Dr. Hagstrom and 17 students from P.C. are packing suitcases, applying for Italian VISAS, organizing passports and brushing up on Italian vocabulary for their one semester adventure.
While the rest of campus is focused on opening the new Humanities Building or readying the dorms for the onslaught of freshmen in just a few weeks, the Rome Study Abroad students are looking forward to piazzas, museums, ancient churches, and Roman Ruins as their “new campus”. And instead of opening the school year with “Academic Convocation” in the P.C. gym, the Rome students will perhaps begin their school year with a papal audience in St. Peter’s Square with Pope Francis. And while the food in Raymond Cafeteria is no doubt tasty and nutritious, the acclaimed Italian cuisine (including gelato!) is what awaits Dr. Hagstrom and 17 P.C. friars.
Preparing for a semester abroad can be exciting, but also daunting, and sometimes scary. Like Abraham who was called to leave behind his land, his security, and his way of life for a new journey with the Lord (Genesis 12:1-3), so too our Rome students and faculty will leave behind the familiar and embark on a life-changing sojourn. Through study and lectures, site visits and even the simple daily experiences of street life in Rome, students will discover more about themselves, the world, and their place in it.