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Semester in Perugia

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Authentic Italian experience

While not one of the most well-known Italian cities, Perugia is a truly amazing place to study abroad. For those looking for a small-town feel and full cultural immersion, this is the place for you. One of the best things about Perugia is its size because it is large enough for you to still get lost in its beautiful winding cobblestone streets during the last week of the semester, but small enough for you to be on a first name basis at all of the gelato shops in town. My experience in Perugia was everything I'd hoped for it to be. I spent my afternoons studying on the sunny church steps in the piazza with my friends and learned enough Italian to be completely comfortable navigating my way around Italy with my friends. Combined with the world-famous Italian cuisine and a crew of lifelong friends, my semester couldn't have been better.

Academics: I took classes at the Umbra Institute with the other American study abroad students. The diversity of the students is limited - I only had a handful of Italians in my classes, but this didn't detract from my experience. If anything, it was comforting in the beginning to be with other Americans who were also adjusting to a new lifestyle. I had amazing professors. My Italian professor was hilarious and personable and taught us more Italian in one semester than I've learned during 2 years at school. I took an International Business Strategy course with one of the best business professors I've ever had. The classrooms are basic and on the small side, but the material in all of my classes was relevant and interesting. Some classes are more difficult than others, but overall the academics were less demanding than at home.

Housing: I was lucky enough to live in a beautiful, recently modernized apartment with three other girls. We had 2 spacious double rooms, a decent sized kitchen with new appliances, a huge living room that was great for hosting dinner parties, and a bathroom with a washing machine. We lucked out. The apartment I lived in was not your average Italian apartment - it was much larger and we did not have to deal with any of the issues other students in apartments had. The only consistent difficulty was the wifi, but Italian wifi is unreliable at best.

Cultural immersion: Your level of cultural immersion is up to you. It's very easy to spend time with only Americans. You live with Americans and learn with Americans so if that's what you're comfortable with you're all set. If you do want to be more immersed in the culture, Umbra makes it really easy. From soccer games with locals, conversations over sangria with university students,to volunteering at nearby schools, you can meet Italians if you want to without a problem.

Program administration: Overall, I had no issues with the program administration. All of my questions were answered relatively promptly and things were pretty organized. The only issue I noticed was that there was some miscommunication between staff about changes to schedules and who told students what.

Health and safety: Umbra gives a very thorough health and safety talk at the beginning of the semester. As long as you pay attention and stay with friends, you will be absolutely fine. It's the same as cities at home - be smart.

Social life: Perugia isn't a huge city with endless nightlife options. There are a few decent clubs and bars in town, but they can get boring after a little bit. There are clubs on the outskirts of the city and there are buses that can take you there and back. Most of the time, however, you are traveling on the weekends and experiencing different social life weekly. The piazza is the main gathering place in town. Whether for smoothies on the church steps to protests and parades, the piazza is where most of the action in the city takes place.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Research, Cultural Immersion, and Travel

I never imagined that my semester in Perugia would be as full and as fulfilling as it was. I furthered my academic and career goals through a customizable research program, became a member of the community through volunteer opportunities and connecting with locals, and expanded my horizons in so many ways! The Umbra Institute faculty and staff help to make it feel like home, and the CISabroad team is ready to answer any and all questions to make the semester the experience of a lifetime. If you're debating whether or not to choose Perugia, do it! Your experience will be indescribable!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Semester Abroad in Perugia

My semester in Perugia was the best four months of my life without a doubt. I was able to live in a foreign country and more specifically a town that barely spoke any english. I practiced my Italian, made amazing friends I will never forget and truly immersed myself into the culture.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Perugia, Italy

An absolutely amazing place. Very easy to make contact with locals and very suggested. You truly can't have an experience in Italy that is worth your time if you dint take the time to meet the locals around you

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

The Best Four Months of My Life

Without a doubt, my time in Perugia is still the fondest experience in my memory. The classes were great, I met great friends, ate fabulous food, and traveled to some ideal locations. The program hosted trips, which were amazing, but the most exciting trips were the ones my friends and I went on for our fall break. My one piece of advice for anyone going to Perugia is to speak Italian as much as possible, go to that coffee shop alone, and make Italian friends when you can because they will show you those hidden gems in the city and help you with the language.

