Rome Wasn’t Seen In a Day

by Christine Hurst

You don’t just pass through Rome, or make a quick visit between other destinations and leave feeling satisfied. Rome requires so much more. It’s more than the iconic sites on a tourist map (although those are incredible).

Let the mysterious personality of Rome overtake you while studying abroad amongst ancient ruins.
Let the mysterious personality of Rome overtake you while studying abroad amongst ancient ruins. Photo Courtesy of Christine Hurst

The city was once the center of a global empire, and still retains the vestiges of her universality and power. The ancient ruins sit across from modern shops, grab a Starbucks as you pass countless world-famous sites of cultural, artistic, theological, and historical importance. The more time spent exploring, experiencing Rome, the more impossible it becomes to ever detach from it. Disciplines blend and overlap in intricate, compelling ways, leaving visitors absorbed by her convoluted personality.  

What To Study: More Than History and Art.

When considering study-abroad in Rome, language, religion, and art are among the first (and sometimes only) disciplines that come to mind. While these are indisputably valuable majors, as well as increasingly underappreciated, Rome has so much more to offer. The Eternal City is not reduced to purely historical review. Students in any course of study linked to world politics should consider Rome as an excellent destination to study. 

Watch the processes of governmental change as national demographics shift, or examine the European Union from a political, social, or economic standpoint. The understanding is based on reality while living among the people so intimately affected by the policies and procedures. The state of the European Union is a main focus in global economics and you can gain a firsthand understanding of it while living in one of the key players. 

Italian stances on health care, religious liberties, and immigration differ from those found in other countries, providing the opportunity to develop unique perspectives for students interested in these fields, as well as law and policy making, or social service. It is the juxtaposition of the old with the new which affords a valuable insight into what determines and constitutes progress despite hardship and failure.

The Temple of Saturn

The Temple of Saturn

History Comes to Life in Rome.

An international education in Rome means being surrounded by the countless works of art which come to life in cathedrals, basilicas, and museums throughout the city. Students can experience the actual physical locations of political, social, and religious occasions of monumental importance. 

Decades could slip away while observing the odes to love, sorrow, and wisdom carved into walls and tombs, or witnessing centuries-old allegiance to commerce which could parallel any modern-day business professional. These glimpses of human nature illustrate not only how far human civilization has come, but also how little it has changed. The parallels between us and a society from hundreds of years ago can be seen in marketing and advertising, social and political structure, the establishment and practice of law, gender roles and parameters, even the establishment of urban planning and city zoning, among many other things. 

Philosophers were consistently among the population of this city, as well as generations of exiled Jews, musicians, and artists; the men and women who shaped Christianity, and the earliest pioneers of medical technique and theory. Artists, scientists, and shopkeepers left their indelible marks, often borrowing from one another and blending ideas.

Take This Show on the Road

Centrally located in the Italian peninsula, Rome has the advantage of easy access to other key cities by bus and train: Perugia, Venice, Naples, Florence, Pompeii, Taormina, and Tuscany. Study-abroad program providers offer exposure to language and culture through ever-expanding excursion itineraries, including day trips to places like Cinque Terre, or the hot springs around the Amalfi Coast. 

Not limiting immersion in language and culture to classrooms and textbooks, means enabling access to a fascinating and vivid people. Despite centuries of tourism, Rome has not lost her unique mystery, her capacity to offer something to everyone, and still leave everyone longing for more. 

The Colosseum

The Colosseum

Preservation Through Progress

English may be an increasingly prevalent language there, but there are so many concepts which do not translate, and must be experienced to be understood. A city does not last so long without the capacity of diversity, retaining her most intrinsic self while becoming flexible to external inspiration and exploration. Rome has only developed with time, becoming more diverse and unique, more inclusive and encompassing, home to even more varied groups of people and assimilating their cultures as well. 

Rooted in ancient history, founded on mythology, and growing every day in worldly matters, Rome deserves to be counted among those study-abroad locations with the most to offer, still unfolding every day.