“And so we came to Rome…” Acts 28:14
So says the author of the Acts of the Apostles when St. Paul and his companions arrived to Rome after a long journey. Last week, 43 students from Providence College and I arrived in the Eternal City for a semester abroad.
Our Program has begun its fifth year of transforming lives with the study abroad experience at the heart of the Church.
The CEA Rome Team welcomed us with open arms and big smiles upon our arrival and then gave us an intense three day Orientation Program that helped our entry into the Italian way of life and our academic study program.
This week we started classes and Tuesday morning we began our New Testament in the Eternal City course, which is central to our PC in Rome experience. The course consists of classroom lectures and site visits around the city so that Rome becomes a “classroom” for us.
During this first week of introductions, orientations, and fresh beginnings, I’ve asked the students what they were hoping for from their study abroad experience in Rome. We talked about why they chose Rome as a destination and what they expected from our Program. Here’s what some of them said:
“This semester abroad I am hoping to learn a good deal of the Italian language, enough to speak with my grandma in Italian. I also hope to gain cultural intelligence regarding the Italian lifestyle so I will be able to appropriately do business with people from Italy if necessary in the future.” Amy Czarnota, Marketing Major, Finance Minor from Reading, Massachusetts.
“I was initially very nervous and hesitant to go abroad, but my friends who attended CEA in Rome told me that I couldn’t pass up such an amazing experience… After almost a week here I am already in love with the city, my neighborhood, the people I have met and especially the CEA professors and other employees. Everyone is so helpful and it has made my transition so much better. I know that this was one of the best decisions I’ve made since attending Providence College.” Samantha McSweeney, Business Management Major from Mansfield, Massachusetts
“What I hope to get out of being abroad is obtaining a more cultured, wider range of thinking that forces me to go outside my “comfort zone” and entertain thoughts and ideas that I previously would never have encountered. Studying abroad will also hopefully make me adapt and leave the comfortable PC environment for a new and foreign Roman one.” John Leyden, Finance Major from Pleasantville NY.
“NYC will always be my favorite city but Roma will definitely give it a run for its money. I have an Italian background as well as Argentinian so you can only imagine how thrilled my family is that I am here living in the same city as Argentinian native Pope Francis.” Gabriela Pace, Marketing Major, from New Jersey
“I am hoping to experience the Eternal City as it gives life to my studies and reveals the beauty and glory of the Catholic Church. I am sure this semester will be a formative experience as the classroom becomes the city of Roma.” Ana Gadoury, Theology Major, Writing Minor, from Blackstone, Massachusetts
“I am studying abroad in Rome because I wanted to study in the country where my Grandfather was born and get the chance to experience a new culture.” Emily Palazesi. Marketing Major from Sandwich, Massachusetts