An amazing cultural experience Past Review

By (Muhlenberg College) - abroad from 01/05/2012 to 04/27/2012 with

Arcadia: Perugia - Umbra Institute

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about myself and how much a person can grow by being on their own and traveling around. I learned a lot about how to be independent and how to work through tough situations. I think this is an experience everyone should have because it is truly incredible.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

You really do learn a lot about the italian culture through specific classes with more of an art history base to them. There are also food culture classes which are great as well. They are not the hardest classes in the world but you become really invested in them and they are so interesting because you are learning about the culture and the history around you. It makes the work worth doing.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

All of the administrators were great. I knew each of them had specific roles for the institution but the best thing about them was that they were all there to help you with whatever you needed throughout the semester, even if it wasn't in their exact expertise.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had a great experience with housing because you really do get to live in the heart of Perugia. There were so technically issues but they were always handled in a timely manner.

* Food:

We had to cook all our own meals so I can't say much about the food other than it is absolutely fantastic in Perugia itself and there was usually good food at the Umbra sponsored events.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very integrated into the culture because I was living in the heart of Perugia and I got to really use the language while I was there because not many people speak english. Along with that Umbra has a program called TANDEM where you can speak to locals in italian and they can practice their english. This was a fun way to meet locals along with going out into the center at night where a lot of people meet up.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt very safe in Perugia during the program.

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)

I think it just depends on what you want out of the experience. Living on a smallish budget for food isn't difficult but it really just depends on where you want to travel mostly.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No


* 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

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 102
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? Go out and really try to use it in the town and whenever you are traveling. There are people who will just speak english to you but if you try and speak italian they will help you and speak it back.

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • trips to different cities
  • local trips to use the language
  • dedicated staff and faculty
* What could be improved?
  • nothing really
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? really use the language as much as you can and experience the town around you because it truly is a special and beautiful place

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Leonardo Da Vinci

Course Department:
Instructor: Adrian Hoch
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class was great and the teacher was fantastic. I learned so much and got to go to some great places to see DaVinci's work.
Credit Transfer Issues: