Life in Perugia
What makes Perugia, Italy so special?
This city owes much of its appeal to the thriving student scene, making it an ideal place for a study abroad program. Often referred to as Italy’s “university city,” Perugia is home to over 40,000 students who attend both the Università degli Studi di Perugia, one of the oldest universities in the world, and the Università per Stranieri, a school that boasts a large number of international students. The result is a city rich in cultural flavor, one that is constantly injected with new life and vigor from its diverse student population. Whether you venture out amidst the bustle of Corso Vanucci or socialize on the steps of Piazza IV Novembre, Perugia’s energy is unavoidable. With the endless number of restaurants, jazz cafes, piano bars, cinemas, museums, and theaters, there’s never a shortage of things to see and do.
As a student in Perugia, you will have the chance to truly engage yourself in Italian life and culture. Opportunities to learn the language and mingle with the locals are everywhere, while students who study in bigger cities like Rome and Florence often find themselves unable to move beyond the tourist sphere. The city of Perugia is your classroom, and by taking advantage of all it has to offer, you can ensure that your study abroad experience is one of a kind.
Room & Board
To help facilitate a smooth transition into life in Perugia, the Umbra Institute provides housing in apartments situated throughout the city center. Apartments are shared, and most house between two and six Umbra students. To see pictures of Umbra’s apartments, go to our Housing Photo Page. Students participating in the Direct Enrollment Program will be housed with either Italian or international students, providing additional chances for practicing language skills. If you are interested in becoming further immersed in Italian life, there are also opportunities to stay with a host family. All student housing is within walking distance of the historic center and the Umbra Institute’s two main buildings. You will find that walking through the city is an extremely easy, pleasant, and social experience…after just a few weeks in Perugia, you are sure to bump into people you know while out and about.
As there is no meal plan for the Umbra Institute program, students are encouraged to cook for themselves. All apartments are stocked with basic kitchen utensils, and often students discover new talents and interests while in the kitchen. If cooking isn’t for you, the Università per Stranieri offers low-price cafeteria meals, and the Umbra student ID card is valid for discounts at many trattorias, pizzerias, and pubs around the city. After all, it is Italy: delicious food is never far away.
Beyond the Classroom
The Umbra Institute hosts many events, giving students the chance to participate in wine tastings, weekend trips, walking tours, tandem language exchange with Italians, pizza nights, art shows, sporting events, and more.
In addition to Umbra-sponsored activities, students can take advantage of the many shows, exhibitions, and events offered by the city of Perugia, most of which offer student discounts. The Fondazione Perugia Musica Classica puts on concerts almost every week for those interested in classical music, and students can choose from a wide selection of productions at Teatro Morlacchi. Perugia also hosts two annual festivals that attract worldwide attention: Eurochocolate, a celebration held each October, is an eight-day paradise for any chocolate lover, a time when the streets of Perugia overflow with scrumptious and delectable treats. The city is also the hub of Umbria Jazz, the renowned summer jazz festival that has flourished since 1973. Other events include Arte in Piazza, Perugia International Film Festival, Renaissance Festival and more! The Comune di Perugia website highlights the events and activities taking place in the city each week.
For students who are seeking even more adventure, Università per Stranieri’s Social Center organizes a number of sporting events, concerts, and films in Italian, all of which are free to students. Umbra students can also take part in the Università’s “Coro da Camera,” a student choir which performs regularly at both the university and outside venues. Perugia also has a number of sports facilities including gyms, swimming pools, tracks, and tennis courts that are available to students at reduced prices.
It’s hard to think of a better place to study abroad than Perugia, Italy. Don’t take our word for it: ask former students to get their perspective on studying at the Umbra Institute. We hope you will join the ranks of students who call Perugia home!