Princeton student Nick Barnett learns Italian culture and language skills in Perugia, “the real Italy.”
29 June 2014
PERUGIA, Italy —“Language is the road map of a culture,” wrote American author Rita Mae Brown. The Umbra Institute offers the key to the Italian experience with its Intensive Italian Language through Culture program in Perugia, a small medieval city in central Italy.
On June 13th, Princeton University student Nick Barrett jumped on a train headed to Assisi along with his fellow classmates to explore the Basilica di Chiesa Superiore along with many other Medieval and Roman buildings found throughout Assisi. This guided tour spoken solely in Italian allowed students to “continue their exploration of Italy and its culture” -Nick.
The trip to Assisi was one of four different tours offered to the students, both in Perugia and throughout central Italy. These programs are designed to teach Italian language through cultural exposure and complete language immersion. The program’s other activities include walking tours, language exchanges (Tandem’s), art history lectures, and concerts during Perugia’s well-known Umbria Jazz Festival.
Created and directed by Dr. Robert Proctor, Professor of Italian at Connecticut College, the program is taught entirely in Italian. In addition to the aforementioned activities, students experience about 100 contact hours in the classroom. All levels of Italian are welcome.
“(We) give students an intensive experience of the Italian language and at the same time something that’s very dear to my heart, the liberal arts tradition,” Proctor explained. “We strive to give them language learning in the context of a deep intellectual and cultural experience here in Italy. But in addition to that, the program gives students cultural activities which challenge them to think deeply, seriously, and frankly about the meaning of life.”
Students agree that the program fosters growth on and beyond a linguistic level.
Nick had not studied Italian previously and was happy for all the opportunities this program provided that allowed him to “practice and hone our speaking and listening skills.”
About the Umbra Institute:
The Umbra Institute is an American study abroad program located in the central Italian city of Perugia. Often called a “big university town in a small Italian city,” Perugia is the ideal setting to study abroad in Italy, with fine arts, business, and liberal arts courses.