Best Decision of My Life!!! Past Review

By (University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh) - abroad from 05/25/2018 to 07/06/2018 with

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 learned how to be completely independent for the first time in my life. I learned to overcome challenges that I had never been faced with before, and while it was really hard and disheartening while I was going through it, it's so valuable to me looking back at this experience.

Review Photos

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

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The apartment I stayed in was very large and comfortable, I had 4 roommates and still got my own bedroom and bathroom.

* Food:

There's no meal plan provided, but this gave me the freedom to go grocery shopping when I wanted and to eat out when I wanted. There was a grocery store 1 minute from my apartment, and two more 5 minutes away. So convenient.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Very immersive program that included introducing us to local Italian students in Perugia.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe walking around the center of Perugia, even at night time. The streets are very well lit and there are almost always people out and about on the streets. Just like in most bars, I would recommend watching your drink very closely. There is a train station in Perugia as well, but it is not located in the center. Be very cautious when you go here and to any other train stations, every single time I went here I saw people eyeing up my bags the entire time. There are people who make a living off of stealing bags from others this way!

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

Perugia is the perfect city for a study abroad experience. The locals are all very nice and willing to speak Italian with students. The city is considered "touristy" but I think most cities in Italy are. The only tourists I saw were students, and that's because there's a University for foreigners in the center. The people running the program were always very on top of helping students out with any issues, and understanding about it as well.


* 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)

Because we have no meal plan it's very easy to get caught up with eating out every day.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook your meals with your roommates as often as possible, grocery shopping is cheaper than eating out and splitting the cost among multiple people will reduce the price even more. Make sure to bring plenty of euros before you go, or get a debit card that doesn't charge conversion or atm fees when withdrawing from a foreign bank and country.


* 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

I was in the intensive Italian program so my professor never spoke english to us, and once a week we were encouraged to not speak english to anybody including our roommates and classmates.

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? 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? Speak Italian to everyone you meet!! Perugia locals are so patient and willing to speak Italian with you.

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
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Locals
  • Intensive Italian professors
* What could be improved?
  • Schedules
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Being alone in a new country can make you feel very lonely, which is something I didn't even think about before I went. Just give yourself about a week to settle into your new environment and to start making friends, and that's when the real fun starts!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.