Nicknamed the "University City," Perugia is home to thousands of students who study at the Università degli Studi di Perugia, Università per Straniere di Perugia, and the many studio and performing arts schools in the area. An ancient hilltop town that has preserved its medieval and Renaissance character, Perugia is located in the heartland of Italy about halfway between Rome and Florence. Countless artistic masterpieces adorn many of its buildings, including remarkable frescoes and paintings by Perugino, Pinturicchio, Guercino, Caravaggio, and Raphael. The city's Etruscan walls, medieval churches, and Renaissance and Baroque palaces are enduring reminders of its splendid past. Within this charming old world setting, you'll also find many modern amenities. Corso Vannucci, the main street in the city center, is a broad pedestrian thoroughfare constantly buzzing with action. At night, the area bursts into life, with pedestrians happily scurrying to one of the many local jazz cafés, piano bars, concerts, or art exhibits.
The Umbra Institute is located right in the heart of Perugia, in the Palazzo degli Oddi. The Palazzo is actually a palace owned by the descendants of Italian nobility. This spectacular setting is adorned by magnificent neoclassical paintings, frescoed ceilings and walls dating as far back as the 15th century, and a neighboring Italian courtyard and garden. In addition to the Palazzo's Renaissance splendor, it is replete with modern resources and amenities including a library, computer lab, classrooms, and student lounge.
The Università per Straniere di Perugia is a premier place to study Italian language. It's one of the oldest centers of Italian language instruction and accommodates students from around the world. Italian language courses on this program are taught in conjunction with the Università per Straniere di Perugia. Courses will be taken through a direct enrollment at Università per Stranieri. You will take 16 credits per semester of Italian language and cultural topics while learning alongside other international students, strictly in Italian. You will take a placement test during your orientation so that you are placed at the appropriate track of courses for your Italian proficiency level. All students are eligible for this program, whether beginners or heritage speakers, as there is a track of language and cultural topics suitable for everyone at Stranieri. The program includes about 27 hours a week at the university coupled with weekly recitation classes with Umbra instructors - to guide, assist, and assess you through your learning experience. They set weekly assignments and assess students’ final grades in the program.
For more information about this program, visit the Arcadia: Perugia website.
To view a list of other programs available in this region, visit our Education Abroad Regional Program Brochures.
Housing and Meals
Financial Aid & Scholarships
How to Apply
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Courses will be taken through a direct enrollment at Università per Stranieri. You will take 16 credits per semester of Italian language and cultural topics while learning alongside other international students, strictly in Italian. You will take a placement test during your orientation so that you are placed at the appropriate track of courses for your Italian proficiency level. All students are eligible for this program, whether beginners or heritage speakers, as there is a track of language and cultural topics suitable for everyone at Stranieri.
To see what kind of credit students in past semesters have received for courses taken on this program, visit the Arcadia Perugia Course Equivalency List. Keep in mind you will need to complete the course equivalency process once you have been accepted to your program and after you have completed your registration abroad. To obtain specific instructions on this process visit our Course Equivalencies page. To learn how the courses on this program can fit into your individual degree audit, meet with your academic adviser.
You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis. Students may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad. These courses will not be credited at Penn State.
No specific courses are required for admission to this program, but previous Italian language experience is recommended. Some classes may have prerequisites (see course descriptions at the program's website for details).
Housing and Meals
Most students will stay in student apartments or flats, which afford a high degree of independence and allow you to experience university life as Italian students would. Direct Enrollment students will be housed with other international or Italian students in either single or double rooms. All apartments include wifi access, linens, and shared kitchen facilities where you can prepare your own meals. The cost of meals is your responsibility and inexpensive meals can be purchased (if desired) in the student cafeterias at the Università per Straniere di Perugia. Additionally, the Umbra student ID card will enable you to receive discounts at trattorias, pizzerias, and pubs around the city. Home stays may also be available upon request.
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the (Fall and Spring) budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.
Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.
The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please visit the Funding Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website.
As a Penn State student you will automatically be awarded a $500 Arcadia Scholarship. Arcadia has created this award to make their programs affordable to you for fall 2017 and spring 2018 semesters. This award has already been calculated into the Budget Sheet.
For More Information
For more information about programs and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with or contact our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. If you are not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative.
To learn more about the specifics of each program, schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program.
For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the Student Spotlights of Penn State students currently studying abroad.
How to Apply
If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page.
You must complete the following materials in your application:
Please note that you will also be instructed to complete an application with Arcadia as a part of your Penn State application. Applications open approximately one year before the program term begins.
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.
- Education Abroad Questionnaire
- One academic recommendation
- Signature Documents
- Follow the instructions related to your Arcadia application
Studying Abroad with a Disability
Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.
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Steps to Study Abroad
Schedule an Appointment
Cost & Funding
Health & Safety
Parents & Family
Education Abroad Regional Program Brochures