Academics:
I loved the Food Studies Program, which was my main draw to Perugia. The professors were great and excited about teaching, the work level was challenging but manageable, and all my courses taught me new information that was critical for my studies back home.

Living Situation:
My apartment was amazing, and I lived with three great roommates. There were often issues, like hot water not working for days or the heat not being strong enough, but the location was beyond ideal (in the center), and it took under a minute to walk to school. Our apartment was also beautiful and very large.

Cultural Immersion:
This is up to you- our school offered immersion evenings to talk with Italians over snacks and sangria. If you went, you developed your Italian skills and made Italian friends. If not, you didn't. It was easy to become immersed through going to cafes, walking around the city, and going to these immersion nights. The best way to become immersed is to make Italian friends, and when my friends and I did, it made the experience so much more meaningful.

Program Administration:
Always helpful. They were positive and willing to work through forms or questions with us. Also, the Administration hosted evenings to discuss certain topics to help us figure out traveling out of Perugia on our own, etc.

Health and Safety:
Like other categories, this largely depends on you. Don't walk home alone late at night- a friend or two will always walk with you. Don't go home with people you don't really know, etc. The city felt very safe, though, especially when we were out with friends. You just have to keep in mind that you are in a city, and the same rules apply across the board. Walking around visibly drunk is an invitation for unwanted attention.

Social Life:
This is the first time in my college life that I didn't actually dislike people in my program. There were some people who I wouldn't choose to hang out with, but everyone in the program was surprisingly friendly and pleasant. We usually went out over the weekend to bars/clubs in the area, but our evenings always started and ended in one of our apartments (usually ours). Cooking dinners was a great way to bring groups of friends together to hang out.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Great Friends, Great experience

Perugia is a great city, much to do and great scenery. It is centrally located in Italy, being only 2 hours from Florence and 3 from Rome. This makes travel an ease. The professors and School employees are very helpful with any question you need.

Academics:
Great variety of courses and great professors

Living Situation:
Landlords were very helpful. Wifi in all apartments

Cultural Immersion:
We were encouraged to meet and talk with locals

Social Life:
Many great places to go at night.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Best time of my life

This is the most memorable and meaningful experience I have ever had. I met amazing people, American and Italian, and I learned about more than what I was studying in class (which was exciting and new, as well). Before this time in Italy, I never knew how different it is from the US, and this semester definitely exposed me to the cultural differences. I didn't know if I would like a small city in Italy rather than a larger one, but it was perfect. This gave me the ability to talk with people left and right, as well as to master the city. Really, this was the best time of my life.

Academics:
The courses I took this semester absolutely shaped what I want to do when I get back to school in the US.
I did the Food Studies Program, so every class related to food in some way, but each had a very different, exciting perspective.

Living Situation:
I absolutely loved my roommates. My apartment was right in the center, and it was a quick walk to anywhere I needed to go. The apartment was beautiful, huge, and charming.

Cultural Immersion:
This is what you make it. I made an effort to speak Italian every day, but the school will not make you engage with Italians. They provide the Italian courses, as well as an evening every other week in which students can speak Italian with young Italians.
I went to a couple of these events and talked to Italian baristas, waiters, restaurant owners, young Italians who we met out-- basically any Italian who would chat.

Program Administration:
It was easy to discuss any pertinent issue or receive information from the program administration.

Health and Safety:
Perugia is a safe place, but like cultural immersion, it is partially your responsibility, too. Going out past 1am is likely to attract the attention of some strange people outside, but you can avoid this. Always have someone walk you home, regardless of the city or how safe it actually is.

Social Life:
I loved the students in the program and the Italians I met. Even the people who I would not usually be friends with back home were people I got along with well here.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    4

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    8

Best experience of my life (so far)

For anyone looking to study abroad in Europe I would advice them to do the CIS Perugia program. For anyone looking to study in Italy I would really push them to do this program. It is, in my opinion, the ideal study abroad experience. Perugia is big enough, and has a wide variety of Italian and international students, that it is fun and exciting. But Perugia is also a home that you grow to love because it is smaller and you get to know your local shopkeepers and pub owners. I think staying in Perugia, working with the great and supportive Umbra staff, and then traveling all around Italy and Europe on the weekends is the way to go. P.s. Do the food studies program even if you don't think your that into food.

