Experiencing Rome in study abroad

Students will be traveling to Rome during a summer study abroad program. Colosseums similar to the one seen above can be found in the center of Rome, Italy. Courtesy of Andrew Traver

Professor of History Dr. Andrew Traver and Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Kurt Corbello have decided to bring students to Rome, Italy for a study abroad trip this summer.

“It’s a 14-day program,” said Traver. “We offer courses in history and political science. We’re thinking probably six credits in the 14 days. We have both pre-departure and post-departure meetings, so I will probably have the information up in Moodle by May.”

In previous years, Traver and Corbello brought students to Salzburg, Austria as their study abroad trip.




“We wanted to try something new because we’ve been doing Salzburg so long,” said Traver. “We all know Vienna and Munich. It might be neat to try something different.”

While overseas for the study abroad trip last year, Corbello traveled to Rome and started planning.

“Well, we’ve been thinking about it for a while,” said Traver. “It got to a point where we love Salzburg but we’re doing the same thing every summer. It’s exciting for the students, but it got to a point where it wasn’t as exciting for us. So, we thought, ‘Let’s think of something different.’”

Traver, who studies ancient and medieval history, is looking forward to going to Rome this year.

“I haven’t been to Rome in a while,” said Traver. “I’d like to get back because, well, I teach it. There is a lot of places I want to see again and a lot of places I haven’t seen yet. So, we’re both pretty excited about it.”

Traver believes it is beneficial for students to experience different cultures via travel.

“Rome, everywhere you go, you got something whether it’s ancient, medieval or early modern,” said Traver. “The first thing I really want them to get is just the experience of being overseas. They say travel is probably the best education you can ever get because when you go abroad, you see how people live, how they eat. You see all these things, and you stop, and you think. It makes you think a little bit about yourself and your own culture. Really, the art of introspection is something you learn from traveling.”

The trip is designed to allow students to see the development of the Roman Empire by visiting the artifacts it has left behind.

“Not only that though, there’s the sights, there’s the history,” said Traver. “Rome is the eternal city, founded by Romulus in 753 B.C. There is all kinds of things to be seen. You’ve got all of history right there going back to the ancient world.”

Traver also feels students should witness the ways the Roman Empire lives on in modern society.

“So much of western history comes from Rome,” said Traver. “Because if you think about the Roman Empire, it ruled a good portion of Europe, all of North Africa and the Near East. Its effects are lasting in many ways. For example, the highway system all throughout Europe was the Roman roads. The Romans built the fastest roads to get from point A to point B. There are lots of different ways the Roman tradition affects us today. I think that’s important to see.”