In the words of history professor Dr. Susan Hanssen, this summer will mark the “launch of a new UD tradition”: a University of Dallas summer Rome Program. Students from any university may participate in the six-week session on the Due Santi campus from May 16 to June 27. The program includes two courses: Western Civilization II, taught by Hanssen, and “Faith, Reason, and Culture in the Roman Catholic Tradition,” taught by theology professor Dr. Ron Rombs. It will also include two overnight trips, one to Assisi and Subiaco and the other to Sicily.
The new summer program is directly modeled after the traditional UD Rome program. It even includes “occasional formal [guided] tours into Rome and environs, and will provide opportunity for individual student excursions when not in class,” according to the Rome and Summer Programs Office.
The program is, in part, an attempt to solve an issue of which every UD sophomore is painfully aware: There is not enough space in the traditional Rome Program to accommodate the growing number of undergraduates. The UD undergraduate population is growing, but the number of students accepted into the fall and spring semester Rome programs cannot grow.
The gap has not yet been a major problem. The Rome Office regularly explains to frantic undergrads that qualified students who apply for Rome will be able to go, but they just might not get into their first-choice semester. Nevertheless, the limited space on the Due Santi Campus is often cited by students in private conversations as a reason not to expand the undergraduate population. As it stands, UD “ranks fifth nationally among master’s institutions … for the percentage of undergraduate students participating in study-abroad programs for academic credit,” according to the 2011 Open Doors report of the Institute of International Education.
The summer program has the potential to maintain UD’s standing as the school expands, enabling UD to provide its unique, integrated study-abroad experience to more and more students.
Yet the program is not only geared towards students who cannot participate in the Rome semesters. Those who are in Rome during the spring semester can stay on for the summer session, because the classes offered during the two programs are different. In addition, non-UD students with at least 30 credit hours can participate.
Visit udallas.edu/romeprogramsummer for more information or to apply. Applications are due Feb. 6.