Adventures Abroad! Past Review

By (International Relations, Austin College) - abroad from 01/03/2014 to 09/25/2015 with

Arcadia: ISI Perugia - The Umbra Institute

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained more independence and learned more about not only myself but also about other cultures.

Review Photos

Arcadia: Perugia - Umbra Institute Photo Arcadia: Perugia - Umbra Institute Photo Arcadia: Perugia - Umbra Institute Photo Arcadia: Perugia - Umbra Institute Photo Arcadia: Perugia - Umbra Institute Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Studying abroad is such an amazing and unique experience that allows students to be exposed to an entire culture that is different than their own. While this can be a stressful and conflicting experience for some, for others it opens the door to an entire world of opportunities. This particular city holds a special place in my heart because of all the amazing people I met and places I discovered. Perugia is a beautiful small town located in the mountains. The people are very friendly and help students get over their culture shock and immediately feel at home. It's central location makes it extremely easy to travel around and explore other cities. The Umbra Institute encourages students to not only explore surrounding cities, but also Perugia. The staff are all incredible friendly people who love getting to know every student and build lasting relationships. I am extremely grateful for all the opportunities provided to me by the Umbra Institute and hope to return to Perugia soon.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living arrangements were all relatively close to the school, however it was luck of the draw. My apartment that I shared with 3 others was a short 5 minute walk. However my friend had a 25 minute walk uphill. I encourage everyone to do the homestay if it is available, your Italian will dramatically increase.

* Food:


* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never felt concerned for safety

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 60€
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Decide in your first few weeks how many day trips and weekend trips you want to go on. Train ticket prices vary by time of day and time of year. Keep that in mind.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

Because the school was filled with Americans, beyond our actual language class everyone spoke English all the time. If you want to integrate yourself in the culture to increase your understanding of the Italian culture, the program is willing to help, but that is on you. Umbra hosts several "Tandem" nights. Where you and several other students will be paired with a native Italian speaker. This night you are encouraged to speak only Italian. Beyond these few nights though it is up to each student to decide if they would like to practice with locals or not.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Practice practice practice

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • the staff
  • the city
  • the classes
* What could be improved?
  • include other international students/local students
  • house students with Italians
  • more host families
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had heard about WWOOFing before I left for Italy. I ended up going after the program and had an incredible experience. More people should know about this opportunity

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'