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  • Locations: Perugia, Italy
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: The Umbra Institute 
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2025 10/15/2024 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Fall 2025 03/15/2025 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Areas of Study: Chemistry, Communication, Communications, Culture, Education, Independent Study, International Studies, Liberal Arts, Management, Psychology Click here for a definition of this term Minimum Undergraduate GPA: 2.75
Click here for a definition of this term Language of Instruction: English, Italian Click here for a definition of this term Housing Options: Apartment-Shared, Home Stay
Program Type: Study Abroad
Program Description:

UMBRA - Food Studies 4

Multicultural Psychology Program

Why Study Psychology in Perugia? 

Students who study psychology at the Umbra Institute examine human development as influenced by similarities and differences between people and across cultures. Such a knowledge base is a useful tool when preparing for careers in counseling, education, research, social work, and many other professions. Through specific coursework, students can delve into organizational behavior and behavioral change, intercultural communication, critical disabilities, art therapy, and numerous other topics, all from a multicultural perspective. In addition, by studying at the Umbra Institute, students have the opportunity to witness firsthand the interplay between different people and cultures as they explore Perugia, an international university city that offers a unique blend of cultural influences.

About the Institute & Perugia

The Umbra Institute is an American study abroad program located in the historic city center of Perugia, Italy. Often called the “big university town is a small Italian city", and located halfway between Florence and Rome, Perugia is the ideal setting to study abroad in central Italy. The city’s multiple train and bus stations, as well as an international airport, allow students to both experience Italian culture and explore Europe. The lively community hosts various festivals (such as Eurochocolate, the International Journalism Festival, and Umbria Jazz) each year and multiple international academic institutions, attracting students and professionals from across the globe.

Umbra offers a wide array of courses and program options which allow students to work towards general education requirements, explore an area of interest, and complete major requirements. Umbra is among the few institutions in Italy that focus heavily on community engagement activities. Courses are offered with service-learning components, academic internships, seminar and practicums, volunteer programs, independent research, and other activities that bring Umbra students together with the local Italian student population and the community at large. Students have the opportunity to connect with the local community through curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular community engagement initiatives. After studying at the Umbra Institute, students consistently say these are the experiences that had the greatest most meaningful impact on their time abroad.

About the Multicultural Psychology Program

The Multicultural Psychology Program allows students to complete courses, taught in English, toward their degree. Students will study how culture influences our understanding of ourselves and others. In addition to their work in the classroom, students experience various experiential learning opportunities that offer insight into the role of cultural norms and values in shaping human behavior and interactions.

Students in the certificate program participate in course field trips and additional activities throughout the semester to further augment their learning. These activities typically include a welcome meeting with the program coordinator so that students can discuss their previous experiences with the study of psychology, learn more about the semester’s activities and talk about their expectations for the semester; a midterm workshop that is dedicated to a specific topic in psychology and often includes a guest lecturer; and an end-of-semester reflective workshop where students can assess their experiences and explore career possibilities in conversation with professionals in the field.

VIVA - BaseballAcademics

Students in the Multicultural Psychology Certificate Program are enrolled in one (1) core course on the Human Development in Culture, an Italian language course (available from introductory to advanced levels), and at least two (2) additional courses in psychology or related subjects:
  • Organizational Behavior: An Evidence-Based Approach
  • Art Therapy
  • The Science of Behavioral Change: A Community-Based Approach
  • Criminal Behavior
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Education in Italy: Seminar and Practicum
  • Critical Disabilities Studies: Seminar and Practicum
  • Independent Study in Psychology

Co-Curricular Activities

Each course includes various co-curricular activities that contribute to the student’s personal and academic growth, with some courses even offering limited field experience. These activities vary each semester but may include working with local schools to experience various educational systems, and engaging in community-based projects to better understand organizational behavior and change. Students attend a weekend-long capstone trip to Reggio Emilia. The field trip includes a visit to the Museum of Psychiatry, to the Loris Malaguzzi International Centre (center for Reggio Emilia pedagogical approach), and to a school for guide dogs, which is the largest such school in Italy and the only public school for guide dogs in the world.
  • Activity examples include but are not limited to: 
  • A comparative educational systems project: Italian, Montessori, and American education systems. 
  • A qualitative research project on behavioral change. 
  • A service-learning project with a local company in the field of organizational behavior and development. 
  • An art therapy service-learning project with a community center.
  • Teaching practicums at local primary schools in Perugia. 
  • Fieldwork with children and adults with motor and intellectual disabilities. 

Research Opportunities in Psychology

Independent Research Course (IR 297/397/497) is a student-centered learning experience in which students engage in advanced research on their selected topic with the support of a faculty mentor. It is ideal for students who have previously studied a particular topic and would like to continue exploring it in more depth through individual research. Independent Research Courses in psychology are assigned the PYSC disciplinary code and are set at the appropriate academic level depending on the nature of the specific research project.

