Academics

The Umbra Scholars Program offers students the chance to maximize their study abroad experience by pushing them well beyond their personal boundaries to explore, discover, learn, and create new ideas in an international setting. The Scholars Program is defined by enriched coursework and field experiences, enhanced cultural immersion, and collaboration with other motivated students. The program includes:

  • A personal Program Coordinator from pre-departure to program completion; 
    Umbra Scholar Program
    Italian student peers, when qualified, may also act as tutors to assist with language learning
  • Three special enrichment activities or co-curricular field trips during the semester;
  • Housing with Italian or Italian-speaking foreign students (not required but highly recommend);
  • An assigned Italian “buddy” from one of the local universities to assist in cultural integration (Language Scholars);
  • A professor at the Umbra Institute to meet with scholars on a weekly basis and monitor their progress as well as prepare them for Italian university oral and written exams (Language Scholars);
  • A Faculty Mentor who will assist scholars with research methodology, academic writing, and setting milestones for the project’s completion (Research Scholars).

Scholars will experience all the best features Umbra has to offer: one-on-one faculty mentoring; exciting research opportunities, independent learning, enhanced intercultural development, extensive language acquisition opportunities, and a community of professors and students fully engaged in the academic experience. The program is designed for scholars to:

  • Tailor their curriculum to their specific needs and interest;
  • Hone their language skills;
  • Pursue advanced topics with a faculty mentor;
  • Learn important analytical and research skills;
  • Increase their ability to work independently;
  • Live with local students and broaden their intercultural development;
  • Advance their personal and intellectual growth, confidence, and motivation.

CHOOSE YOUR PATH

 

The GENERAL STUDIES program gives you the highest degree of flexibility creating your curriculum. You will spend your semester in Perugia not only immersing yourself in language and culture, but also completing an original piece of research in your chosen field. You can supplement that research with elective courses of your choice. The Program Coordinator can assist you in defining your research project, assigning a faculty mentor, and helping you choose the complimentary courses that best fits your needs so you can make the most of your study abroad experience. General Studies Research Scholars will enroll in the following courses:

ISIR 499 Advanced Research Project (4 to 6 credits)
This course will allow you to engage in original research, working in close contact with an individual faculty member who will act as the Research Project Advisor, and to bring that research to fruition in the form of a final written and oral research report. In this way, you will have the opportunity to participate in formal, scholarly communication. The research undertaken may be of two types:

  • a completed item of individual research undertaken during the your semester abroad in Perugia.  In this case the research paper should be the length of a standard academic article and will usually be 8-10,000 words long, depending on the discipline. Scholars will receive ongoing mentoring during the research and writing process from their faculty mentor. The semester culminates in a peer review-style evaluation, which includes recommendations for how to prepare the paper for publication.

  • individual research that will be the basis for a bigger project once the you return to the United States (i.e. a senior thesis). Students choosing this option must obtain approval from their home institution and submit to Umbra a prospectus and/or an outline of the final thesis, as well as at least one chapter of the larger project.

ISRM 400 Research Writing & Methodology Workshop
(non-credit-bearing workshop with Umbra faculty advisor – required for all students enrolled in ISIR499)

Italian Language (4-6 credits)
General Studies Program Scholars will be required to enroll in the 4-6 credit Italian language courses at the appropriate level (Beginner to Advanced) and are encouraged to take i-courses (courses with an extra component in intermediate/advanced Italian) where available;

Elective Courses (3-6 credits)
One or more electives choices; i-courses recommended

Umbra Scholars Cultural Activities Series
A variety of exclusive experiences with Umbra faculty to local festivals, museums, artisanal workshops, local farms etc. Experiences vary by semester.

 

 

FOOD AND SUSTAINABILITY STUDIES SCHOLARS
This unique program takes the Umbra Food & Sustainability Studies track one step further. Not only will you participate fully in the Food and Sustainability Studies program which includes a rich complement of co-curricular activities, workshops and field trips, but you will also pursue an original independent research project. As always, the Scholars Program Coordinator can assist you in defining your research project, assigning a faculty mentor, and selecting the complimentary courses that best fit your needs as you make the most of your study abroad experience. Food & Sustainability Scholars will enroll in the following courses:

HSIT 350: History and Culture of Food in Italy (4 credits)
The core course of the Food & Sustainability Studies Program

Food or Sustainability Studies Elective (3 credits)
Choose from among the FSSP courses offered each semester which may include: Water Essentials: Sustainable Use of a Limited Resource, Sustainability and Food Production in Italy, The Business of Wine: Italy and Beyond, and The Anthropology of Food.

ISIR 499 Advanced Research Project (4 to 6 credits)
This course will allow you to engage in original research, working in close contact with an individual faculty member who will act as the Research Project Advisor, and to bring that research to fruition in the form of a final written and oral research report. In this way, you will have the opportunity to participate in formal, scholarly communication. The research undertaken may be of two types:

  • a completed item of individual research undertaken during the your semester abroad in Perugia.  In this case the research paper should be the length of a standard academic article and will usually be 8-10,000 words long, depending on the discipline. Scholars will receive ongoing mentoring during the research and writing process from their faculty mentor. The semester culminates in a peer review-style evaluation, which includes recommendations for how to prepare the paper for publication.
  • individual research that will be the basis for a bigger project once the you return to the United States (i.e. a senior thesis). Students choosing this option must obtain approval from their home institution and submit to Umbra a prospectus and/or an outline of the final thesis, as well as at least one chapter of the larger project.

