Spring 16 Ambassador
Deciding to study abroad in Perugia has been one of the greatest decisions I have ever made in my undergraduate career.
Although I am a college student who is juggling a dual degree, the Umbra Institute provided me with a variety of courses that allowed me to fulfill my course requirements for both my English Major Degree and my Elementary Education Master’s Degree. My “Creative Writing: Italian Stories and Tales” class allowed me to paint pictures of my travels with words just as Italy’s most renowned authors did. My “Education in Italy” seminar and practicum gave me the opportunity to teach English as a second language to local fourth and fifth grade students in Perugia every week. My passions for reading, writing, and teaching were all fulfilled thanks to the academic and community engagement opportunities that the Umbra Institute provides.
Umbra not only provides students with a plethora of interesting courses with enthusiastic professors, but they also provide a multitude of extracurricular activities. I always looked forward to seeing my fellow students and Italian friends at Tandem, the bilingual social that Umbra hosts with local Italian college students. Participating in the Tandems has definitely reinforced everything I have learned in my Italian 101 and more. If you are interested in community service, definitely get involved with Umbra’s partnership with the UNICEF headquarters. Fellow students and I made dolls to sell and raise proceeds for children in third-world countries. These have, without a doubt, been the highlights of my semester here at Umbra, and there are so many more that you should see for yourself. My advice to future Umbra students and any students who are thinking about studying abroad would be to never be afraid to get involved.
The opportunities that Umbra has given me through their academics and extracurriculars have not only connected me to the local community of Perugia, but also to the global community. Making friendships among my Umbra classmates and with local students in Italy through my involvement has given me travel companions, project partners, fun-filled dinner parties, and, most importantly, a second family while abroad. Your time abroad is only temporary, and time flies, so take every opportunity that the Umbra Institute provides you, be open to making new friends along the way, let curiosity be your guide, and cherish every second!