UMD’s Laura Dally experiences intercultural language immersion while studying at Italy’s University for Foreigners, through the Umbra Institute.
March 4th, 2016
PERUGIA, Italy — The University of Maryland’s, Laura Dally, is currently enrolled in the Università per Stranieri di Perugia, the University for Foreigners of Perugia, through the Direct Enrollment Program offered by the Umbra Institute, an American study abroad program located in central Italy. Laura is a Computer Science Major who is currently working toward the completion of her recently added Italian Minor as she studies Italian language and culture in Perugia.
“You cannot find a lot of people who speak English and that forces you to speak Italian,” said Laura as she expressed her love for Perugia. Perugia is recognized as a small university city that does not host a large number of tourists. It rests within the rolling hills of Italy’s central region of Umbria, home of ancient Etruscan ruins, extraordinary architecture, and history around every corner.
Students participating in Umbra’s Direct Enrollment Program have the unique opportunity to focus exclusively on Italian language skills and culture during their study abroad program. While enrolled at the Università per Stranieri di Perugia, Laura is studying alongside university students from places like Vietnam, South Korea, the Netherlands, and other locations around the world who share the same goal of Italian language fluency. She is enrolled in courses targeting oral and written Italian language competency, as well as Italian cinema and Italian literature courses. The program is an intensive and internationally recognized program, known for its success, while also allowing students to enjoy day-to-day life in Italy.
Courses at the Università per Stranieri di Perugia are taught entirely in Italian and are open to students at all language proficiency levels. Approximately 27 instruction hours per week are spent at the Università per Stranieri di Perugia coupled with weekly meetings with Umbra instructors. The instructors’ role is to guide, assist, and assess students through their learning experience at the local university. They offer the support of an American program, with the knowledge of the Italian university system.
“Immersion has taught me a lot about culture, especially in my orali e scritte [speaking and writing] class for which we usually pick a subject of discussion and everyone shares their views based off of their country’s culture,” said Laura. “Even if it has nothing to do with your Major, you should definitely try to go abroad and experience the world.”
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.