Perugia: Helped Me Learn About Life Outside the Classroom Past Review

By (Journalism, University of Massachusetts Amherst) for

CISabroad (Center for International Studies): Semester in Perugia

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Studying abroad was the best choice I could have ever made. I used to be extremely shy, afraid to sit in a classroom by myself. But I studied abroad in a foreign country, not knowing anyone or the language. I am now not afraid to try new things, and I want to travel the world. I am a Journalism major, and I used to want to write for a newspaper, in New York. Now, I want to be a travel Journalist, reporting on world events, so I can learn about new and exciting worlds and cultures.

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 workload was overall easier than my home university. The classes were very interesting. The teachers were really involved and had a great passion for teaching. They really wanted to make sure the student did well.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff at Umbra were so pleasant! Everyone was so nice and friendly. They were always there for students if they were having problems, needed help, or just wanted to talk. They made the experience wonderful. If I didn't have the people and staff at Umbra, my experience would have been totally different.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The Umbra Institute really paired me with girls that had similar interests, had similar studies (at Umbra and my home school). They really used the housing survey to its full advantage in matching up roommates.

* Food:

We bought our own food because we lived in our own apartment. But, when we had organized trips to restaurants, they picked amazing places that embodied Italy's true culture.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The overall experience was amazing! It is so hard to pick one particular experience. I learned so much about myself and broke so many boundaries I had, living in a foreign country, living with new people, and traveling Europe. I am no longer afraid to try new things, because of my study abroad experience.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

We had a very detailed orientation session that explained how to stay safe and be healthy while living in Italy. They told us what to do if we got into a dangerous situation. I know of some friends who got into health problems, and had safety issues, and they felt that the Umbra Staff were incredible and helped them tremendously.

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)


If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Traveling, learning about Europe's Culture
  • The classes and staff
  • Meeting new people
* What could be improved?
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Enjoy yourself. Don't be afraid to try new things. It can be scary at times, but it is an experience of a lifetime. You will open up so many new doors and learn so much about yourself. It is important to while having fun, be cautious.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

History and Culture of Food in Italy

Course Department: SOIT 361
Instructor: Simon Young
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The teacher was extremely engaging and the course was very interesting.
Credit Transfer Issues: Yes credit transfer for a gen-ed. We went on several food tastings. Really enjoyed learning about the culture.