A minimum of one month prior to the beginning of the semester, students must submit a detailed research proposal to the Umbra Academic Director and the Coordinator of the MPP. Once approved, an appropriate faculty member will then be identified as the adviso
r. During the first two weeks of the semester, a more detailed proposal, bibliography, and project design will be submitted to the faculty advisor for approval, and a project timeline will be established. Throughout the semester, students work independently and meet weekly with their advisor to discuss their progress.

Approximately two weeks before the end of the semester, students give a short, oral presentation to their advisor and submit the first draft of their study. They then submit the final draft of the research project and participate in the Special Academic Events Week to present the results to the Umbra community.


UMBRA - Housing 1

To help facilitate a smooth transition into life in Perugia, the Umbra Institute provides housing in apartments situated throughout the city center. Apartments are shared, and most house between two and six Umbra students.  To see pictures of Umbra’s apartments, click here.  You will find that walking through the city is an extremely easy, pleasant, and social experience…after just a few weeks in Perugia, you are sure to bump into people you know while out and about.

As there is no meal plan for the Umbra Institute program, students are encouraged to cook for themselves – don’t worry, Umbra hosts cooking classes in its didactic kitchen. All apartments are stocked with basic kitchen utensils, and often students discover new talents and interests while in the kitchen. If cooking isn’t for you, the Università per Stranieri offers low-price cafeteria meals, and the Umbra student ID card is valid for discounts at many trattorias, pizzerias, and pubs around the city. After all, it is Italy: delicious food is never far away.

Students may also choose to live with Italian or international students or in a homestay. These options are individualized and some background with the Italian language is preferred. 

UMBRA - Student at Home 1Student Life & Services

Umbra arranges an airport pick-up on arrival day each semester, during which staff personally welcomes students to Italy and Perugia. Through orientation students meet Umbra’s Resident and Academic Directors, chat with community engagement coordinators about volunteering and other opportunities, receive apartment tips from dedicated housing staff, and learn travel tricks from the student services team.

Students are encouraged to be as involved as possible while studying in Perugia. For a complete list of student activity and community engagement options, click here.

Another unique feature available to Umbra students is the Umbra App (available on iPhone and Android). The App gives students immediate access to semester event details and sign-ups, walking directions to local restaurants and businesses, and provides a list of local discount information. Students can also contact each other, faculty, or staff through the App, view course information, and more.

Health and Safety

  • The Umbra Institute is dedicated to ensuring that students enjoy a safe and rewarding study abroad experience. As a full-service program with more than 20 years’ experience in study abroad, Umbra is there to assist each student from the time they apply, through their arrival, and up to the day of departure. Services relative to health and safety include:
  • Orientation: an Italian State Police lieutenant gives a presentation on safety and security in Italy and throughout Europe.
  • Emergency Phone: available 24 hours a day.
  • On-site Coaching and Counseling Service
  • Housing Office: offering apartment maintenance and assistance.
  • Umbra App Safety Check-in: In case of an emergency, all students will receive a Safety Check-in notification through the App. They will then be prompted to respond with either “I’m Safe” or “Request Assistance,” so that appropriate steps can be taken to ensure their well-being.
  • Doctors and Medical Care Available 24 Hours a Day: Students may choose to contact medical personnel on their own, but most students come to Umbra staff for support and assistance in making an appointment, either during business hours or through contacting the emergency phone.
  • Travel Workshop and Travel Forms. ?

The Umbra Institute Highlights

  • International staff and faculty;
  • US Office providing pre-departure support;
  • Private airport pick-up in Rome and transfer to Perugia;
  • Communication: Umbra App (for Apple and Android), monthly newsletters, Wi-Fi in all student apartments, Handbooks and Guidebook;
  • Emergency phone available 24 hours a day;
  • Life-coaching and counseling service;
  • Staff trained in crisis management;
  • Multi-day orientation in Perugia including a practical city walking tour;
  • Cell phone or SIM cards rental services available;
  • Educational and cultural workshops (Travel Workshop, Career Workshop, etc.);
  • Optional Trip, a staff-guided trip offered to explore beautiful, scenic Italy;
  • Co-curricular field trips to world-renowned historic sites and famous cities;
  • Italian language courses to learn practical skills to communicate with locals;
  • Tandem language exchange; and
  • A variety of extracurricular activities (pizza-making workshop, sports with Italian university students, etc.). ?


The Umbra Institute is a recognized and approved study abroad program for hundreds of colleges and universities. If you’re ready to begin your journey through psychology, start this easy online application.