The Umbra Institute
Perugia, Italy (Outgoing Program)
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Study at the Umbra Institute
Often called “the big university town in a small Italian city,” Perugia is home to the Umbra Institute, which offers semester, year-long, and summer programs. Students can choose from a variety of courses with integrated field trips to world-famous Italian cities and sites, community engagement opportunities, and extra-curricular activities. The diverse Umbra faculty and friendly staff strive to incorporate a genuine Italian experience into all elements of the academic curriculum and student’s experience.
Perugia’s hilltop location serves as the ideal backdrop for study abroad in Italy. Rich in art, architecture, and historical significance, it is internationally recognized as a city of learning. The ancient city is surrounded by the rolling hills of Umbria and Tuscany. While lying off the beaten path, travel from Perugia is easy as Rome, Florence, Siena, Assisi, and Cortona lie only a short distance away.
Beyond the unique location, community engagement is the guiding philosophy behind all Umbra academic programs. Thanks to the city’s small size, the daily interaction with Italian students, and effective Italian language studies, Umbra helps students get to know the real Italy—and Italians. Each semester, Umbra students discover that giving back to the host community is one of the most rewarding outcomes of their time abroad. The real and visible impact of these efforts includes intercultural exchange, language acquisition, and new friendships. Students may choose from academic internships and service learning projects to volunteering, Co-Ops, and more. Visit the Umbra Community Engagement Abroad webpage and Institute's video page.
Academic Programs: Semester and Year-long
The General Studies Program is based on a traditional liberal arts curriculum with two components: an Italian language and culture course and a selection of elective courses in English. All students are required to study the Italian language for a total of four to six credits.
The majority of courses include field trips as part of the curriculum.
The Direct Enrollment Program offers students the unique opportunity to experience Italian university life as a local alongside Italian and international students at the University for Foreigners (Università per Stranieri) or the University of Perugia (Università degli Studi di Perugia). Enrolled in the Direct Enrollment Program at the University for Foreigners, students of all levels of language proficiency focus exclusively on Italian language and culture and study alongside people from all over the world whose goal is to become fluent in Italian. Students enrolled in the University of Perugia begin the semester with an intensive, one-month Italian language course at the University for Foreigners prior to beginning their two elective courses in the humanities department at the University of Perugia.
The Food & Sustainability Studies Program is an interdisciplinary curricular concentration within the General Studies Program that has three interdisciplinary food courses in Italian food history, sustainable food production, and the business of food and an Italian class. There is also the possibility of a summer internship in an Umbrian wine company.
The Honors Program, within the General Studies Program, welcomes students with a desire to combine high academic standards, extensive study in the subject area, community engagement, and additional contact with instructors. Honors students conduct original research in an area of their choice, working one-on-one with a faculty advisor. The research culminates into a traditional research paper or a creative project, approved by the faculty advisor. Honors students further enhance their learning by living with international or Italian students.
The Independent Research option is designed to provide students the opportunity to complete a significant research assignment in a topic of their choice as one component of their study abroad experience.
Academic Program: Summer
During the summer, the General Studies Summer Program offers students the opportunity to choose one or two courses from a diverse list of offerings each summer. The majority of courses include field trips and excursions as part of the curriculum.
The Intensive Italian through Culture Program is a six-week intensive language course. Students can select from the following four levels: elementary, intermediate, intermediate-advanced, and advanced. The program consists of full-time study coupled with rich co-curricular activities alongside Italian students. These cultural activities include language exchanges, cinema nights, day trips, concerts during the Umbria Jazz festival, museum visits, and guided tours in Italian.
The Summer Archaeology Field School provides a curricular concentration in Archaeology and History based in nearby Castiglione del Lago on the shores of Lake Trasimeno. The Field School consists of two courses, both held in Castiglione del Lago. While classroom learning is part of the field school, the core of the program is daily, hands-on experience: learning to excavate through actual experience.
The Umbra Institute Highlights
• State-of-the-art facilities;
• International staff and faculty;
• Availability for pre-departure questions;
• Private airport pick-up in Rome and transfer to Perugia;
• Two-day orientation in Perugia including a practical city walking tour;
• Cell phones or SIM cards rental services available;
• Educational and cultural workshops on Independent Travel, Presentation and PowerPoint, and Reentry to the U.S.;
• Optional Trip, a staff-guided trip offered to explore beautiful, scenic Italy;
• Co-curricular field trips to world-renowned historic sites and famous cities;
• Mandatory Italian language courses to learn practical skills to communicate with locals;
• Tandem language exchange;
• A variety of extracurricular activities (pizza-making workshop, sports with Italian university students, etc.);
• Communication: monthly newsletters, Wi-Fi in all student apartments, frequent posts on the Umbra Blog, and a Student Handbook and Guidebook;
• Emergency phone available 24 hours a day;
• Medical care available 24 hours a day;
• Life-coaching and counseling service, and
• Staff trained in crisis management.
Academics main page (course descriptions)
Umbra Institute videos
Community Engagement page
Food & Sustainability Studies Program
Umbra for Parents
Study Abroad in Italy