Esperanza Hincapié Garzón
University of Florida
Visual Art Studies Major
Fall 15 Ambassador
Email: [email protected]
I chose Perugia because it is a smaller city, which I knew would force me to learn Italian and get more involved with the Italian culture. The Umbra Institute was perfect for that since it offered many chances to explore Italy for what it is and also explore Perugia and its many wonders. The Umbra Institute has many classes for all types of majors and interests. I saw the Umbra Institute YouTube videos and instantly fell in love with what the program and Perugia had to offer.
At the Umbra Institute, I got a chance to volunteer at the local high school and tutor Italian students in their English courses. That was a great experience because I got to practice my Italian while they practiced their English. While abroad at the Umbra Institute, I had the opportunity to travel; I had the chance to visit four other countries in Europe, and even Egypt in Africa. I also had the chance to have classroom experiences in the neighborhood itself. We got to talk to locals and do class activities in the community. For example, in Community Based Research in Psychology, we created surveys to give to the public and Italian students, in Urban Spaces we went out into the Borgo Bello community and planned to beautify a terrace that had been abandoned. Lastly, during my museum internship, my other colleagues and I got the opportunity to create an entire WWI exhibit for the Ranieri/Sorbello Foundation.
There were many favorite moments at the Umbra Institute. The entire experience itself was my favorite because I got to do everything I wanted and more. I traveled wherever I wanted. I met some amazing people along the way and I even ate some of the most amazing food I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.
I recommend this program to everyone and anyone. You get to do so much in a new country that is happy to have you. The Umbra Institute was the best choice and I do not regret it one bit. It is the perfect chance to get to know the Italian culture and meet people from all over the world while having fun.