The SVC Summer Institute in Rome

Sponsored by the Saint Vincent Center for Catholic Thought and Culture
May 13 - June 20, 2020

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There's a new road that leads from Saint Vincent College to Rome!

Beginning in May 2020, SVC students can earn 10 credits while living in the Eternal City for five weeks.  Join us and study the political thought of ancient Rome within eyesight of the Roman Forum and Colosseum. Learn about the Catholic art in the city's churches and museums firsthand under the guidance of a distinguished Vatican art historian.  And ponder the relationship between faith and science through a probing analysis of the Galileo Affair, learning both the astronomy and theology that were at issue in this often misunderstood debate.

As a student involved in the Summer Institute in Rome, you will have time to explore the city and experience Italian culture and heritage. You will join your peers on a weekend trip to Florence to study its art and to see Galileo's telescope. This is an excellent opportunity to fulfill three core courses and to be immersed in the history and beauty of one of the world's most historically important and influential cities, one very much still at the center of the Catholic intellectual tradition.

And you can do all of this while living at the Benedictine Abbey Sant'Anselmo on the famous Aventine Hill in the heart of Rome. You will be dining with the monks for most of your meals, but also enjoying the neighborhood restaurants at the foot of the Aventine. From Sant'Anselmo you'll have one of the most breathtaking views of St. Peter's, and be able to walk to popular spots in the city. After five weeks, you will know your way around Rome, and feel that it is, at least in part, your city.  

The Summer Institute in Rome is open to all Saint Vincent students including those who plan to graduate in May 2020!

Applications are due November 1, 2019.  Use the button at the top of this page to apply.

Live in Rome, Learn in Rome, and you'll find yourself Loving Rome!


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Sant'Anselmo all'Aventino

Chiesa di Sant'Anselmo all'Aventino Students who attend the SVC Summer institute in Rome will live in a wing of the beautify Sant'Anselmo monastery atop the historic Aventine Hill.  Nestled in a quiet and safe residential neighborhood, Sant'Anselmo is an easy walk to all the famous places in Rome that we will be studying and visiting. It is just south of the Circus Maximus, the ancient Roman Forum, and the iconic Colosseum. The beauty of the views from the Aventine are difficult to exaggerate!

Sant'Anselmo is home to an International College and it is the Primatial Abbey of the Order of Saint Benedict. Monks from around the world stay in this abbey when they are studying in or visiting Rome, making it an incredibly diverse and culturally rich religious house.

The rooms we have reserved at Sant'Anselmo are on two floors -- one for men and one for women. Each floor will have a prefect. Many of our meals will be with the monks at Sant'Anselmo, but we will also have dinners away from campus in family-owned restaurants. Students will get to know the Aventine and surrounding areas exceptionally well!

They will also get to know Rome itself. We have classroom space at Sant'Anselmo, but for most of our classes we will be visiting museums, churches, and historic sites as a group. Students will also be given time to explore the city on their own. It will not take long before they will feel that Rome is their city!

Come and live in Rome for five weeks and experience the beauty of the Aventine Hill and the peaceful setting of Sant'Anselmo.




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Liberal Education in the Eternal City

The Summer Institute in Rome is open to all SVC students and allows them to complete three of their core classes during the five week session. Since one of these courses is a science course, students will earn 10 credits during their time in Rome. When possible, courses will be cross-listed to give students flexibility in fulfilling their course requirements. The three courses are designed to be interdisciplinary in nature and interrelated.

We will have classroom space at Sant'Anselmo, but much of our course time will be spent in museums, churches, and historic sites like the Roman Forum, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Pantheon. We will also travel as a class to Florence, learning how its politics, art, and science drew inspiration from Rome.

The official end date of the Summer Institute will be August 1, 2020, and some assignments and tests will be due after our return to the United States.  These assignments will be conducted online using Schoology.

Explore the tabs below for more information about the courses that are being offered.


  • Roman Political Thought

    Roman Political Thought

    CiceroAncient Rome’s contributions to civilization are legion. Among the most visible are the ideas and practices that continue to influence the political philosophy and civil and legal institutions of many nations, including the United States. This course seeks to understand the Roman conceptions of such things as statesmanship, law, citizenship, virtue, rhetoric, civil religion, and imperialism, through a close reading of primary sources written by those who shaped or later reflected upon Rome. Authors might include Cicero, Lucretius, Livy, Virgil, Tacitus, Marcus Aurelius, Plutarch, St. Augustine, Machiavelli, Shakespeare, Gibbon, and Publius.

