The Best Time of My Life Past Review

By (Pennsylvania State University - University Park / Penn State) - abroad from 08/25/2017 to 12/16/2017 with

Arcadia: ISI Perugia - The Umbra Institute

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I am a whole new person. I feel more confident and comfortable with myself, and I now have so many new skills. It was the best decision I ever made.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes were very well balanced between learning and having time to enjoy the time abroad.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The entire town is hills so there isn't really a lot they can do about that. But all the apartments were in the city center and pretty nice.

* Food:

It's Italy.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program does a great job teaching you everything you need to know to integrate yourself.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Some of my friends had problems and they were all handed great.

* Safety:

I only heard of one person getting pickpocketed in Perugia. The locals say it almost never happens. I felt very safe there.

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

The program is amazing and takes care of so much for you. All I had to do was immerse myself in the culture and language.


* 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)

Food is very cheap. If you cook for yourself you could stay under 10 or 15 euro a day easily.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cooking at home is cheap, but don't forget to eat out. Italian food is amazing and a lot of my friends regret not eating more of it.


* 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

Perugia was a great place to learn the language. A lot of the important people spoke english but a lot of shops were only italian. The program really focuses on getting you to a conversational level as fast as they can.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
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? Italian 3
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? Buy a lighter and always keep it on you. It's a great way to make Italian friends. Having Italian friends will make learning the language much faster and more fluent.

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

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • People
  • Food
  • Language-learning
* What could be improved?
  • Classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How important it was to make Italian friends

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!