You’re going to love your apartment. How could you not? All student housing is carefully selected, full of both modern amenities and old-world charm. You’ll be living with other Umbra students, local Italian students, or international students—your choice. All accommodations are within short walking distance of the Umbra Institute, the Italian universities, and other local resources, such as pharmacies, banks, supermarkets, and the post office. There’s no need for public transportation in Perugia: everything you need is a hop, skip, and a cobblestone away.
Student apartments vary, but the Umbra staff works hard to scrutinize each unit, deeming it clean, well maintained, safe, and adequately furnished. Accommodations have two beds per bedroom and shared closet space and desks. Kitchens include a refrigerator, stove, sink, pots, pans, dishes, and cutlery. Students are also provided with sheets, blankets, and pillows. Bathrooms are shared with roommates and include a toilet, bidet, and either a shower or bathtub.
In some cases your apartment may include the following: a television, microwave, full oven, antique furniture, a washing machine (dryers are extremely uncommon), a dishwasher, an elevator, or cleaning service (for kitchen and bath only). When completing the housing request form, be certain to indicate your preferences (apartment, house, living with locals, etc.) and any mutually requested roommates.
Currently there is no meal plan at the Institute. Let Italy be your kitchen! Meals can be prepared at home or purchased in one of the many affordable Perugian restaurants, trattorias, and pizzerias. Umbra students have full access to a variety of resources, including the University of Perugia mensa, or cafeteria, where Italian university students meet for affordable meals. The university’s new humanities library and nearby coffee shops are mere steps away from the Umbra Institute and boast extended hours, Wi-Fi access, drinks, snacks, and a chance to socialize with Italian students. Umbra students take full advantage of these social venues including cafes, parks, pubs, and Perugia’s well-established social scene.
Dedicated Housing Staff
Adapting to your housing—and its inevitable idiosyncrasies—is a fundamental part of Italian life. The Umbra Institute maintains a staff exclusively for servicing student housing to ensure that you are comfortable in your apartment, and to address any maintenance issues that may arise. They are on hand to assist with everyday concerns, such as lack of hot water, broken appliances, or other housing needs. Monthly apartment visits are standard practice at Umbra to ensure that all apartments are properly cleaned and maintained. The cleanest apartment wins “Apartment of the Month,” and all lucky occupants are treated to a free pizza dinner.
A homestay program is ideally suited to students who would like to enhance their Italian studies outside the classroom in a warm, welcoming social setting. Our host families are carefully selected to ensure that Umbra students have the most rewarding experience possible. The Homestay Program includes a fully furnished private bedroom, shared or private bathroom, linens, and access to laundry and kitchen facilities as well as Internet. Meals are not provided, though the host family often invites the student to eat with them.
A homestay offers the opportunity to be completely immersed in Italian daily life and culture. However, it also presents unique challenges, requiring a certain level of maturity and an ability (and openness) to adapt to a foreign culture. You will be expected to communicate largely in Italian; though this can be frustrating at times, it is an excellent way to practice the language. Yet, while the family is generally happy to interact and converse with their guests, they cannot be expected to act as round-the-clock Italian teachers. Walking distance is approximately 15 to 20 minutes from the center of Perugia, where Umbra is located. Homestay participants are expected to respect the host family and their property. No overnight guests are allowed. The homestay option has an extra fee of 1000$.
Living with a host family is a unique and transformative experience, and can be perfect for students who wish to fully immerse themselves in the life of a typical Italian. Ethan, a Spring 2015 student, lived with the Ambrosi family during his semester. To learn more about his homestay experience, read here.
For photos of student apartments, please click here.