Academic Programs at Umbra
The Umbra Institute offers a variety of distinctive academic programs designed to serve the needs of a diverse range of students. Our proven recipe for success: provide a world-class education in a stimulating Italian environment, giving students ample opportunities for civic engagement and fruitful collaboration with the local community.
The General Studies Program provides students from any discipline or major the opportunity to choose freely from a selection of courses taught by Umbra faculty during the regular semesters or summer session. For those students eager to integrate into the community more fully, seminars and practicums, independent research, and Honors courses are available. Our Food & Sustainability Studies Program explores the past, present, and future of food with an emphasis on sustainability and new technology.
For the academically ambitious, we offer the Direct Enrollment Italian Language & Culture Program at the Università per Stranieri di Perugia (University for Foreigners), the Direct Enrollment at the local Università degli Studi di Perugia (University of Perugia), and our newest Direct Enrollment Program at the Accademia Belle Arte di Perugia (Italian Academy of Fine Arts). Our Direct Enrollment Programs are reminiscent of “study abroad as it used to be”—when students studied at an Italian university with local students, participating fully in Italian life, culture, and scholarship.
CHOOSE YOUR PATH
The Umbra Institute puts you in control. When you study at Umbra, your experience is what you make of it: you decide what course of study best suits your individual needs. The main programs are briefly summarized below, but you can mix and match courses to fit your curricular focus. Our staff and faculty will assist you in custom designing your academic program. Click on the links below for more detailed information.
- General Studies Program
The General Studies Program is the most flexible option for a one-semester (or summer) stay at the Umbra Institute. Students choose freely from a variety of elective courses taught in English. All General Studies students are required to take an Italian language course as part of their curriculum and be enrolled in full-time study, usually from 14 to 16 credits. Participants may also create curricular concentrations in a given area, completing a larger project that, with the permission and guidance of their instructors, satisfies the requirements for two or more courses. Contact us for more information.
- Direct Enrollment at the Università per Stranieri (University for Foreigners)
This program is exclusively dedicated to the study of Italian language and culture. Students who select this program are directly enrolled at the Università per Stranieri di Perugia in one of six language levels, where classes are conducted entirely in Italian. Direct Enrollment at the Università per Stranieri is open to all students. The program yields 16 semester credits. The levels of instruction are based on The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Level A1, for example, is designed for beginners and assumes no prior study of Italian. Levels C1 and C2, on the other hand, are designed for linguistically advanced students; at this level the university offers elective courses covering a wide variety of subjects related to Italian studies.
- Direct Enrollment at the Università degli Studi di Perugia (University of Perugia)
The Umbra Institute facilitates direct enrollment at the Università degli Studi di Perugia for full-time study in the fall semester, spring semester, or for an entire academic year. This program is available to students with high intermediate and advanced proficiency in Italian. Students studying at the Università degli Studi di Perugia regularly meet with academic tutors and faculty advisors at the Umbra Institute who guide them through their program of study and help them address any academic or bureaucratic concerns.
The Food & Sustainability Studies Program
You can’t talk about Italy without talking about food. The Food & Sustainability Studies Program is a curricular concentration that applies an interdisciplinary approach to the study of food—history, sociology, cultural studies, business practices, literature, politics, science, agriculture, and sustainability—to discover how individuals and communities relate to food in Italy, America, and beyond. The program consists of three courses in food studies, Italian language, and an optional elective (for a total of at least 15 credits). There are also opportunities for internships in local wineries.
- STEM Program
Study abroad and take courses like Chemistry, Differential Equations, and Engineering Mechanics in English. This is a unique opportunity for STEM students to spend a semester in Italy during their Sophomore year while maintaining a steady progression in the fulfillment of their graduation requirements. The program runs only once a year, in the Fall semester, with a limited number of spaces available. Students must take all three STEM courses in addition to an Italian language course, and an optional elective (for a total of 14-18 credits). Contact us for more information.
- Music at the Umbra Institute
Perugia is an ideal place for studying music. The city is home to a renowned music conservatory as well as several music schools, and it annually hosts the internationally acclaimed Umbria Jazz Festival. You may choose to take a number of courses relative to vocals, instruments, or music theory in addition to any Umbra electives that interest you, and a required Italian language course (for a total of 14-18 credits). Music may be studied during the fall and spring semesters. Each class counts as 3 credits in the General Studies curriculum and is included in the general tuition.
- Independent Research & Honors Program
This program is designed for students who wish to work on a thesis or senior project while studying abroad. Students are required to take a 4- or 6-credit Italian language course, a 2-credit Research Methods course, and a 4-credit Field Study Research course. This program consists of regular one-on-one consultations with a pre-assigned Umbra instructor who assists and guides students through their theses. Students may also choose to work with instructors from their home institution if approved. Students elect one or two additional courses for a minimum of 15 semester credits; qualified students may take Honors courses. This program is open to all students.
- Summer Programs
The Umbra Institute offers three distinct summer programs:
– The Summer General Studies Program (late May – June) in which students choose one or two courses from a variety of offerings taught in English.
– The Intensive Italian through Culture Program focused exclusively on language acquisition and Italian cultural studies. No prior study in Italian is required.
– The Trasimeno Archaeology Field School. Live, study, and work on-site in Castiglione del Lago and participate in an ongoing archaeological dig of a newly discovered Roman villa near Lago di Chuisi on the Umbrian-Tuscany border. The program includes GPS digital mapping, excavation, and cataloging of findings.