Ciao Ciao Past Review

By (Visual and Performing Arts, Trinity University) - abroad from 08/25/2016 to 12/11/2016 with

Arcadia: ISI Perugia - The Umbra Institute

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I felt very self assured and confident taking care of myself in another country. It was definitely worthwhile! I wish I went through an art program though, because I really value studio time and not having access to one 24/7 was a change of pace for me.

Review Photos

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? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I primarily took art courses so much of the work wasn't rigorous, although I was surprised how less difficult it was than my home university. It was nice to have a break from strong academics, but I did miss it.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The faculty were so helpful! I had trouble figuring out travel logistics and they helped me figure it out!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Our apartment had the best view in comparison to other apartments although it was really out of date. Our washer broke and our heater only had one setting so we resorted to wearing summer clothes during the winter. That was a draw back.

* Food:

The food was spectacular! We didn't have a meal plan, but when we did go to restaurants the food was always spectacular--and so fresh!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very integrated! Although I didn't speak the language, I volunteered with UNICEF and at a local elementary school once a week. I was also in a fresco painting course that painted outside of a retirement home. I felt that these extracurricular activities integrated me into the culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had an ear infection and fever at separate times while I was abroad. The doctor came to the school and did a full check-up while I was there. She also wrote a prescription for me so that I didn't have to translate my symptoms into Italian. It was so helpful!

* Safety:

I felt very safe while I was there! I was aware of my surroundings while I traveled, and especially when I went out at night, but I never felt unsafe.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

We didn't have a meal plan so it was essential to budget properly. However, most restaurants in Perugia didn't take credit cards, so we had to split the bills with euros. It was harder to keep track of money when it's not through a card, but I had a spreadsheet that helped me budget properly. I probably spent 55 euro a week on groceries and 12 euros a week eating at cafes.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 80 euro
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make a budget and stick to it! Write down everything you buy, and how much you spend on it, so you can keep track of where your money is going.


* 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

Umbra sponsored Tandem nights where Italians and Americans met in a restaurant a few times a month and we would practice speaking in either Italian or English. Everyone in the program was also required to take an Italian language course.

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? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Spanish IV
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Be prepared to use it.

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?
  • location
  • faculty
  • four day class weeks
* What could be improved?
  • apartment accomodations
  • mandatory language requirement
  • activity clubs
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Studying Abroad opens your eyes to the world and new cultures. Many people have different incentives to study abroad: travel, live life, escape from the stress of traditional college. Just know that you don't magically become someone else when you study abroad; you'll grow but you don't completely change who you are.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!