About the Umbra Institute

umbralogocolorlogoThe Umbra Institute was founded in 1999 in Perugia in cooperation with Arcadia University as a center for higher education offering academic programs for students of U.S. colleges and universities. The Umbra Institute has grown steadily and developed a well-respected reputation as a provider of consistently high-quality academic programs, becoming an innovative leader in study abroad in Italy.


Arcadia University is recognized by the Ministry of Education in Italy, a member of AACUPI (the American Association of College and University Programs in Italy), and accredited by the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges.


In 2006, the Umbra Institute became recognized by Italian universities and is now a approved provider of credit-bearing (tirocinio) courses for the University of Perugia (Universita’ degli Studi di Perugia) in Perugia, Italy .


Today, the Umbra Institute maintains two central locations in Perugia, offers a wide array of courses, and hosts nearly 400 students from more than 100 U.S. colleges and universities annually, including Italian students from the local Universita’ degli Studi di Perugia. Many students enroll individually while others participate through cooperative programs accompanied by professors or staff from their home institution. The vast majority of the student body has achieved junior-status with at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA at their home institution prior to studying at the Umbra Institute.


The Umbra Institute is the only year-round independent American program based in Perugia, offering semester, year-long and summer programs with a variety of academic programs and special courses to meet the diverse curricular demands of its growing student body. We provide a unique educational opportunity for students both in and outside the classroom. Our faculty and staff strive to incorporate a genuine Italian experience into all elements of both the academic curriculum and student life. Whether they choose to pursue a curriculum taught by Umbra faculty or Direct Enrollment at one of the local Italian universities, Umbra students have Italian classmates and engage in the Perugia community on a daily basis for cultural and linguistic discovery.


The Umbra Institute strives to bring the people and character of the city together through many curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular community engagement initiatives  Beyond our unique location, we are among the few institutions in Italy that focus on community engagement activities such as service learning, academic internships, volunteering, independent research, and activities that bring Umbra students together with the local Italian student population and the community at large. See Academic Programs for more details on the curricular options and course details.