Perugia: tiny but beautiful Past Review

By (Journalism/Mass Communications, Saint Bonaventure University) 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?
YES. I would never have this opportunity if it wasn't for a study abroad program. I wound't have the time, or funds (thanks mom and dad) if I didn't go when I did. I traveled to 4 other countries, saw a lot of Italy and learned that I am capable of so many things I didn't even know I could do. For example I got myself from Perugia to and from Madrid, mastered their Metro, and found my hotel without knowing a word of Spanish and little Italian. I gained a sense of culture and loved comparing it to other countries I visited and especially to America. I do have future plans to go back to Europe and spend more time in cities that I really enjoyed but didn't have a chance to see completely.

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 work load was much more than what I expected and much more than what I do at my home university. I found myself doing homework, especially Italian, every night. The classes I was in were mostly lecture, with little class participation. The tests were easy in certain classes, but I'll admit I failed a midterm exam for another. For me, if I liked what was being taught in the course/how it was taught, I'd study more and actually want to get a good grade.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff was helpful with every day questions and problems. I once asked a staff member if she could call a restaurant and make a reservation for me, because I didn't know how. The program size was very small, around 100 kids. I wish it was a little bigger though.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Our apartment was pretty tiny in comparison to others that I visited in Perugia. There were three girls in my apartment including myself. It worked fine, but it was definitely small. We did need to buy a few cookware items to settle in. We were given only one set of sheets that were pretty old and the blankets, we joked, weren't even fit for a dog bed. We eventually got a new set of sheets from a friend's house because they were left with a whole trunk of extra sheets. The apartment was freezing while it was cold out, but everyone else's was too.

* Food:

didn't eat at the dining hall. at every restaurant,everything was DELICIOUS

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

the field trips I went on with some of my classes were almost a bonding experience for us. We got to know each other much better through these. The Optional Trip that Umbra provided was fun because it took us places we probably would have never gone on our own, but was also extremely expensive.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

no experiences with healthcare, no vaccines for this program

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I came to Italy knowing no Italian, I unfortunately left not knowing much either. 4 years of Italian were put into just about 4 months of the class. We were doing advanced compositions using verb conjugations that I didn't learn until my 3ed year of French. It felt like I was learning Italian for the CLASS and not for CONVERSATION which would have came in use much, much more. No one in Italy wants to have a conversation with me about the physical and personality traits that my best friend has, which was what I had to give a presentation on, but they would like to just have a conversation, which was/is still a struggle for me.

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

* 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?
  • Helpful Staff
  • Classes in English
* What could be improved?
  • Living arrangements were not really fair, some were tiny, some were huge, others were a 20 minute walk away from school
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? A student coming here has to know that they are not necessarily in a "big city" setting. Perugia to me was small, sometimes too small. I would see the same people and go to the same bars over and over again every time I went out. In bigger cities there are obviously more options of what to do and more people to meet. There was an airport, but it only flew to about 3 cities. Rome and Florence, for example, were the two cities we did most out of, meaning we would buy a train ticket and have to go to either one of these if we wanted to fly somewhere. If I were to do it again, I would go to a bigger city. But don't let that hinder your decision on picking Perugia. It's beautiful and has so much to explore.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

The History and Culture of Food (3 credit)

Course Department:
Instructor: Simon Young
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I think I can vouch for most Umbra students who have taken this class to say it was one of the best ones offered at Umbra. Simon Young is engaging, knows everything about the what is discussed in class, and often included the class in the lesson. Food tastings were offered almost unexpectedly but were always welcome. I tried things in class I probably would have never tried otherwise, like polenta and fried egg plant. Definitely my favorite class I took at Umbra.
Credit Transfer Issues: no