Academics:
Academics were much easier than at my home university, but they were taught in a way and in an environment that still really encouraged learning and made it fun.

Living Situation:
This program does a great job of setting you up in a comfortable, convenient living situation.

Cultural Immersion:
I wish there had been more cultural immersion integrated into the program.

Program Administration:
Very helpful and kind staff.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    9

Perugia is an amazing city.

Once I got to Perugia, everything was smooth sailing. Prior to my departure , not as much. I felt as though there were so many unanswered questions that I had about my time in Italy, which made it hard to be totally excited about studying abroad. I wish that I had known some more information about my living arragements or class schedule before I left the States. That being said, I had the most amazing experience of my life in Perugia and met some of the greatest people that I plan to keep in contact with. I am completely satisfied with my choice to study in Perugia.

Academics:
I enjoyed working with all of my professors at Umbra. They were all very friendly, helpful and approachable.

Living Situation:
I was placed in a very nice apartment, but it was hard to keep it as clean as the school wanted.

Cultural Immersion:
I loved that Umbra was so community based. I was not aware that all of my classes were going to be so involved outside of class, but it gave me a great education about the city and country I was staying in.

Program Administration:
I wish I had known more information before I departed to go to Perugia. For example, many other students knew their living arrangements prior to our arrival in Perugia. This would have allowed me to connect with my roommates and would have lessened my anxiety levels.

Health and Safety:
I felt safe in the town, though there were a few safety incidences that we encountered, that can be expected almost anywhere.

Social Life:
There were lots of opportunities for Umbra students to do activities together as well as many tandems, which were mixers with Italian students from Perugia where they provided free wine/sangria and snacks.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    4

  • Social Life

    9

Perugia

My study abroad experience was the best time of my whole life! I met so many incredible people, some I know I will be friends with for the rest of my life.

Health and Safety:
My friends house was broke into two different times and valuables were stolen.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Perugia is the best place to study in the real Italy

If you want to speak Italian, learn more about Italian culture and interact with Italian students and other Italians, Perugia should be the place you go. The staff at Umbra is fantastic and the Italian professors will make sure you really learn the language.

Program Administration:
The process of enrolling in classes during the first week wasn't organized as well as it could have been. They gave many students overlapping classes on their schedules that had to be resolved.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    7

Perugia is a great city to be in to learn Italy!

Studying in Perugia was an amazing experience. Living in a smaller city, you are truly immersed in the Italian culture. You are able to make friends with the locals, learn and practice your Italian everywhere you go, and the cute old man at your regular pastry and gelato shops know exactly who you are and your order. Umbra is a very small school and program, but it allows you to form great, close relationships with many of the people in the program. They offer a wide variety of interesting classes, but the classes offered fluctuate regularly, so you can not have your mind set on taking any particular class - you have to be flexible.

Academics:
Classes were not extremely challenging, but many were a lot of unnecessary work. Subjects were interesting and different than those offered at home university.

Living Situation:
Apartments were nice and spacious. Would have been nice to live with Italians or students attending the other universities in town.

Cultural Immersion:
After traveling around Italy and meeting people studying elsewhere, I can honestly say that Perugia is the best place to study in Italy to be truly immersed in the culture.

Social Life:
Not much of a nightlife, but Perugia is a university town where there are plenty of young people to meet.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    4

Amazing

Best life learning experience I have recieved

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    7

Perugia

Perugia, Italy is the best place to study. Living in Perugia forced me to practice my awful Italian and helped me find the "real" Italian culture. I had my days when I did not want to be in Perugia but I remembered the beauty, history, and the people who make Perugia and I felt okay again. I do not know when it happened, but Perugia became my home.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    4

Perugia, Italy

Small town with great opportunity for practicing speaking skills and getting to know the locals. Not much nightlife, but enough to entertain for a couple nights a week though the diversity of it is limited. Staff at Umbra Institute are supper friendly and helpful, and the locals are more than willing to talk to you and help you out as long as you're willing to talk to them too.

