University of Vermont
Spring 16 Ambassador
My name is Mariah Noth and I study community and international development as well as food systems at the University of Vermont. While studying at Umbra, I have been able to delve deeply into the Italian culture by not only taking an intensive language course, but also by becoming involved in active and immersive classes ranging from Sustainability in Food Production and the History and Culture of Food in Italy, to the Business of Wine and a course that engages in placemaking and revitalizing local urban communities. My course load, being so varied, has granted me the enlarged perspective necessary to better understand as well as integrate into Italian culture during my short time here. This has undoubtedly been one of the foremost learning experiences of my academic career as it has greatly bolstered my understanding and ability to employ the principles of sustainability and systems thinking taught at my home university. However, the Food and Sustainability Studies Program has also provided countless once in a lifetime experiences including interacting with Perugian leaders and community members seeking to improve their environment, learning about the importance of wine for both the Italian culture and economy, and of course receiving the pleasure to taste some of the best food in the world. Moreover, learning from my extremely passionate classmates and colleagues at Umbra has been equally amazing, and I feel so lucky to have built lasting friendships that will follow me home. My advice to future Umbra students is to strike off and try everything (including the food), speak to anyone, ask as many questions as possible, and find ways to become involved in Perugia because this city will give back all that you put in–ten-fold– and can truly become a place to call home.