Why Study Abroad in Italy

Italy offers incredible study abroad opportunities for American college students — and not only for art or Italian majors. Courses in business, psychology, food studies, sustainability, creative writing, environmental studies, history, and general science make study abroad in Italy a viable option for a wide array of students at all levels of Italian (absolute beginner through advanced).

So Much to See!

Wherever you are in Italy, you are never far from famous historical landmarks and beautiful sights. Perugia is halfway between Florence and Rome and has its own airport, train stations, and bus stations; making it easy for you to explore destinations across Italy and Europe during your time abroad.

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Mix of Old & New

Italy has transformed itself over the centuries while maintaining strong traditions and la dolce vita (the good life). There is no better place to study these traditions and transformations than in Italy through courses in Renaissance art, food and cultural studies, psychology, international business, and more.

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Language & Cultural Immersion

Italy may be a major world economy and tourist destination, but Italians have unique regional and local cultures, ranging from different cuisines to spoken dialects. With the Italian language as the key, study abroad students can unlock a modern society with close ties to its past.

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The country of Italy may span a small geographic area, but it has a widely varied landscape: from modern European cities
to small medieval villages, from beach towns along with the
endless coastlines to pristine mountainside villages in the north.

Where Should YOU Study Abroad in Italy?

Do you envision yourself walking to class down narrow, winding Italian streets and greeting familiar faces each day?

Smaller Italian cities and towns can become your home-away-from-home in just a short time. Perugia offers lots to do but is more manageable and budget-friendly than larger international cities, especially for the temporary resident. Many larger cities, including Rome and Florence, are only a short train ride away from Perugia. Europe’s low-cost airlines also serve the city, making travel throughout Europe on the weekends easily within reach.

Will you feel more comfortable spending time abroad with many other Americans or will you seek a destination off the beaten path?

If you feel more comfortable studying in an environment with lots of American students, destinations like Florence may be for you. If you prefer a bustling world capital, then Rome might be your choice. But if you want to immerse yourself in Italian culture and mix with the locals, then look no further than the authentic university town of Perugia. Between Italian and international students enrolled at the local universities, Perugia’s 40,000 students make up more than one-third of its total population. You’ll never have a hard time meeting new friends!

If you feel like both destinations are ideal, feel free to contact an advisor for the Umbra Institute and our sister school, ISI Florence.


How to Choose the Best Study Abroad Program for You

Your living arrangement can greatly affect your study abroad experience. What housing options are available at Umbra?
  • Living with other Americans also studying abroad ensures that you won’t have a language barrier at home with your roommates.
  • Mixed apartments with international students can offer both language immersion and the freedom to come and go as you please.
  • Homestays offer an incredibly immersive experience but may also allow for less independence on a day-to-day basis.
Remember that your main job while abroad is to study! Will courses be taught in English or Italian? Who will be your classmates? How will credits transfer?

The General Studies program is designed specifically for Americans to build their own semester while studying abroad in Italy with courses taught in English or Italian. Umbra is an accredited institution through its affiliation with its US university partners. Our grade reports are given on transcripts that follow the American system of higher education, so credits earned abroad are easily transferred to your home institution. Our students come from over 50 different United States colleges and universities, as well as Perugia’s local Italian university. Don’t discount the significance of meeting fellow Americans who come from other universities across the country!

If you have a background in Italian and want to study with local international and Italian classmates, look into the Umbra Institute’s Direct Enrollment options at two Italian universities, the Università per Stranieri di Perugia and the Università di Perugia. U.S. universities often develop exchange programs with foreign universities for this purpose and will have an established transfer process for credits earned while abroad.

What kind of support is available for international students coming from the U.S. and elsewhere?

Immersion experiences can change your life, but you don’t want to drown in a sea of unfamiliar people and customs without support staff to assist when needed. The Umbra Institute provides all the support you need, including co- and extra-curricular activities, trips and excursions, tutoring, counseling, and mental health services. But we also allow students the space they want and the freedom to explore and adventure on their own, untethered and ambitious, with expert help available as needed.

The Umbra Institute is prepared to help you reach your study abroad goals with classes offered in English and Italian across a wide variety of disciplines. Both living in Italy’s “university city” and sharing the classroom with locals offer countless cultural immersion opportunities for students at all levels of Italian proficiency, from beginner to advanced. Our community engagement initiatives allow you to learn outside of the classroom, and Umbra-sponsored extracurricular activities create a sense of togetherness while abroad.

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