Past Review

By (Physical Therapy/Therapist., Simmons College) for

Umbra Institute: Perugia - Direct Enrollment in Semester, Summer or Academic Year Programs

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My study abroad experience was defintely worth it. I loved (almost) every minute of it and experienced so much. So much more than I ever would have otherwise! I learned so much about the culture, the people, the world, and myself. I learned skills I never would've learned otherwise, like how to get from Perugia to Oettingen with little Italian and no German. I met wondeful people, experienced amazing things, saw unbelieveable sights, tasting fabulous foods, and learned so many new things. I suprised myself with what I could do. I loved it and wouldn't change where I went.

Personal Information

The term and year this program took place: Fall 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I had an amazing time in Italy and the courses I took were all very interesting. I didn't give it a 5/5 because they weren't the most challenging courses. However that said, I dont think I would've wanted it to be more challenging as that would've taken away from the cultural expereiences that were available in the community.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Loved the younger administrators (Student activities coordinator, etc.) and interns but the older higher up administrators came off as snobby and scary. The young administrators (Rachel, Mauro, Zach, Lindsey, Regina) were sooo helpful and nice. They will help you with any problem, answer any question. Seriously the best resources available at the school!! Talked to them all the time, they ended up being good friends.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Loved my apartment and its location. However the bathroom and kitchen were on the tiny side.

* Food:

The food I bought was always fresh and delicious. There is a lot of really great food available in Italy and they really take pride in selling good food for cheap. The restuarants were amazing!! If you are ehaded to Perugia, be sure to check out Al Mangiar Bene, especially the Al Mangiar appetizer.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

LOVED what outings the school offered, like the pizza making workshop, wine tasting, trip to Assisi, and apertivo workshop. The people in the program were very outgoing and nice, but there was a guy to girl ratio of about 1:7. I was able to travel a lot, make plenty of foreign friends (both Italians and otherwise), go out to movies, dinner, bars, and generally have a blast! The city was also constantly hosting festivals such as Eurochocolate, 5 Days of the Dead, and a Christmas Festival.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt safe knowing that there were emergency hotlines and people on call as well as the provision of police numbers, etc. I never had a health issue but I heard some people had problems when it caming to the payment methods for treatment.

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? PLAN AHEAD!!! SAVE MONEY BEFORE!! It is important to save a lot of money before you leave so you can take advantage of every experience that comes your way. Know what your meal plan is like (do you even have one?) And rememeber to anticipate things like subway tickets and toilet paper... the little things that will add up.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
Language acquisition improvement?

I went with an absolute zero knowledge of Italian and left being almost fluent!

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Do it but remember to budget in money for food. It adds up quickly! Don't plan on eating out every night, it may be delicious but it adds up. Also take advantage of the Student Advisors like Rachel or Lindsey, they are great resources and can help you with everything from where to buy conditioner to where to stay in Madrid.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

History and Culture of Food in Italy

Course Department:
Instructor: Simon Young
Instruction Language: English
Comments: SO MUCH FUN! A really interesting course, Simon is a great and really enthusiastic teacher. You learn about the development of the national cuisine of Italy throughout the past 2500 years. Very informative, helped me understand a lot about the culture of food in Italy, which is a HUGE part of their identity. Plus it includes fun field trips like gelato tastings, wine tastings, and a medieval banquet in Florence. Overall the best course I took in Italy!
Credit Transfer Issues: