Perugia, Italy: Where Friends for Life Are Made Past Review

By (Art and Art History, Lebanon Valley 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?
I gained so much from my study abroad experience. Qualities that I improved greatly were time and money management. I rated my study abroad experience with 5 stars because I wasn't ready to leave. You will form life lasting relationships while studying in Perugia and these people will impact how you view everything. You will forever take a little bit of them wherever you are in the world and wherever you go home to. Perugia will always be our home. My experience has confirmed my desire to travel and immerse myself into different cultures.

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.

The workload was typical of my home university. It wasn't too much to manage, but wasn't "spring break" either. For each class, I had a midterm, final, and final paper. One class also had two quizzes a month. Every class I was enrolled in had a trip to a local business or a well-known Italian city, like Florence and Milan. These trips aided in my understanding of the class content.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Strengths: Program size, IT support, Community Engagement, Academics

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I felt safe in my neighborhood. Our apartment was probably 50 feet from the center of historic Perugia and 20 steps to Umbra's doorstep. Needless to say, we were near everything we needed. We were supplied with everything we needed living-wise. We did have to purchase cleaning supplies and basic hygiene.

* Food:

Food will more than likely be great anywhere you go in Italy. It is an art form for Italians, so be open and willing to try new things. Two of the most hospitable places we ate were Il Falchetto in Perugia and La Taverna di Emma in Pisa. If you are looking to get great food for the least amount of money, Dal mi' Cocco is the place to go in Perugia. When buying food at the store, go weekly and buy fresh. Americans have the mindset to buy in bulk, but Italy doesn't do the whole preservatives thing, so you will waste your money on rotting food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

St. Patricks day is surprisingly a large event. The field trip to Florence and Milan with Adrian Hoch's Leonardo class had great detail and was nicely done.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Be aware of your surroundings and your things. If you have something valuable, either don't bring it out with you or make sure you know where it is at all times. Health care is quick and easy. I did catch the flu while being over there. You more than likely will get sick. Read up on some key phrases before going to the doctor. (The Umbra staff set up an appointment for you that day) It is much more affordable in the states and easy to get what you need.

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)


* 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?

The best ways to improve language skills is to use what you learn in class that morning. Don't be afraid to practice at the grocery store, train station, or when you're out at night. The locals love when you try and will gladly help you. Most people in Perugia know at least some English, but the beauty of the Perugia is that it isn't highly populated with tourists so you are encouraged to speak Italian and really hone your language skills. Practice at home with your roommates too!

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?
  • People I Met
  • Accessibility to Travel
  • Community Engagement
* What could be improved?
  • Tips on how to budget
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The typical student studying in Perugia isn't afraid of a challenge and in fact, likes a good challenge. Be open when meeting new people and willing to try something outside of your comfort zone. Don't be afraid to eat a kebab. They're bangin'. Especially the place down by the basketball courts. Make friends with the locals and go to tandem.