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Saint Mary’s finds a ‘new home in Rome’

| Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pending final negotiations with John Cabot University (JCU) in Rome, the Saint Mary’s study abroad program will have a “new home in Rome,” the Rome program director Portia Preybs said.

According to a press release, Prebys, who has worked with the College’s Rome Program since it began in 1970, personally recommended the JCU program as the best fit for Saint Mary’s students after much research on her part.

Mana Derakhshani, Associate Director of the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL), said the new program will offer students a different kind of experience, immersing them more in Roman culture.

The current program began 45 years ago, according to a press release, and the new collaborative program will offer students the opportunity to study abroad even as a junior or senior.

​“[The new program] will offer Saint Mary’s students a richer intercultural experience, because they will be in classes with Italian students as well as students from 70 other countries,” Derakhshani said.

“Saint Mary’s students will have the experience of creating community because they will be living together in one apartment building,” Derakshani said. “They will also experience more of an immersion experience because they will need to interact with their neighbors and other classmates.”

Junior Kate FitzMaurice said she spent her entire sophomore year abroad in Rome and is excited about the new program.

“The new program also offers an extensive amount of classes from all different majors including accounting, and it also offers upper level courses and internships, which means juniors and seniors have the opportunity to study abroad,” FitzMaurice said.

FitzMaurice said the program will allow more students to enjoy the sights, culture and events in Rome.

“This program makes all of the wonders of Rome available to so many more girls,” she said. “It makes me so happy to think that so many more girls can now have the opportunity to call Rome their home.”

One major change to the Rome Program is that there will be no surcharge for students, Derakhshani said. They will still be required to buy their own flights, but there will no longer be a $2,500 additional fee to participate in the program.

Another change is in the Rome semester calendar, Derkhshani said. In the current Rome program, students’ program officially ends before Easter, whereas in the new arrangement the program ends in early May just like at the College.

Derakhshani said JCU offers an expanded curriculum both in general education and some major level courses, which provides students with the opportunity to study abroad during their junior or senior year instead of taking only general education classes in Rome during their sophomore term.

Additionally, Derakhshani said, an affiliation with JCU will provide students with the option of studying in Rome during the summer, an option that was not available before.

Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame students interested in the new Rome program with John Cabot University may contact Jill Vihtelic in the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership at [email protected].

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About Haleigh Ehmsen

A senior at Saint Mary's, Haleigh is majoring in Communication Studies and English Literature & Writing. She serves as the Saint Mary's editor and enjoys coffee, guacamole and good books.

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