Semester in Perugia- Spring 2018

Academics: 6
Support: 10
Fun: 10
Housing: 7
Safety: 9

I truly cannot say enough about this beautiful city. Up until several months before I left, I had no idea Perugia even existed but I'm so glad I chose to study there. I loved that it was a smaller city which offered a break from the constant go go go of living in a larger city (although Florence isn't too far away). It is easy to walk almost everywhere and you do get a bit of a workout with all the hills! There is so much history and unique facts to be learned. Although I was excited to study abroad, I was also very nervous. Honestly, it did not come without it's challenges. The staff and faculty at Umbra could not have been friendlier, more helpful, warm or welcoming. They helped me through the rough patches and made the overall transition much easier. They helped me understand cultural norms, gave me insights into the best places to eat and do things and even helped with small things such as where to buy items I needed. The staff and faculty truly do care about the students and they are a huge reason why I had such a great semester. I really enjoyed all the classes I took. My professors were extremely passionate about what they taught which made me more interested in their classes and I gained something from every single one of them. My Italian professor was extremely patient and gave us lots of chances to succeed, teaching us not only the language but the culture. My history/sustainability professor was hugely helpful in understanding Italian cuisine and taking us on unique field trips and my photography professor changed the way I take photographs. I feel very lucky to have had such great teachers. I highly recommend taking the history and culture of food in Italy course, it's a lot of fun. The CISabroad staff was also very helpful, especially prior to leaving the US. My contact at CIS was always available to answer my many, many questions and was there to assist when I had trouble with my flight. They were also very helpful in the somewhat complicated and stressful paperwork process of things like getting a visa, prior to leaving. Perugia itself is amazing. There is an endless amount of great food spots (even as a vegetarian I never had an issue finding anything). There are lots of great spots to hang out (Turan Cafe, the steps in Piazza IV Novembre and the lookout at the end of Corso Vanucci are some of my favorites). Perugia is especially beautiful towards the end of the day, when the sun starts going down. It's a great place to practice Italian because English isn't spoken quite as much. The entire city has a very authentic feeling, exactly what I would picture a little Italian city to look like. The wifi can be spotty at times due to the city's infrastructure and it can be quite cold in the winter. I highly recommend warm clothes for sleeping at night because apartments can get very chilly. The first several weeks were intimidating, especially because I had very little Italian skills and didn't really know anyone. Being patient with myself was important because it took awhile for me to get comfortable with living there, but once I did, I fell even more in love with the city. Post study abroad has also been challenging because I got so used to the Italian style of living but I gained so much from my time in Perugia. I learned the importance of enjoying life and it also opened my eyes to a very different world than I had known. Studying abroad changes your view of the world and it's people. I have much more respect for people living in a new country where they don't speak the language. I also gained a huge amount of confidence and independence that don't think I would have found at home. I travelled a lot on my own (safely of course) but it really made me learn to trust myself. My best advice would be to be patient with yourself because it can take a while to get comfortable, it's okay to have hard days, try EVERYTHING you want, go after every experience. I tried to do this and I really have no regrets. From Perugia, I gained a new appreciation for life. I think the coolest part was, when I first arrived, I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb. By the time I left, I felt like I belonged there. I definitely recommend Perugia, you won't find anything else quite like it. I can't wait to return to my second home in the near future and I hope you love it as much as I do!

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed