Unlock Rome's secrets: A new adult study program for those seeking adventure and learning
In the words of one of Rome's most revered famous first-century philosophers and statesmen, Lucius Annaeus Seneca: "Travel and change of place impart new vigour to the mind."
That's a slightly more verbose way of suggesting that you can change how you feel through a change of scenery.
It just so happens that you can. Together with Temple University Rome, we investigate changes in travel trends, and how that means you can now experience one of the world's greatest cities through Temple's exciting and innovative program.
Back to school
After years of interrupted travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, increasing numbers of travellers are ditching short, luxury destinations in favour of more immersive, authentic experiences. Over the last three years, many travellers have discovered that time is perhaps their most valuable currency, and as a result, seek meaningful experiences when they travel abroad.
Simultaneously, facing declining student numbers due to several complex geopolitical factors, universities across much of the world are seeking new ways of bringing in students by expanding their offerings.
In response to this new reality, Temple University Rome has stepped in with a unique offer.
All roads lead to Rome
Anyone who wants to understand the world as it is needs to visit Rome. Once the capital of a mighty empire, still the seat of one of the world's great faiths, and a treasure house of art, music and architecture, Rome has always played a key role in world affairs.
Commencing May 8 there is a thirty-day programme, with an extended six-week programme beginning on September 11.
In both programmes, students select from two areas of focus - 'Roma Antica', that focuses on the city's storied ancient and artistic history over two millennia, while 'Roma Moderna' examines the historical period beginning with the unification of modern Italy in the 1860s, moving through both world wars, the fascist period, and finally to the present day city of Rome.
From Monday to Thursday, students take part in a number of classes, taught by Temple's faculty, involving many opportunities to practice language skills and newly acquired cultural knowledge.
These core classes include Italian Language & Culture and Highlights of Rome, a comprehensive overview of the city's wealth of art history. These are interspersed with regular museum visits, where students are guided by knowledgeable and passionate academics.
Cinephiles will also be delighted with the addition of a weekly film seminar, where films that deal with Rome, past and present, are screened and discussed.
Students in the next cohort can also choose to attend a range of optional short courses, with possible focuses ranging from an overview of Rome's Artists & Artisans to an examination of Migration & Identity in the context of the contemporary city. Classes for these short courses often meet at iconic locations, meaning that students soon learn how to navigate around the city, becoming true ‘Romans’ in the process. Day trips may also take students on a tour through the nearby Sabina Hills, where they can meet and learn from local artisans.
While weekends are free for participants to explore Rome, from the Spanish Steps to the Via Appia, there is the option of an excursion to famous Italian destinations across southern Italy including Naples, the preserved Roman city of Pompeii and romantic Sorrento. Students in this year's 'Roma Moderna' program also visited the Sicilian city of Palermo for three days, where they learned about the modern metropolis and the struggle against the Mafia.
The word from the street
Feedback from the most recent cohort of Temple University Rome’s Adult Study Abroad program reinforces what the research conducted by academics shows – that this growing trend of adult study abroad programs promotes fulfilment and growth for those taking part.
Sidney Braman enjoyed his initial experience so much, that he returned once more.
He states: “You’re going to be living as a Roman, finding out how to get around. On top of that, you have the whole Temple faculty guiding you.”
Fellow participant Ashley Giacomelli echoed Sidney’s sentiments: “For anyone considering this program – book it!
“I think it’s amazing coming on your own, as something that allows and enables self-growth. My only regret is that I didn’t apply sooner.”
Susan Cohen, a Temple University alumna who returned to participate in the inaugural program, was also very enthusiastic about her experience:
“This is the perfect program for someone who is intellectually curious, open to new experiences, or is eager to discover new ways of learning and looking at the world.
"We walked through the city—through what we were studying, immersed in the culture, and learned enough Italian to feel like we belonged. I also had many opportunities to do things that I don’t normally do.
"This program gives you a different angle based on what you already know. It helps you expand your world. And it’s a different perspective studying as an adult. I hope to see this program expanded.”
To learn more about how adult study abroad programs work, and to discover how Temple University immerses program participants in the very fabric of Rome, you can watch a replay of their recent webinar. In it, you’ll hear from program staff and former participants about this opportunity of a lifetime.
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