Balmy temperatures (for January) greeted Umbra’s Spring 2015 group during their arrival on Sunday. After being met by Umbra staff in Rome, students took private buses to Perugia. At Hotel Gio just outside the city center, students received orientation packets that included helpful handouts covering topics from culture shock to Italian customs. After more introductions and their first Italian dinner, students were shuttled to their new apartments on Monday morning.
On Monday afternoon, intermediate and advanced Italian students took written and oral placement exams. At Umbra’s open house, students had ample time to rent cell phones, ask questions, and take guided walking tours of the city center. After working up their appetites, Perugia’s newest residents experienced their first of several free pizza nights courtesy of Umbra. Tuesday (Epiphany, a major holiday here in Italy) consisted of a talk with a charismatic Italian police officer, more exploration of the city, and a community engagement info session during which students learned of the many service-learning opportunities available at Umbra.
Yesterday marked the start of Intensive Italian Week, a special schedule that combines classroom instruction and practical Italian lessons. These classes extend through Saturday, at which point students will prepare to begin their elective courses next week. Benvenuti a Perugia!