From Farm to Table to Classroom Past Review

By (The College of Wooster) - abroad from 08/28/2015 to 12/11/2015 with

Umbra Institute: Perugia - The Food and Sustainability Studies Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained so much knowledge inside and outside of the classroom. I also learned that I would like to pursue future studies and a career in Italian food and wine.

Review Photos

Umbra Institute: Perugia - The Food and Sustainability Studies Program Photo Umbra Institute: Perugia - The Food and Sustainability Studies Program Photo Umbra Institute: Perugia - The Food and Sustainability Studies Program Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

It is rare to find a program available to undergraduate students in the field of Food Studies and Sustainability. The Umbra Institute offered me the opportunity to gain experiential knowledge in an educational setting, inside and outside the classroom. Inside the classroom the faculty were incredibly personable and knowledgable on the course topics. Outside the classroom we had multiple field trips to the surrounding areas, which allowed us the chance to meet with producers in their respective environments. I felt that the coursework really prepared us for these experiences so that we could fully understand them and take with us valuable lessons.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administrative staff was very helpful throughout the entire program. They were readily available to us whenever we required assistance and helped us to feel at home.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I really couldn't believe how lucky I was with my living arrangements for the FSSP. My roommates and I were placed in a beautiful apartment for 3 students: 1 single and 1 double. It featured a spacious kitchen and bathroom, laundry machine, and sitting area. The best features of the apartment would be 1) the breathtaking view of the Umbrian valley, and, 2) it was within 5 minutes walking distance from the Umbra Institute/the city center.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Umbra went out of their way to help integrate us into the local culture. The best example of this was through Tandem. At Tandem we had the chance to get to know Italian students and learn about each other's cultures.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I actually found out that I had tonsillitis just after arriving in Perugia. The Umbra staff were more than accommodating and made sure I had access to a local doctor, even coming with me to the appointments to translate. Had they not been so helpful or the health care so readily available, I likely would have had to have returned home prior to the end of the program.

* Safety:

Perugia is an Italian college town in the countryside; I felt very safe. If you have the chance to visit major cities throughout Italy, or Europe, you'll notice a big difference in safety. While you should always be aware of your surroundings and take precautions, Perugia is certainly a place where that should not be a major concern.

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

I looked at several different study abroad programs, this one offered what was the most authentic Italian experience.


* 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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100 per week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Travel can be very expensive and going out of town every weekend is a bit overrated. Save up for special trips and instead of going out of town, try and enjoy a nice meal with your friends in Perugia.


* 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

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? 0
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 to the locals! I became good friends with the baristas at Caffè Arco throughout my time in Perugia. It can be as easy as saying the basic niceties, but little by little you'll find you can speak the Italian language. Also, attend every Tandem and don't be afraid to mess up. They'll appreciate you making the effort and your skills will be all the better for it.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

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

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

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • Faculty
  • Location
  • Experiential Learning
* What could be improved?
  • Cost
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!