IES Abroad Rome January Term-From Pontius Pilate to Theodosius: The Advent of Christianity

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Rome, the eternal city, offers a wide variety of exciting experiences for study abroad students. More than 2,500 years of history have formed the city’s unique character, and walking in Rome is a constant voyage of discovery. While the past is inescapable in Rome, the contemporary city is a vibrant, bustling metropolis of 3 million people. Home to the Vatican, Rome provides the perfect setting to study the early Christian church.


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Questions & Answers


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Yes, I recommend this program

A Month in Paradise!

This past January I chose to take the amazing opportunity to study at IES Rome for the J-term. Prior to this experience, I had only been out of the country once before and that was to the United Kingdom where they spoke the English language and the culture was somewhat similar to that of my own. Needless to say, spending a month in Italy was exciting but definitely out of my comfort zone. As soon as we arrived in Rome and settled into our apartments, I knew that this would be the experience of a lifetime and although I was still somewhat apprehensive, I was way more excited and intrigued by the beautiful city that surrounded me. I will never forget the first time I walked through the IES doors and immediately felt welcomed by the staff. It was obvious that they wanted us to feel safe to immerse ourselves into the rich Italian culture. Our class, The Advent of Christianity, further explored the creation of the Christian faith by studying the historical and religious impact of Jesus Christ along with the Roman empire and their involvement. Studying the origin of Christianity and the ancient empire in one of the most beautiful and historical cities is an enlightening and precious opportunity. There are multiple field trips throughout the course that included but were not limited to the Vatican, the ruins of Pompeii, the Roman Forum, and numerous catacombs. These field trips truly allow you to imagine the city and culture in ancient times. These first hand experiences along with the staff, the incredible teachings of Gianni Ponti, and the beauty of Rome as well as other parts of Italy were truly priceless. I am confident that no matter where I go or how long until I return, IES Rome will always be my second home. So I implore all to take this opportunity. Travel to Rome. Study abroad at IES. Eat all of the Italian food and carbs as possible and remember that there is always room for gelato!

What would you improve about this program?
The only way that this program could be improved is by providing an itinerary to the students prior to arrival. I only say this because we only have two weekends to travel and see other parts of Italy and a schedule could be beneficial. Everything else about this program is perfect!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Best program there is

My one month in Rome is something I will never forget. It was absolutely amazing and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Everyday I would get up early and go grab a cappuccino before going to class. Class was never boring and was always about something we would encounter the next day when we went on site visits. Being able to visit the places we studied the day prior was the best part of my abroad experience. It made everything seem much more real and rather than just something in a textbook. The staff at IES abroad Rome were extremely helpful, I planned a weekend trip to Florence and Venice and the staff helped me find hostels to stay in and how to book train tickets. When in Rome I stayed in an apartment with two other girls from my school and an Italian student who was studying at university in Rome. The apartment was in a great location, with a quick walk to to the center and a five minute walk to the Vatican.

What would you improve about this program?
Honestly I don't know of anything that I would change except being able to stay in Rome longer!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Roman Around

My time in Rome, Italy was unlike any other experience I have had in my life. Although I was only there for a month, I felt like it was the perfect amount of time to get a taste of the Italian culture. The IES Rome program helped me learn about a new culture and field of academics. The program was based around the art and history of the Christian faith, an area that I had never thoroughly studied in high school or college. However, the professor for my class made sure that everyone was able to understand the material, whether we had an extensive background in the subject or not. What was also helpful was that we were able to not only see these monuments on a PowerPoint slideshow, but also go and visit places like the Vatican, significant historical churches in the area, and other cities in Italy that were a major part of Christianity’s history. The class was truly insightful and I learned in both a hands on and classroom environment.
The cultural aspect of the program was also enjoyable. I lived in an apartment right in the city, only ten minutes away from the Vatican. I was also able to live with three other students from my college and our fifth roommate was an Italian student who worked with the IES program. It was helpful to have an Italian student with us because if we did not know where to go, needed suggestions on places to eat, or wanted to go and see some of the iconic areas of Rome, he was able to guide us or at least tell us which direction to go. I picked up some Italian phrases along the way and felt comfortable to walk around the city after a little over a week. Being able to immerse myself with the Italian culture was phenomenal and I was not as overwhelmed after I was routinely getting out of my comfort zone. The IES Rome program was a fantastic experience and it was made that much more enjoyable due to the help of the staff around us.

What would you improve about this program?
If I had to change one thing, it would be to add in more Field Study days. I was a huge fan of those and would have loved to have been able to go and visit more sites with the program and my professor.