IES Abroad Rome – History & Classics

Video and Photos

Architecture in Rome
Architecture in Rome
Students throw a coin into Trevi Fountain
Students throw a coin into Trevi Fountain
Vatican City
Vatican City
A student inside the Colosseum
A student inside the Colosseum
A student takes a cooking class
A student takes a cooking class

About

Our History & Classics Program is designed to provide a thorough overview of the archaeological, political, religious, and intellectual history of Italy—from ancient to current day. Choose from a variety of courses exploring the topography, archaeology, history, urban infrastructure, works of arts, mythology, and Latin literature and epigraphy of Rome.

All of the courses offered in this program feature numerous course-related trips to museums, sites, and monuments. Imagine studying the rise of the Roman Empire and taking a day trip to explore Hadrian’s Villa as part of your coursework, or studying totalitarian regimes in Italy and Europe and visiting the WWII landmarks in and around Rome.

Scholarships

IES Abroad Scholarships
IES Abroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

As far as we're concerned, financial limitations shouldn't prevent you from studying abroad with us. That's why we offer more than $5 million in scholarships and aid.

Value
$500 - $5,000

Questions & Answers

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Childhood Dreams

My journey to Rome began about one year prior to me boarding the plane for Europe. I had toyed with the idea of studying abroad ever since my school’s study abroad office gave a presentation about it my freshman year, and given my burning passion and desire for History and Classics I felt destined to study in the ‘old world.’ I prospected a few cities but nothing could compare to Rome; the draw of the Forum and Colosseum, the enticing sights of the Vatican, the delicious pasta and pizza I could eat on a daily basis all convinced me to commit to a History and Classics program there for the Spring of 2019. And once the paperwork began in March there was no stop until I boarded my flight to Italy in January.

Going to Rome felt like a death sentence the first week. I knew nobody else from my school and didn't have any other friends from high school in Europe with me, so I was plagued by intense feelings of isolation and loneliness for about a week after I arrived. Nearly every day I longed to go home to my girlfriend; the fear of missing out on her life and her adventures plagued me for the first week I lived there. It reminded me of freshman year all over again, except multiplied by a new language and culture that is completely foreign to anything I had ever experienced before. I came in thinking ‘I am going to find travel buddies right away and plan all sorts of amazing and wonderful adventures!,’ but when that didn't happen I was left confused and aimless. I knew I shouldn't waste this experience overseas but I felt homesick and longed for familiarity- something that would make me feel better. It wasn't until going to Malta my second week abroad that I leaned into myself and really felt convicted. I traveled there with one of my housemates and his friends, staying in an apartment with four guys I didn't know at all. Eventually, I decided to explore the island by myself and it was easily one of the best decisions I made while being in Rome! I knew right then and there that I don't need to depend on others for going on trips! Going solo through Malta allowed me to do things I wanted to do, and I got so much more out of it than if I had stayed with other people. As a result of that realization, I traveled to Florence, Venice, and Normandy solo. People might say that I'll be lonely while traveling alone, and having friends can make experiences better, but I also learned that it's okay to travel by myself and see the things I want to see and enjoy this beautiful continent on my own terms. I could set my own schedule, plan my own trips, and knock things off my bucket list without having to put things to a group vote. It was perfect for me while overseas!
I chose Rome for the History and Classics program, my two majors. I have studied Latin since middle school, so seeing the Roman Forum and thousands of ancient inscriptions across the city has opened my eyes and allowed me to learn the material unlike any other semester. In any given week, we learn about certain subjects in class and then go out into the city and see them in person later! Every day I was awestruck in wonder and amazement at the Roman ruins before me, a dream come true that I had been chasing since I was ten or eleven years old. That sense of utter disbelief is something I can’t really describe in writing or conversation; it’s something that must be experienced to fully appreciate. I believe everybody should have that chance to be astounded, to have their jaws drop as they look at something they have only studied in textbooks and classrooms, to see this world that the Lord has created and to have a childlike wonder re-kindled. My professors were walking encyclopedias full of knowledge about the Roman world and the early Christian church. One of them was an archaeologist for the Vatican and gave us a private tour of St. Peter's Tomb underneath the current basilica! It was so wonderful to have such passionate and enthusiastic people teaching in the cradle of Western civilization.

This city, this experience, this world is night and day compared to Holland, Michigan, and I am charmed by the inviting sense of wonder Europe offers. Overall, Rome was an absolute blessing. The food was kind to me, the views and scenic sights blew me away with their magnificence and elegance, the small towns in the Italian countryside gave me memories I will carry with me for years to come, and the abundance of Roman ruins was a daily reminder of why I came here. I discovered something new about this Eternal City on a daily basis, and a lifetime of living here wouldn’t be enough to uncover every secret Rome has to offer. For if we were made to stay in one place, then we would have been born with roots. Studying abroad was easily one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I would absolutely make the same decision if I did the process all over again.

What would you improve about this program?
Better housing pairings. The guys I was placed with in my apartment were nice and we cohabitated together (there were five of us), but there was never a sense of community or fulfillment from living with them. I would have loved to be with guys I could relate to, understand, and enjoy trips with.
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