    This course can be taken as either a politics or a philosophy course, thus fulfilling either a social science or a philosophy core requirement.


    Foss Headshot 5The course professor is Dr. Jerome Foss, associate professor of politics, Director of the Saint Vincent Center for Catholic Thought and Culture, Director of the SVC Summer Institute in Rome, and Fellow of the Center for Political and Economic Thought.


  • Images and Evangelization - Christian Art in the City of Rome

    Images and Evangelization - Christian Art in the City of Rome

     San ClementeThis class explores the city of Rome as the cradle of the Christian tradition in the visual arts. From the earliest paintings in the catacombs to the monumental installations of the Baroque, the Christian community in Rome engaged with the arts as a form of evangelization. While at first, art was strictly tied to theology, the Middle Ages saw art collaborate more closely with the imagination of the artist culminating in the glorious productions of the Renaissance and the Baroque. Through readings, site visits and classroom lectures, student will learn the history of Christian imagery in Rome, the techniques and methods for making art, the rudiments of iconography, and also explore the question of defining "Christian" Art. Site visits will include the Catacombs of Priscilla, the Sistine Chapel, St Peter's Basilica, St Mary Major as well as a trip to Florence.



    This course will fulfill students' Fine Arts requirement for the core.




    Liz

    Dr. Elizabeth Lev is an American-born art historian who lives and studies art in Rome. She graduated from the University of Chicago in 1989, and earned her graduate degree from the University of Bologna in Northern Italy. She is the author of three books and has published numerous articles for First Things, Sacerdos, and Inside the Vatican magazines, the College Art Association, and Zenit News Agency.  

     

  • The Galileo Affair

    The Galileo Affair

    galileoThe Galileo Affair has long been central to discussions about the relationship between religion and the empirical sciences, but there are few historical events less well understood.  This course will allow students to explore the theology and the science that were at issue in the 1633 condemnation of Galileo’s work by the Catholic Church.  What really happened?  And why did it happen?  What room is there in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition for the natural sciences?  Students will learn the Ptolemaic and Copernican models of the solar system, planetary motion, optics of glass lenses and telescopes, observational astronomy, and various astronomical objects.  Students will read such things as  St. Augustine’s On the Literal Interpretation of Genesis, The Summa of St. Thomas Aquinas, primary sources such as Galileo’s letters to Castelli and Christina, The Starry Messenger and Dialogue on Two World Systems, Cardinal Bellarmine’s Letter to Foscarini, selected trial documents, the Magisterial documents of Vatican I and II, Providentissimus Deus and Divino Afflante Spiritu, and Pope John Paul II’s addresses to the Pontifical Academy of the Sciences.

    This is a four-credit course that will include a lab and fulfill a science requirement for students. As part of the course, we will travel to Florence to see Galileo's telescope.

    2017 Lawrence MachiaThis course will be taught be Fr. Lawrence Machia, OSB. Fr. Lawrence wrote his Master's Thesis in the seminary on the Galileo Affair and he is now preparing to pursue a PhD in physics. 


Loving Romeloving-rome

Fall in love with Rome


The SVC Summer Institute in Rome is not just about taking classes -- it is about experiencing the rich heritage and beauty of a culture very different from that of the United States. We are accustomed to a very fast-paced and hectic lifestyle.  But in Rome ... it's different!

Rome is unlike any other city in the world, and there are few nations that can rival Italy's food or festivity. Daily life is slower and more reflective. Meals tend to be longer and more conversational. Living in Rome for five weeks will give you the chance to immerse yourself in this Italian way of life. You will take in the language and culture as you breath in the Mediterranean air and and walk the cobblestone streets -- the same streets that have been walked by countless saints and martyrs, poets and painters, statesmen and rhetoricians, and students just like you.

Explore these tabs to get a taste of what your time in Rome will be like.

  • Culture

    Roman Culture


    The SVC Summer Institute in Rome allows students to experience Rome firsthand. Students will be able to live like a Roman for five weeks.  As a student in the Eternal City, you will find that Roman culture is more than ancient artifacts. Rome is a modern city that celebrates the past and has preserved the traditions from multiple generations.

