When you walk down Corso Vannucci for the first time, something changes. It’s that simple. Perugia, for reasons that become obvious when you study here for four months, or a year, or a summer, has a wonderful charm that captures a part of you, that changes you. And when you leave, all you can think about is coming back, when you’ll make the return journey to that Etruscan home away from home.
“Whether for a semester, a year, or summer everyone finds their ownspecial meaning of their time here in Perugia, Italy. Coming back to the place, that still to this day, enriches my life in everyway, I find Perugia just as I had left it, in the fall of 2006. Right now I am currently studying fine arts for a month in London and had a couple of vacation days, which gave me the opportunity to travel back to Perugia.
Granted, there is more construction happening throughout the city and updates that have been made to the Umbra Institute, but there is still something special about this place that I cannot put into words. However, if you ask any alumni about their experience at Umbra you will probably be overwhelmed by the stories they tell you of specific teachers they had, nights out on the town, traveling on the weekends with friends to various cities in Italy or even the Italian friends they met while studying abroad. For me Perugia means home, comfort, laughter, friends, family but most importantly Perugia means living the simplicity of life. Here as a student I learned about who I was and who I wanted to become, which I only hope that for you are able to find some sort of significance to this special place I called home for almost 4 months.
Until I return again, for Quattro Passi pizza, the endless array of pasta, gelato and pastries to name a few, I trust that you find Perugia in your own way, a part of your college experience, to be the best months of your life. Seize every moment you have and take the time to get lost in the city. I say take a winding road here and follow it because you never know where you might end up. Who knows it might just be what you have yearned for all along.”
Hilaire Pickett, in photo (left) with her Perugia roommates, is currently a senior at Elon University. You may read her profile, and those of other former Umbra students, by clicking here.