Full-Immersion Italian Language
The Universita’ per Stranieri di Perugia

About the Program

NOTE: This program calendar has been modified to a 3-month program due to COVID-19. Please review the updated Academic Calendar for the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters.

This full-semester program is open to students of all levels of Italian – from absolute beginners to fluent speakers. The program is a dynamic and immersive experience ideal for students seeking to spend their time abroad focusing exclusively on the Italian language and culture, and to actively engage in contemporary Italian life, not simply as “study abroad students”, but as temporary citizens of their new university town.

The program yields at total of 15-16 semester credits

Students are enrolled for an entire semester at the prestigious University for Foreigners (Università per Stranieri di Perugia) and study alongside a diversity of students representing over 100 countries. The program is designed to allow students to practice Italian language naturally in a wide variety of real situations. This approach ensures a practical application of the linguistic structures to the Italian cultural context. It is intensive, immersive and international, and most of all, widely recognized as the best way to gain fluency in Italian and enjoy everyday life in Italy.

The Structure of the Program

The program includes between 18 and 21 hours per week at the University supplemented with weekly tutoring sessions at the Umbra Institute. Upon arrival, students will take an assessment exam (test d’ingresso) and be placed in one of six levels of language proficiency. Students start a particular level, and depending on their performance, may advance to the next level or continue at the same level during the following two months. The six levels of instruction are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages:

Level A1 (Absolute Beginner)     Level A2 (Standard Beginner)
Level B1 (Intermediate)               Level B2 (Advanced Intermediate)
Level C1 (Advanced)                   Level C2 (Mastery)

The program yields 15-16  semester credits.
At the base levels (A1-B1) the curriculum is fixed and may not be modified, whereas in courses at the B2-C2 levels, students select separate components in various disciplines including Dante, Italian Renaissance Art, business writing, Italian literature, and more. C1-C2 level students also explore topics such as phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, dialects, and historical linguistics. These courses supplement the linguistic program and are used as tools to not only teach the subject matter, but also continue to improve Italian language skills. Each session, advanced students create their own program and may choose up to three elective courses from a variety of offerings in Italian studies in the humanities and social sciences.

Guidance, Tutoring, and Co-Curricular Activities

To ensure that students are able to make the most of their immersion opportunities, they will be guided through all enrollment and bureaucratic procedures at the Università per Stranieri by a dedicated Umbra Institute staff member. Students will also meet weekly for individual or group tutoring sessions (depending on level and needs) with an Umbra Institute instructor in order to review the materials studied and prepare for the exams at the university. The Umbra instructors’ role is to guide, assist, and assess students through their learning experience at the local university. They set weekly assignments, exams, and determine students’ final grades in the program.

In addition to the activities offered by the Università per Stranieri, which students can  participate in all events and activities organized by the Umbra Institute.


 

About the Universita’ per Stranieri

The Università per Stranieri di Perugia represents the oldest and most prestigious Italian institution specialized in Italian language instruction. Founded in 1921, today the Università is an important center for both the teaching of Italian and the development of new educational methodologies. It hosts approximately 5,000 students from over 100 different nations each term. The university’s principal location is in the beautiful Palazzo Gallenga located in the heart of the city, opposite the 2,500 year-old Etruscan arch of the ancient city and a short walk from the Umbra Institute. 

What will my transcript look like?

There are several variables on what your progression at the Università per Stranieri will be. The most likely scenario is that you will study at the same level for two months and then advance into the next level during the following month. Based on the most likely scenarios, students will receive a transcript as follows. 

START LEVEL A2 – Elementary
Prerequsite:
None. Complete beginners
Standard Progression: Two months at Level A2, Two months at Level B1

Courses Underwritten
(may vary depending on monthly exams and advancement):

ITAL 101S –
Elementary Italian Language and Culture I  (4 credits)
ITAL 102S – Elementary Italian Language and Culture II  (4 credits)
ITAL 201S – Intermediate Italian Language and Culture I  (4 credits)
ITAL 202S – Intermediate Italian Language and Culture II  (4 credits)


START LEVEL B1 – Intermediate
Prerequsite:
Placement exam or two or more semesters of college-level Italian
Standard Progression:
Two months at Level B1, Two months at B2

