Urbino as a Center for Study Abroad

By Jacki Miller


Photo by Harley Brown
Photo by Harley Brown

Thinking about studying abroad? Urbino is a quaint college town that makes one feel at home from the first moment of arrival to the end of your stay. Urbino boasts magnificent architecture, picturesque rolling hills, and different foods of all sorts. From letting loose at a bar to enjoying piano concerts, there also are a wide range of entertainment options in little Urbino.

Daniele Gramolini, the chief executive officer of Lingua Ideale, the study abroad spin off of the University of Urbino, described how the university promotes itself to universities in the United States and beyond.

Around 10 to 12 universities send study abroad students to Urbino, Gramolini said. The Catholic Church also sends priests and nuns from all over the world to Urbino to study Italian.

Facebook is a major source of promotion, where events and photos are posted on Lingua Ideale’s page. The University of Urbino website, www.uniurb.it, and www.urbinointernationalcentre.org, also describe courses offered, accommodations and other information for study abroad students.

“And, of course, we promote through all schools and universities and institutes of culture all over the world,” Gramolini said. “We send emails, brochures and contact directly universities.

Graduates of Urbino wear wreaths of laurel to celebrate the end of their college career. Photo by Megan Andrews
Graduates of Urbino wear wreaths of laurel to celebrate the end of their college career.
Photo by Megan Andrews

“We explain how it is important to understand we are a spinoff and can give credits to students,” he added. “It’s something new in the world. Only Lingua Ideale is a spinoff of Italian language and culture.”

Urbino has a sense of timelessness about it. Unlike the culture of the United States, where everything is “go, go, go” all the time, it is more of a “come to relax and stay awhile” atmosphere. For example, at restaurants, lunch and dinner are served at a slow pace. There’s time to drink some wine, eat a few pieces of bread, and socialize before being served. The evening meal can last several hours, so why not relax and enjoy it?

The people of Urbino are rarely in a rush to get anywhere, typically walking slowly and arriving without being out of breath due to talking all the way up the hills. It is as if Urbino wants you to slow down and look at the beauty of life and take advantage of being able to spend valuable time with your loved ones.

Although Urbino is a small town, it is perfect for college students. While sitting in class is very beneficial, there is much more to be learned by immersing yourself into the culture of Urbino. There is something to do every day, all it takes is a little exploring and the desire to try new things. But, what can you learn from a study abroad trip without stepping out of your comfort zone? The early evening is the perfect opportunity to explore the walls that enclose the city. Lining the walls are several shops and delicious “hole-in-the-wall” restaurants that one wouldn’t find without getting a little exercise. There is so much more to be seen when you stray off the beaten path, just as it is in college towns in the United States.

A group of study abroad students celebrated Kelsey Poynor's graduation in Urbino, Italy.
A group of study abroad students celebrated Kelsey Poynor’s graduation in Urbino, Italy with the traditional crown of laurel. Photo by Denise Harroff

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