Academics:
The academic component of Umbra was great for the most part, but there were times where I would wonder when I was supposed to be able to experience the 'abroad' part of study abroad instead of just the 'study' part. The classes and teachers were all in my opinion fabulous, but perhaps overly zealous considering the cultural knowledge that can be learned from travel and perhaps could make up for a lack of in-class assignments.

Living Situation:
The apartment was great but I do not understand how our roommates were picked considering it seemed like none of us had common interests or habits. Also, Umbra was a little too zealous on the cleaning of the apartments and the checks of the apartment were often scheduled in very busy times and I was left to wonder don't they know we have tests this week, or don't they know we just returned from Spring break 2 days ago?

Cultural Immersion:
I think perhaps more could have been done to engage us with the community, perhaps in the classroom time, and to have diverse opportunities for interaction, but overall I did take it upon myself to become engaged so I was not unfulfilled.

Program Administration:
Loved everyone. They all made me feel very comfortable and were able to maintain a casual professionalism that I thought was admirable.

Health and Safety:
You'll be warned and warned and warned about safety but I never felt truly threatened or scared. Do watch your things in public, like sitting in the piazza, because they do know you're foreign and they will notice if you're not paying attention.

Social Life:
There's enough to be had but it's mediocre and gets a tad old after a while. There's only about 3 different pubs and 3 clubs. Drinks are about 5 euro a piece. But buy a 3 euro bottle of wine and make your own nightlife! The piazza is a great place to hang out and when the weather is warm it is completely packed with people-locals and students. Cool way to meet people or just enjoy some drinks with friends on the steps of the duomo.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    6

  • Social Life

    10

Perugia, Italy

This is a great program to truly incorporate and immerse yourself in the Italian culture. Set in the hills of Umbra, Perugia is the capital city that summarizes the italian life perfectly in one location. Close to nearby cities, you will enjoy great food and feel part of the city and leave not a tourist but a citizen.

Academics:
Some of the courses were excellent, others were more slow paced but all around great incorporation of community engagement throughout the city

Living Situation:
Great apartment, beautiful location and close to the city center. Excellent wifi and supplied kitchen

Cultural Immersion:
You truly feel part of the community here and that you are living in Italy

Program Administration:
The staff was incredibly welcoming and were always there in any time of need

Health and Safety:
You are abroad...many things can go wrong that put your safety at risk (traveling, foreign culture) you just have to be smart. Housing wise decently safe.

Social Life:
Easy to make friends with the locals and especially Italians since many programs offered allow this opportunity. The American students are good to have around to so that you can relate to some of your own!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    8

An American trying to the real Italy

Overall I had a great time in Perugia. It took me forever to finally pick a city to study abroad in, and I'm really happy with my time in Perugia. The umbra institute I believe is really helpful, and there are a good amount of activities between CIS and Umbra for students. My biggest complaint though would be the language. I really wanted to become fluent or somewhere near that, but it is really difficult when you are constantly surrounded with Americans or just English in general. I wish I had the opportunity to live with Italians. I would recommend students to try to join a club, sport, or some type of organization in Perugia. Maybe even just find an Italian tutor and make friends with him/her. Although that is a huge regret of mine I still had a ton of fun in Perugia, and did improve my Italian a lot too, through Italian friends, classes, Tandem. I think that Perugia is probably one of the better places to try to find an authentic Italian city. At times I felt that it was too small, but at other times I think it is the perfect size city.

Academics:
I took classes at University for Foreigners in Perugia, and the classes weren't very difficult. It was awesome meeting people from all over the world, but at times class could be very boring because they weren't very interactive.

Living Situation:
In my four months living in Perugia I was living with an American, Germans, Libyans, and a Filipino at one point or another. I wish I was able to live with Italian students to practice the language more because we generally spoke in English.

Cultural Immersion:
Although I did end up speaking a lot of English, I think that Perugia is a great city to be immersed with Italian culture. There are a lot of foreigners in the city in general so I guess that could make it difficult to feel immersed in Italy, but I think Perugia is one of the best cities to study in in Italy.

Health and Safety:
Perugia has a pretty big drug dealing problem, but I never felt too unsafe.