Courses Underwritten
(may vary depending on monthly exams and advancement):
ITAL 201S –
Elementary Italian Language and Culture I  (4 credits)
ITAL 202S – Elementary Italian Language and Culture II  (4 credits)
ITAL 301S – Intermediate Italian Language and Culture I  (4 credits)
ITAL 302S – Intermediate Italian Language and Culture II  (4 credits)


START LEVEL B2 – Advanced Intermediate
Prerequsite:
Placement exam or four or more semesters of college-level Italian
Standard Progression:
Two months at Level B2, Two months at C1

Courses Underwritten (may vary depending on monthly exams and advancement):
ITAL 301S – Advanced Intermediate Italian Language and Conversation (4 credits)
ITAL 302S – Advanced Intermediate Italian Language and Culture (4 credits)
ITAL 401S   Advanced Italian Language and Conversation I (4 credits)
ITST/SOC450S Civiltà Italiana: Italian Culture and Society (4 credits)


START LEVEL C1 – Advanced
Prerequsite:
Placement exam or four or more semesters of college-level Italian
Standard Progression:
Two/Three months at Level C1, One/Two months at C1

Courses Underwritten (may vary depending on monthly exams and advancement):
ITAL 401S Advanced Italian Language and Conversation (4 credits)
ITAL 402S Advanced Italian Language and Conversation (4 credits)
ITST/SOC 450S Civiltà Italiana: Italian Culture and Society (4 credits)
ITST 492S Advanced Italian: Special Topics* (3 credits)


START LEVEL C2 – Mastery
Prerequsite:
Placement exam or four or more semesters of college-level Italian
Standard Progression:
Two months at Level B2, Two months at C1

Courses Underwritten
(may vary depending on monthly exams and advancement):
ITAL 501S Advanced Italian Language and Conversation (4 credits)
ITAL 502S Advanced Italian Language and Conversation (4 credits)
ITST/SOC 550S Civiltà Italiana: Italian Culture and Society (4 credits)
ITST 492S Advanced Italian: Special Topics* (3 credits)

*Special Topics courses focus on various aspects of Italian history, culture, society and linguistics and include courses such as: History of Italian Cinema, History of Italian Theater, Contemporary Italian Literature, Art History, Contemporary Art, Sociolinguistics, Business Communications, the Language of the Mass Media, and Psycholinguistics. While these courses are designed to introduce and study a particular subject matter, they principally utilize the subject matter as a tool for further enhancing language proficiency. Special topics courses will reflect the track and courses the students choose and include the appropriate cross listings so students can appeal for possible transfer credit to different departments at their home institution. 


Success Assured!
We Stay with You throughout the Program

The Umbra Institute provides each student with a weekly tutorial and special office hours for additional assistance when needed. Umbra instructors are experts in the fields of teaching Italian and assessing language acquisition. 

Is Full-Immersion right for You?
This program is ideal for:

Any student – even absolute beginners – who wish to gain proficiency in Italian through an intensive full-immersion experience in Italy;

Students who desire a truly authentic study abroad experience, apart from large groups of American study abroad students, and alongside Italian and international students;

Italian majors or students wishing to use their semester abroad to add an Italian language minor to their degree;

Intermediate students who wish to perfect their lingusitic skills and move to the advanced level or students who wish to complete the equivalent of two years of language study in one semester abroad;

Advanced students looking to perfect their skills in a wide variety of courses taught entirely in Italian including subjects such as culture, linguistics, and social sciences; and

Italian studies majors at the intermediate level who seek to become fluent enough to be prepared to return to their home institution and enroll in advanced level area-studies courses taught entirely in Italian.

A Truly International Experience

“I made friendships with people from all over the world.
This is not an American island study abroad program!”
Catherine Abdu – NYU, Fall 2018

 

Student Housing & Meals

Housing is provided for all students in shared apartments with either Italian or international students. There is no meal plan, but apartments are equipped with full kitchens and student have full access to the University cafeteria.  Homestays are available upon request.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Program participants have access to all social and sports activities offered by the Università, which include the Chamber Music Group, University Musical Association of Perugia (Agimus), University Social Center (concerts, shows, plays, exhibitions, and Italian films are shown; students can participate free of charge in the events and can also exhibit their artistic works), excursions (weekend trips organized by the Università to important Italian cities and historical and artistic monuments of Perugia and Umbria), and sports (all students have access to the University Sport Centre of Perugia, the CUS, which organizes athletics,  basketball, soccer, swimming, judo, tennis, cycling, volleyball, etc.).


Ready to become the next Umbra Student?

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