Claire Ballor, Staff Writer
The University of Dallas will offer its second annual summer Rome program from May 27 to July 8. Similar to those of the fall and spring Rome semesters, this program offers students an opportunity to live and study in Rome on the university’s campus in Italy.
Rome office director Rebecca Davies says that this program attracts students who are “seeking an opportunity to deepen their faith with serious study while in a Catholic community.”
Unlike the fall and spring Rome semesters, the summer program is open to undergraduate students from schools outside of UD. The mixed student body gives UD students the opportunity to study with other academics who share a similar appreciation for education. It also gives students from other universities an opportunity to share in the Rome experience that many UD students are privileged to participate in as part of their education.
Summer program director and associate theology professor Dr. Ron Rombs believes the mixed student body creates a very unique educational experience.
“UD’s great strength is the commonality that the students share due to the core classes that they all take,” Rombs said. “Most people interested in this program, whether from UD or from other schools across the country, are interested in the Catholicity and the serious educational endeavor that the program focuses on. These are the grounds on which the students connect and discover a commonality among them regardless of their background.”
The summer Rome program is a six-week, six-credit program that consists of one theology course and one English course. The courses that will be offered this coming summer will be Faith and Culture and The Catholic Imagination, which will both be taught by Rombs.
Senior Mary Elizabeth Zabilski previously spent a semester in Rome, but was also in the first group of students to participate in the summer program last summer. For her, it was an opportunity to further her studies in Rome and to relive the highlights of her Rome semester.
“My favorite thing was just being back in Rome and revisiting so many of the places I had gone during my fall semester,” Zabilski said.
As for non-UD students, the program is an opportunity to study abroad in the Eternal City, an opportunity that would not otherwise be readily available to them. Regardless of their backgrounds, all students who participate are able to study the Catholic faith in depth as well as great literature in one of the most influential cities in the world.
“Although the summer program cannot compete with the uniqueness of the regular Rome semester, students will find that this program is much more intimate and travel is much easier since they are travelling in a group of only a dozen or more students, rather than a large group over 100 people,” Rombs said. “It is an opportunity for students, both from UD and from other universities, to have the Rome experience while also experiencing Catholicity at its best.”
The program costs $6,000, which includes tuition, fees, room and board and travel on faculty-led day and overnight tours. Students who are interested in applying for the coming summer can find more information on the UD website under ‘Summer Rome Programs.’