Fall 2018 Rome Arrival
Two and a half weeks into their semester, the students of the Fall 2018 Rome class
have settled in nicely. Adjusted to life on Due Santi, they use public transportation
to visit the city, are seen studying under the many campus pergolas, and have taken
up Italian pastimes, playing bocce or baking pizzas in the forno. Tomorrow, the students
depart for their first long weekend break; for many of them, this will be their first
foray into independent travel.
The comfort of routine is enjoyed by students and staff alike, the first couple of
weeks of the semester were filled with excitement and many long, multiple course dinners.
On the day of their arrival, students received campus tours, reunited with freshman
year friends, and put on their Sunday best for opening mass, convocation, and dinner.
To combat jet lag, students received an early wake-up call the very next morning at
5am and were soon at St. Peter’s square for a private mass inside the basilica celebrated
by the campus chaplains, Monsignor Fucinaro and Fr. Brown. After mass, students congregated
in the square, where they divided into walking tour groups, led by professors, chaplains,
and student affairs staff members. With their groups, students were shown how to use
the metro, order coffee and gelato, and to get water from the many aqueduct-sourced
fountains around the city.
Monday was also packed full, as students got to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony
for the newly completed Rome Expansion project. The day was celebrated with a mass,
speeches, reception, and oversized scissors. Students joined with major donors and
university trustees in applauding the new expansions to the mensa, dormitory, and
Gradually, students settled into a rhythm, as orientation meetings came and went and
classes began. However, the schedule is never a dull one, and students were quickly
back in the city for a scavenger hunt and visits to Castel Gandolfo and Nemi, beautiful,
hilltop towns overlooking volcanic lakes and located only a few minutes from campus!
So much takes place in these first few weeks, and much is yet to come. Many students
attended an optional lecture given by their English professor, Dr. Crider, on the
art of journaling. After this first long weekend, it is certain that many students
will have many pages filled with records of their European adventures.