ISRM 400 Research Writing & Methodology Workshop
(non-credit-bearing workshop with Umbra faculty advisor – required for all students enrolled in ISIR499)

Italian Language (4-6 credits)
General Studies Program Scholars will be required to enroll in the 4-6 credit Italian language courses at the appropriate level (Beginner to Advanced) and are encouraged to take i-courses (courses with an extra component in intermediate/advanced Italian) where available

 

 

The primary focus of the LANGUAGE SCHOLARS tracks will be on language acquisition and an intense study of Italian culture rather than research. This path is ideal for students majoring in Italian or any student with a strong interest in improving their language proficiency while studying in Italy. Like every Scholars track, you will begin with consultation from one of the Program Coordinators who will work with you to ensure that you are placed in the appropriate Italian level and elective courses depending on your needs and proficiency.

OPTION ONE: UNIVERSITA’ PER STRANIERI LANGUAGE SCHOLARS TRACK (Beginner to Advanced)
If your interest is to acquire and practice as much Italian as possible while studying abroad, this program may be ideal for you. The program offers Italian language and culture courses based on six different levels of proficiency (A1-C2) totaling approximately 26 hours per week in the functional areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking as well as sessions in Italian culture and society. This track is our most immersive and comprehensive Italian language curriculum coupled with the support of an Umbra faculty advisor. You will also have access to an Italian peer tutor, enjoy the experience of studying among an international student body, and participate in co-curricular activities such as tandem language exchange socials and an exclusive series of “Italian-Only” activities and field trips. This track is open to students all Italian language proficiency levels, from absolute beginner to advanced/fluent. 

For more on the Universita’ per Stranieri Italian Language and Culture program and the curriculum of the various levels CLICK HERE.



OPTION TWO: UMBRA LANGUAGE SCHOLARS TRACK
(Intermediate to Advanced)
Intensive Language Study at the Umbra Institute

Students with at least 2 semesters of college level Italian or the equivalent proficiency may choose to supplement their coursework at Umbra with a substantive focus on Italian language and culture. The Scholars Program Coordinator will assist you in putting together a curriculum that fits your interests and needs supplemented with generous exposure to the Italian language and culture during your study abroad experience. Umbra language scholars enroll in:

  • Intensive Italian Language (6 credits all levels available)
  • One or more courses taught entirely in Italian at the intermediate/advanced level (3 credits)
    Note: These intermediate/advanced proficiency courses are designed to help you gradually transition to using Italian language with increased confidence in class and on a daily basis. 
  • Elective courses taught in English with the i-course option which include supplemental classes taught in Italian at the intermediate or advanced level.
  • Umbra Scholars Cultural Activities Series
    A variety of exclusive experiences with Umbra faculty to local festivals, museums, artisanal workshops, local farms etc. Experiences vary by semester.

 

The UNIVERSITY OF PERUGIA SCHOLARS program offers the unique opportunity to gain a truly immersive experience in Italian culture in the European style of university education. You will take courses with Italian and international students at both of Perugia’s local universities – the Università per Stranieri and the Università degli Studi di Perugia – and experience university life in Italy as local students with the guidance and support of an Umbra faculty advisor, and an Italian student peer mentor, and Italian or International student roommates.

One might call this track “C’era una volta”, or study abroad the way it used to be.
The entire experience takes place at the local universities. The Fall semester begins with an intensive preparatory Italian Language & Culture program from September to mid-October followed by direct enrollment at the University of Perugia where students complete approximately 10 weeks of courses with final exams administered in December. The Spring semester begins with same preparatory Italian Language & Culture Program from January to mid-February followed by direct enrollment at the University of Perugia where students complete approximately 10 weeks of courses with final exams administered at the end of April. This track also includes a variety of exclusive Scholar experiences with Umbra faculty to local festivals, museums, artisan workshops, local farms etc. Experiences vary by semester.

This track is only open to student with at least 4 college semesters of Italian or equivalent proficiency.
To explore your course option visit the University of Perugia website: http://www.unipg.it/en/courses

 

“The Research Scholars program provided me with a unique opportunity as an undergraduate student. Not only was I able to engage in direct ethnographic research—it was in a global setting. Working directly with a faculty member mentor exponentially improved my academic writing skills, while interviewing locals helped me pick up Italian quickly.” 
Gabriella Paiella, Northeastern University


 

ADMINISTRATION

Program Coordinator

Elgin K. Eckert, Ph.D.

Elgin K. Eckert, Ph.D.

Elgin K. Eckert is a professor of Italian Literature and Cultural Studies and enthusiastic about guiding undergraduate students in their first experiences conducting original academic research. She teaches the Umbra Scholars Program’s Research Writing & Methodology Workshop and advises program participants from pre-departure, throughout their stay, and beyond their Umbra experience. Contact her to discuss your research interests and for assistance in choosing the curricular options that best fit your needs.

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Assistant Program Coordinator

cristiano

Cristiano Ragni, Ph.D.

Cristiano Ragni serves as primary contact person for Umbra Language Scholars enrolled at the Universita’ per Stranieri di Perugia and the Univerisita’ degli Studi di Perugia. He also serves as a Faculty Mentor for students pursuing research projects in Italian language, literature and linguistics.

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