Social Life:
There is plenty of stuff to do during the weekend. They may not be the biggest and best nightclubs in Europe, but I still had an amazing time! Things die down during the winter though. But certain nights there are always people out.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    4

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    3

  • Social Life

    10

Nice

Perugia itself offers so much to discover and explore. You can find anything you are looking for. There is enough free time to travel and do anything you please. It is a life changing, indescribable experience.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    6

  • Social Life

    7

I had a wonderful experience here in Perugia and will CISabroad.

I would definitely recommend going to a smaller town for studying abroad, not a huge touristy one. I felt it was easier to live the true life of an Italian and you are more immersed into the culture than if there are Americans on every corner like there are in some other cities; I noticed this especially in Florence. Perugia is a great little town and I loved my time here.

Academics:
The classes available were not very difficult but they helped me get to know Italy well which I feel is important when studying abroad more than learning straight from textbooks.

Living Situation:
Had an apartment right in the center of town right by our school. Decent sized as well.

Cultural Immersion:
I felt like I learned a lot about the culture and was able to incorporate it into my life since I chose to live in Perugia and not a big city like Florence or Rome. Since I did live with other Americans though and a few of my roommates spoke almost fluent Italian, I didn't use my Italian in everyday life as much as I would've liked.

Program Administration:
Everyone was very helpful.

Health and Safety:
I have always felt safe in Perugia. There were a couple issues with a few people's apartments but if you're smart, your safety should never be an issue in Perugia.

Social Life:
Easy to meet people since our program was so small. Bar scene was not limited so saw the same people often which was nice since communication is harder with limited cell phone usage.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    5

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    5

Italian Culture

Umbra Institute is located in the heart of Perugia, Italy. There is action all day long right outside the entrance especially when the weather is nice. Perugia is a wonderfully beautiful hill top town full of many surprises that will last a whole semester. When compared to Florence or Rome, Perugia and more specifically Umbra, tend to have a more cultural feel. The Umbra students are surrounded by Perugian locals as opposed to the larger cities where a good chunk of the population is american students.

Living Situation:
Great location in Perugia, clean and modern although more an Italian feel would have been nice.

Program Administration:
Professors and program administrators varied greatly. I had some excellent professors and advisors, whereas some were not as helpful.

Social Life:
I found it hard to become close to other Umbra students coming from a dormitory at my home college to apartment living in Perugia.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    3

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    8

Perugia

Perugia is the perfect city to study abroad in if you are interested in learning the language, meeting other students from all over the world, and being able to easily travel Italy.

Academics:
I definitely learned a lot in my classes while abroad, but at the same time they weren't too time consuming, so I was able to experience other aspects of studying abroad. My classes did a great job of relating the coursework to the area in which I was studying and my own experiences there.

Living Situation:
My apartment was comfortable and clean, but nicer apartments and single bedrooms were given to students who were paying the same tuition as me, which I found a little unfair.

Cultural Immersion:
I felt like I had to go out of my way to become more involved with local culture - the program had very few events where this was a possibility.

Program Administration:
I found the administration of my program to be genuinely nice people, but often incompetent and unhelpful. Between a nightmare of registering for courses, and being told the wrong bus times my an administrator themselves, I often found myself frustrated.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Best Viewpoint

The best viewpoint in the center of Perugia in my opinion is most definatly off of Corso Vennuci at the very end in the little park. You can see the entire town all the way to Assisi on a bright sunny day. The park is very nice and can sit there and won't be bothered. The view is spectacular with all the buildings and even the countryside in the background. It is the quitensestinal italy.

Academics:
The courses all seemed very easy at the beginning half of the semester to ease you into the experience and then everything important was due at the end of the course making you more stressed.

Living Situation:
The living situation was in an apartment that was already very dirty and hard to maintain in cleanliness. Plus I was placed with roommates who did not maintain cleanliness in common areas.

Program Administration:
Some of the professors were easier while others were extremely hard. There is no balance.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    3

Eventful

The best learning experience

Overall Rating

4/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    4

  • Health and Safety

    5

  • Social Life

    5

Perugia

The overall institute was somewhat childish in the teaching and administration techniques. Some teachers were not suited for course and there should be a much better description of the program and the outline of its courses.

Program Administration:
Were not up to date on administration techniques