Is Umbra for Me?

The important thing is to choose the program that’s best for you. We like to think you’ll find that at the Umbra Institute, in light of the wealth of academic options we offer, from language intensive programs to the option to build your own curriculum of courses with strong community engagement components. But don’t take our word for it. For over fifteen years, we’ve heard Umbra students say, “I’m glad I came to Perugia—I definitely made the right choice!” They tell us repeatedly it’s because, at Umbra and Perugia offer:

World-Class Students & Faculty

The Umbra Institute attracts some of the best and brightest students from a wide variety of academic backgrounds which is why has become the destination of choice for many of America’s top-ranked colleges and universities. Umbra boasts a stellar international faculty. Classes are small and the course curriculum is innovative, inspiring and immersive. Our focus on academic quality and extensive community engagement provides a unique combination of in-class and experiential learning.


Perugia is not your typical tourist destination where you would be surrounded by droves of travelers and rarely speak a word of Italian. In Perugia you’re not a tourist—you get to know your neighbors, shop owners and local students as a resident. Every day unfolds new discoveries: ordering groceries in Italian, savoring culinary delights, making friends from all over the globe, and occasionally venturing off the ancient hilltop to experience the splendor of central Italy.

Side Image Real Italy

Students, & More Students!

Nicknamed the “University City,” Perugia boasts a thriving international student scene. Each year, thousands of Italian and international students flock to the city to attend the local universities. That means you’ll not only be meeting Italians but experience Italy alongside other study abroad students from Germany, China, England and beyond!

Side Image Students Perugia

Community Engagement Opportunities

The best way to immerse in a new community is to contribute something to it. Umbra’s Community Engagement Program offers hands-on opportunities to explore personal interests with a strong community connection. We draw you out of your comfort zone, challenging you to work closely with the locals. The program is teeming with endless immersion opportunities and initiatives, including chances to volunteer in museums, Montessori schools, an urban garden, Unicef—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. At Umbra, you have opportunities to serve, practice, and engage.

Girls Grape Harvesting

Assistance When Needed

Umbra provides all students with a strong system of support from arrival to departure. That means you will enjoy day-to-day guidance on living in Italy, navigating Perugia, traveling on the weekends, and adapting to your new home. At the Umbra, we trust that you know best—only you can determine how best to shape your time abroad. Our job is to support you and lend a helping hand when you need it.

Side Image - Umbra Institute Student Services

Learn and Practice Italian More

You don’t need to know Italian in order to have a successful semester in Perugia. But if your goal is learning Italian its difficult to find a better backdrop.  If you want to fast-track your language acquisition, Umbra offers Direct Enrollment Programs where participants take classes at local universities with Italian and international students. This full linguistic immersion is widely recognized as one of the best ways to achieve fluency.


Even if the language isn’t your main focus or you’re only just beginning to study Italian, you’ll be surrounded by opportunities to practice in an encouraging, non-judgmental environment.

man socializing in store

Ask Former Umbra Students

At the ISI Abroad, we know you want to ask real questions and receive real answers. For this reason, we provide you with the opportunity to connect with alumni from many schools with experience in various fields of study who know all there is to know about studying at the Umbra Institute.


Click Here to Contact Umbra Alumni


January 27th is International Holocaust Day, commemorating the lives lost by the hands of Nazi Germany during World War II as well as the liberation of the last survivors of the Auschwitz death camp.
Florence also remembers the lives of 300 local Jewish residents uprooted from their homes and lives and forced into concentration camps by the Nazi occupation of Florence.
You may notice small bronze "tripping stones" embedded into the sidewalks of the city. These stones, created by German artist Gunter Deming, are actually all across Europe (over 70,000) and mark where some of these victims lived.
For a full list of related events in Florence, visit Magenta Florence at

Repost from @isiflorence

#neverforget #internationalholocaustremembranceday #florenceevents #jewishcommunityofflorence #pietredinciampo #localhistory

UVA's Carter Lowe has just started her semester in #italy and says:
“I have enjoyed all of Umbra’s courses so far, and am already in love with Perugia. The staff are extremely helpful in getting settled into the city and culture. I can’t believe I’m here for 4 months!”

Stay tuned to learn more about Carter's Italian adventures later this semester!

In the meantime, we encourage @UVA students to #goabroad with #uvastudyabroad.

Repost from @umbrainstitute

#HoosGlobal #HoosAbroad #GoHoos #UVA

"Before the day is a day, after reaching the city riding a scooter and after coffee. Before I connect myself to the rest of the things, alone with my pencils."

The Miserables' Chronicles. A new portfolio exhibition by ISI Florence architecture professor, Franco Pisani.

Link in bio 🔗⬆️
Repost from @isiflorence

#architecture #architectureabroad #academics #exhibition #terpsabroad #marywoodarchitecture #isiachievements

Today Perugia woke up under the snow! ❄️
The best view of the piazza is from the Umbra student lounge, well sheltered and cozy. ☕️

Repost from @umbrainstitute