switching between teaching activities and research in the labs and attending the cultural events organised by and within the Scuola. An optimum teacher to student ratio (about 1 to 10), the seminar method of teaching, the prevalence of interaction and discussion within the academic environment, as opposed to more traditional lectures: these are the basic ingredients of the typical college life of the Scuola Normale.
In order to make possible and maintain the exchange of knowledge and experience, the Scuola provides each student with:
a) free accommodation in a single room in one of the college dormitories owned by the Scuola (Collegio Faedo, Collegio Carducci, Collegio Timpano, Collegio Fermi) ;
b) free meals in a refectory located in Palazzo D’Ancona and also used by the teachers and the administration workers of the Scuola;
c) free admission to the Library of the Scuola (1 million volumes and 4 thousand periodicals) with free check-out of library resources; d) free access to the laboratories and the research structures of both the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Sciences of the Scuola.
And all this without any financial obligation on the part of the students.
The tuition fees paid to the University of Pisa are fully reimbursed by the Scuola Normale. Meals at the refectory are free, as are accommodation in the dormitories, the consultation of library material and access to laboratory instruments.
Furthermore, the students of the Scuola Normale are granted a small monthly allowance for other study expenses.