    Castel San'angeloYou are surrounded by history and beauty everywhere you turn in Rome. In America, a 200 year-old building is a marvel; but in Rome much remains from 2,000 years ago. Many ancient buildings have been repurposed, as Rome continues to be a living and developing city.

    This image of Castel San'Angelo is a good example of what you will find in Rome. It was originally built as a tomb for the Emperor Hadrian, and later turned into a fortress to protect the Pope during invasions. Today it is a museum with a modern restaurant at its top. Touring Castel San'Angelo is like walking through time. Its foundations are ancient, its upper walls are medieval, and its top has a modern function. And the bridge that leads to it from the ancient city is adorned by angelic statues from the studio of the Baroque sculptor Bernini. Thus from the cafe atop the castle you are sitting upon 2,000 years of history, with St. Peter's Basilica to your right, Bernini's art upon the bridge directly below you, and Rome upon your leftward gaze. You'll see painters stationed upon the Tiber River trying to capture the scene. Listen carefully and you might hear the whispers of an opera being sung in the distance. And you can take all of this in while enjoying a cappuccino and engaging conversation with friends.  

    This is what it is like to be in Rome!
  • Food

    Roman Food


    DinnerRoman cuisine is fresh, seasonal and simply-prepared. You will find that Romans take their food very seriously. Not only does it provide nourishment, it also enriches friendships and conversation.

    Most of your meals will be at Sant'Anselmo with the monks, but we will also eat weekly at local, family-owned restaurants. You'll find the food at both the monastery and the restaurants delicious!

    The Italian attitude toward alcohol is different from that of most Americans. Wine is typically served at both lunch and dinner, and is meant to compliment the meal. As part of the cultural experience, the SVC Summer Institute will host a sommelier to provide you with a basic knowledge of Italian wines. 


    While most meals are included in the cost of attending the Summer Institute, you will have a few opportunities to explore the city on your own, which will include eating on your own. Make sure to bring some extra money in case you need a snack while walking the cobblestone streets. Street vendors are popular in Rome and most offer on-the-go sandwiches and refreshments. For those with a sweet tooth, prepare to see gelato and cappuccino around every corner. The food in Rome is something that you will crave even months after returning to the United States. Come to Rome with an open mind and a desire to extend their palate!


  • Excursions

    Excursions



    Florence CathedralAlthough the Eternal City has much to offer, you will have the opportunity to see more of Italy.  We plan to spend a weekend in Florence, exploring its cultural heritage and rich history. Florence is a short two hour train ride from Rome and the city is known for its Renaissance art, architecture, and monuments. Students will become immersed in the city's architecture by visiting the Santa Maria del Fiore, Palazzo Vecchio, and Ponte Vecchio. The trip will include academic content -- viewing the Christian art in Florentine museums and churches, and seeing Galileo's telescope -- but there will also be time for you and your friends to explore the city and take in its beauty.

    We are also looking into the possibility of other day trips around Italy as a class, such as Subiaco, Monte Cassino, or Assisi.  But we want to also give students the chance to see Rome and Italy at their own pace. At least a couple of the weekends will be free for you to see more of Rome or travel elsewhere in Italy.  We will help you learn how to use the public transportation within Rome, and the trains that carry passengers throughout the nation. 

Costs and Scholarshipscosts-and-scholarships

Cost of the Program



The SVC Summer Institute in Rome is an excellent opportunity to learn and live in Rome - a once in a lifetime opportunity for most people!  Our goal is to make this experience as affordable as we can.

The total cost of the trip for students is $8000. This is all inclusive: it covers tuition for 10 academic credits, the study abroad fee, airfare, housing, group travel within Italy, and all group meals.

We know that the situation of every student is different, and therefore are very happy to offer additional need-based scholarships to reduce the cost of the program. Those students admitted into the program will be given the chance to apply for further funding. 

Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Jerome Foss, Sara Hart, or Samm Firestone if you have any questions about the program or its costs.
Contact Informationcontact-information

Questions?


Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.  We are here for you!

Jerome C. Foss, PhD
Associate Professor of Politics
Director, The Saint Vincent Center for Catholic Thought and Culture
Director, The SVC Summer Institute in Rome
Fellow, Center for Political and Economic Thought
724-805-2652

Sara Hart
Director of International Education
724-805-2064

Samantha Firestone
Coordinator, The Saint Vincent Center for Catholic Thought and Culture
Coordinator, The SVC Summer Institute in Rome