The City Becomes the Classroom at Assumption's Rome Campus
By Brianna DiPanni '18
Another semester has begun at the Assumption College campus in Worcester and in Rome, where an at-capacity group of students have begun to explore one of the world’s oldest cities as it serves as a living classroom. Lauren Salerno ’20, an organizational communications major from Peabody, is already enjoying her short time in the Eternal City.
“When I first got to Rome I was completely taken aback,” she said. “It took a few days to sink in that I was actually going to call this place my home for the next four months.”
Salerno said that arriving in Rome was like “stepping into the pages of my former history textbook.” One of the benefits that attracted her to Assumption when looking at colleges was the Rome Campus. “I loved the idea of being at Assumption while still getting to experience a completely different way of life,” she said of the College’s unique program.
The Campus, established in the spring of 2013, was created to encourage Assumption students to experience the world that lies beyond Massachusetts and to engage them with the College’s Catholic identity. Rome is a cultural treasure that exposes students to the latest European tastes and trends as well as the home of the Sistine Chapel, the perfect place to learn about the history and teachings of the faith.
The Rome Campus is designed to fulfill student core requirements for graduation and offers courses such as Art History, Gothic Literature, Italian, The Grand Tour, and Theology. In addition to the academics, there is a lot of learning done outside of classes: the curriculum includes weekly museum and monument excursions within the city as well as the surrounding countryside. Each semester, students and faculty take overnight trips to other parts of Italy such as Pompeii, Naples, Florence and Urbino. These trips are included in tuition and all Assumption financial aid and scholarships follow students to Rome. During free weekends, students have the opportunity to explore other areas of Europe; Salerno plans to visit Prague, Germany, Greece, Spain and Ireland.
Surrounded by a magnitude of culture and history, Salerno is enjoying Rome as her classroom, while also engaging in exciting adventures with new lifelong friends. “Every person I spoke to who chose to spend their semester at Assumption’s Rome Campus had great things to say,” she said. “When I return in December I will be sure to do the same when I speak with my fellow classmates.”
Students can hear about these first-hand experiences at the Assumption College Gelato Tasting, a free event sponsored by the Rome Campus, on Sept. 19, at 6:30p.m. in Testa Atrium. Students who spent a semester in Rome will serve gelato and share details of their experience abroad. First-year and sophomore students are encouraged to attend the event to learn more about this exciting opportunity and sample some authentic Italian gelato.
Since its inception, the Rome Program has become increasingly popular among Assumption students. Those interested in applying to study at Assumption’s Rome Campus should speak to their advisors and do so as soon as possible, as the semesters fill up fast and operate on a first-come-first-serve-basis. The application deadline for the spring 2018 semester is October 15.
For more information, visit www.assumption.edu/rome.
Kimberly Dunbar, Director of Public Affairs, Assumption College