Since 1999, the Umbra Institute has been located in Perugia, often called “a big college town in a small Italian city.” Perugia is the capital of Umbria, on the border with Tuscany, and is the green heart of Italy and a place to find the authentic Italian experience. Its central location makes it easy to travel through Italy and the rest of Europe, independently or on a class excursion.

The Institute can be found in the heart of the city, with the student lounge looking out on the main piazza. The modern campus consists of two floors with numerous classrooms, administrative offices, study rooms, and more. Wi-Fi, with optic-fiber internet capability, can be found throughout the facilities and within student apartments.


The Umbra Institute offers five tracks for USM 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. Umbra is the study abroad destination for the USM Food Studies minor; Hospitality students have also been approved to receive credit for food studies courses at Umbra.

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.

Direct Enroll at Italian Universities

The University for Foreigners program focuses exclusively on Italian language and culture and is open to students of all levels of language proficiency from beginner to advanced.

The University of Perugia offers students the opportunity to experience university life as a local with a full-immersive experience. Students begin this program with a one-month Italian language course at the University for Foreigners prior to beginning their two elective courses in the humanities department at the University of Perugia.

The Academy of Fine Arts in Perugia also begins with a one-month intensive Italian course. Students then take courses in Italian with Italian and international fine arts students.

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.

Please consult Umbra’s Academic Calendar for precise information regarding term dates

Academic Requirements

Must have a minimum GPA of 2.75 and English proficiency.

To learn more about Umbra’s Summer Programs click here

Helpful Links

Additional Information

Visas are required for semester and year-long programs. USM’s Office for International Programs can offer assistance for the process. The Umbra Institute also provides visa assistance, beginning with instructions and a visa process description that will arrive attached to your acceptance email. It is important that you follow the instructions to schedule a visa appointment as soon as you are accepted to the program.