Programs : Brochure
RWU at The Umbra Institute, Perugia, Italy (Outgoing Program)
- Locations: Perugia, Italy
- Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Summer Session
- Homepage: Click to visit
About the Institute
The Umbra Institute is located in the historic center of Perugia on the grandiose Piazza IV Novembre. The classrooms are on the main floors of a fifteenth-century palace and the cloisters of the centuries-old Duomo di San Lorenzo. Umbra offers a wide array of courses and program options. Whether students choose to pursue a curriculum taught by Umbra faculty or enroll directly through Umbra at one of the local Italian university partners, they will take courses with Italian students and engage with the Perugia community on a daily basis. The stage is set for cultural and linguistic discovery.
About the Area
At first, Perugia looks like something from a fairy tale. It sits high atop a hill flecked with charming pink and yellow roofs, encircled by an ancient crumbling wall. Nestled halfway between Rome and Florence, the city is the capital of Umbria, dubbed the “green heart of Italy” on account of its verdant mountains, soft valleys, and undulating hills.
Often called “a big college town in a small Italian city,” Perugia boasts a thriving international student scene. Each year, over 25,000 Italian and international students flock to the city to attend the University of Perugia, the University for Foreigners, and the many studio and performing arts schools in the area. Unlike large cosmopolitan centers such as Rome or Milan, Italian is heard on every street corner and in every shop, making the city a gem for language students seeking a truly immersive experience.
About Student Life
The Umbra Institute hosts many events, giving students the chance to participate in wine tastings, weekend trips, walking tours, tandem language exchange with Italians, pizza nights, art shows, sporting events, and so much more. In addition to Umbra-sponsored activities, students can take advantage of the many shows, exhibitions, and events offered by the city of Perugia, most of which offer student discounts. The Fondazione Perugia Musica Classica puts on concerts for those interested in classical music, and students can choose from a wide selection of productions at Teatro Morlacchi (and also from the decadent hot chocolate selection in the adjacent café).
The Umbra Institute offers five tracks for Roger Williams students:
The General Studies Program allows students to build their own curriculum. This program encourages students to mix and match courses from various disciplines taught at Umbra in order to best compliment their personal and degree goals. Courses are taught in English and the majority include field trips as part of the curriculum.
The Food & Sustainability Studies Program is an interdisciplinary curricular concentration with two tracks, Food Studies and Environmental Studies & Sustainability. Students take an Italian class and then choose three food- or sustainability-related courses. All courses include co-curricular field trips and students earn a certificate.
The Multicultural Psychology Program teaches students about how culture influences our understanding of ourselves and others. In addition to their work in the classroom, participants engage in various experiential learning opportunities that offer deeper insight through hands-on experiences. This cross-cultural knowledge base is useful for careers in counseling, education, research, social work, and many other professions.
The Direct-Enroll Italian Language & Culture Program offers a unique opportunity for students to focus exclusively on Italian language and culture. Participants enroll at the Università per Stranieri di Perugia for a semester-long program and study with university students from all over the world whose goal is to become fluent in Italian. It is intensive, international, and most of all, widely recognized as the best way to gain fluency in Italian and enjoy everyday life in Italy.
The Scholars Independent Research Program welcomes students with a desire to combine high academic standards, extensive study in the subject area, community engagement, and additional contact with instructors. Scholars students conduct original research in an area of their choice, working one-on-one with a faculty advisor. The research culminates into a traditional research paper or a creative project, approved by the faculty advisor. Scholars students further enhance their learning by living with international or Italian students.
Students share apartments with other program participants and may request to share an apartment with a friend. All apartments are within walking distance of the Institute facilities and provided with fully-furnished kitchens, WiFi, bathrooms, bedrooms and communal living spaces. Bed linens and pillows are provided although towels are not. Whenever possible, the Institute tries to accommodate housing requests regarding roommates and special needs. The staff is available throughout the term to provide assistance with housing needs, maintenance, and utilities.
Health & Safety Abroad
Students should review the U.S. State Department’s consular information website for complete information on safety and security (https://www.state.gov/travel/).
Students studying in Italy will be required to obtain a Student Visa. RWU’s Study Abroad Office can offer Visa advise. You may also contact your Umbra advisor for assistance with the visa process and additional pre-departure support.