(Why Not) Study in Rome?

Trick ques­tion.

view of the Pala­tine hill over­look­ing the Roman Forum

There is no city like Rome in the world– don’t get me started– that offers so much to so many dis­ci­plines span­ning so many time peri­ods, dur­ing which the city was either cap­i­tal of an empire or cen­ter of a major reli­gion. In both cases, both “empires” that form layer upon city to con­sti­tute the city’s rich fab­ric influ­enced west­ern civ­i­liza­tion is so many ways.  What was left behind, from ancient (Tes­tac­cio) and medieval garbage dumps (e.g. Mon­tecito­rio) to hulk­ing ruinous pala­tial struc­tures that encom­pass the entirety of the Pala­tine hill, in turn cov­ered by Renais­sance gar­dens and vine­yards, is a tes­ta­ment to the great­ness of Rome.


Today, beyond the clas­sics and study of the his­tory of art and archi­tec­ture, what does Rome offer? Plenty– a ver­i­ta­ble feast for the eyes of the stu­dent of graphic design, media/ com­mu­ni­ca­tions, jour­nal­ism (travel, pol­i­tics, cul­ture), stu­dio art, architecture-landscape-urban design, reli­gious stud­ies, anthro­pol­ogy, geology/ vol­canol­ogy (think about it, the hills of Rome are the accu­mu­la­tion of ash dumped by vol­canic erup­tions of times past).  Stu­dents that study in Rome  at the Amer­i­can Insti­tute for Roman Cul­ture do not just con­front col­lec­tions and see the sites but also, thanks for AIRC’s vast and var­ied con­nec­tions and rela­tion­ships with city and national author­i­ties (e.g. Min­istry of Cul­ture, super­in­ten­den­cies) entry into a world of one-of-a-kind expe­ri­ences, meet­ing with experts, see­ing their projects, and par­tic­i­pat­ing.   That is what we do best; that is why I am here.  A quick exam­ple is film­ing his­tory– a fan­tas­tic way to engage cul­ture. Another is writ­ing about Rome, but only after gain­ing access to a site being inau­gu­rated or speak­ing with some of the top Ital­ian and for­eign jour­nal­ists that reside here.  That’s the dif­fer­ence, not to men­tion our ongo­ing AIRC exca­va­tion, con­ser­va­tion project, annual con­fer­ence in cul­tural her­itage, and video pro­duc­tion, all of which cre­ate a web of related expe­ri­ences for stu­dents in love with Rome, Ital­ian cul­ture, and engag­ing the past in the con­tem­po­rary city.

The list goes on.  What we’ve done in our new pro­grams at the Amer­i­can Insti­tute for Roman Cul­ture is pro­mote and fos­ter expe­ri­ences in Rome’s rich her­itage cul­ture that allow study abroad stu­dents dig deeper– engag­ing the past for their own con­tem­po­rary endeav­ors.  In col­lo­quial Latinfilm, jour­nal­ism, ancient Rome and its art and archi­tec­ture, or for those with advanced back­ground in clas­sics, push­ing the lim­its on a more in-depth level.  Or even allow­ing you to roll up your sleeves and exca­vate with us at Ostia Antica (with lim­ited inter­ven­tion trenches)- a unique expe­ri­ence, in and of itself, to which we marry a related con­ser­va­tion project at Ostia. (For the project, just see this teaser video.)  Talk about a full cir­cle sus­tain­abil­ity project. If archae­ol­ogy is destruc­tion of the archae­o­log­i­cal record (thor­oughly doc­u­mented, of course), what more ful­fill­ing expe­ri­ence for archae­ol­ogy stu­dents than have them fin­ish the sea­son with com­plet­ing a con­ser­va­tion project for the improve­ment of Ostia!  And don’t take my word for it; our pro­grams direc­tor sums it up best here.

Discussion3 Comments Category Rome

3 Responses to (Why Not) Study in Rome?

  1. Dar­ius, you didn’t even men­tion the food and wine, or was that so obvi­ous as to go with­out saying?

  2. Hello Dar­ius I will be in Rome in Spet­mebr 2012 and wish to hire you as a guide. I would appre­ci­ate it if you can let me know if you under­take such ser­vices and what the cost will be. Thanks Nick

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