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Latin may be a dead language, but Rome is sure to be lively this summer.  From June 15th to the 24th fifteen students and three professors will be taking Rome by storm in a whirlwind of cultural exploration, including tours of the city’s greatest museums and archeological sites.  In the off-chance that you’re not already drooling over this international adventure, it is important to note that the estimated cost to students is only around two thousand dollars. Thank you, Center for Global Education!

The program’s website lists most details of the cultural excursion, including the professors who will lead the trip: Shane Bjornlie (CMC, Roman and Medieval history), Seth Lobis (CMC, Renaissance Literature) and Victoria Sancho Lobis (University of San Diego, Art History). The trip will include visits to the Colosseum, the Circus Maximus, the Vatican, Pompeii, the Capitoline Museum, the Pantheon, and the Catacombs of San Callisto with enough time left over for students to gallivant around the city on their own.

When asked to detail the highlights of the trip, Professor Bjornlie suggested that they would vary for each participant. “For some,” Bjornlie noted, “that moment will arrive standing under a glittering 6th-century mosaic or a vivid 16th-century fresco; for others, the highlight will be wandering the cobbled, labyrinthine streets of the Trastevere or Campo Marzio districts…and for some, the ultimate satisfaction will be found in the simple pleasure of enjoying the rhythms of the modern city al fresco from an Italian cafe.”

Bjornlie said that the itinerary, though not finalized until the students participating in the trip have a say, will include the classic destinations as well as “visits to less-well-trodden sites, such as the Emperor Hadrian’s villa at Tivoli, ruins at the Roman Port of Ostia and select subterranean excavations, such as the Roman houses under the Palazzo Valentini. On the medieval and Renaissance side, we anticipate accommodating a wide range of interests, including visits to the Vatican, the Palazzo Farnese and the Galleria Borghese.”  For those students burdened with a sweet tooth, Bjornlie adds, “And, of course, no trip to Rome would be complete without including (several) visits to the best gellateria in the Rome–Giolitti’s.”

The three intrepid professors leading the trip are hoping participants will walk away with more than bellies filled with gelato.  Bjornlie expressed his desire that students return to American soil with “an appreciation for the value of being an intellectually inquisitive and informed traveler.” And, of course, another goal of the program includes bringing lessons learned back home as Bjornlie details, “we hope that exposing the students to Rome in its fullest dimension, as informed participants (not just visitors), will foster a lifelong interest in experiencing and understanding foreign cultures.”

Whatever floats your boat (or gondola), Bjornlie assured that this trip has something for everyone. He elaborated saying, “The pace of the trip will be, at turns, fast paced and leisurely” and explained that “students should be prepared for much walking under a Mediterranean sun.”

For those of you gung-ho travellers already looking forward to your applications, Bjornlie offered a description of the perfect candidate for which he and the rest of the leaders are searching.  “We are looking for students interested in more than the typical ‘tourist’ experience,” said Bjornlie and explained that a student with a “personal interest in history, art, literature, religion or language” will be well-suited to this humanities-heavy adventure.  Still, if none of these topics call out to you, Bjornlie continued on to explain, “We are also looking for the intrepid adventurers at CMC who simply want to satisfy a candid sense of wonder at experiencing foreign culture.”

Bjornlie offers his final words of advice to students interested in the trip: “Students should come equipped with a willingness to walk (and comfortable shoes), a good sense of humor, at least a modicum of patience and an understanding that the Italian way of doing things is very much its own.”

All those interested should stop by the Center for Global Education in Heggblade to pick up an application due March 1st.

For more information, check out the official website here.

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