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IES Rome, Italy

Reid Hall, Tulane's home in ParisGiven the variety of interests in Italy among Tulane University faculty, Newcomb-Tulane undergraduates have a wide array of options for study in Italy. Bolstered by a strong Italian language program, diverse Italian Studies course offerings, and unique academic programs, students will select a program in Italy based on particular academic interests and appropriate preparation.

In general, students planning to study in Italy should have studied Italian at Tulane and completed some coursework with Italian content, be it literature, history, art, politics, classical studies, international development or architecture.

Rome: IES Abroad Rome Center: Liberal Arts & Community Service

Rome is a living museum, a unique environment to understand the ups and downs in the history of humankind. Over three million people do their daily business surrounded by 2,500 years of history – including legendary ruins, architecture, and art. The capital of Italy, Rome is the country's political center and a major religious center, being the host to the Vatican – an independent state within Rome.

Studying abroad in Rome means learning from Rome and its Mediterranean pace of life – from the open markets to the sudden strikes, from the humorous Romans to the high politics of a European capital.  As the saying goes, all roads lead to Rome ... a presto!

Complementted by engaged community service, the IES Rome program offers with intermediate and advanced Italian language skills a curriculum that focuses on the city’s unmatched historical and artistic past and its modern role in international politics and development.  Founded in 2003, the IES Center is situated in the Nomentana district, an attractive residential area easily accessible by public transportation to the historical center of Rome. 

Program Dates: Academic Year, Fall (early Sept. to Mid-Dec) or Spring Semester (Late Jan./early Feb. to Early June). Italian majors/minors planning to study abroad for the academic year should consider the Newcomb-Tulane JYA in Florence program.  

Eligibility & Application: Junior or Senior standing; 3.0 Cumulative GPA; completion of two course in Italian at Tulane, including ITAL 203 or higher, with a grade of B or higher in the year prior to study abroad. Strong preference will be given to students who have completed ITAL 203 in the semester directly preceding study abroad.  Previous coursework in Sociology, Urban Studies, or related fields, as well as coursework with Italian Studies content is recommended, but not required. 

Students should submit both the Tulane application and the IES Abroad application to the OSA by the appropriate deadlines. The IES Abroad application can be found on the IES Abroad web site. The IES application may be submitted online; students must be sure to complete all components, including the IES Language Evaluation form.  

Fields of Study: Community Service; History of Art & Architecture; Literature, Drama & Film; Political Science & International Relations; and Religious Studies & Sociology.

Academic Program
The IES Rome program begins with a mandatory one-week orientation that introduces students to IES staff, other program participants, and the city of Rome. All students participate in an intensive Italian language program (not for academic credit).  The orientation program aims to acquaint students with local speakers and provide detailed information on academics, housing, transportation, and health & safety in Rome. The period culminates with a weekend field trip to a destination such as Assisi or Perugia. 

During the semester, Newcomb-Tulane students enroll in the following IES courses: Italian language course (4-6 credits depending on placement determined by an on-site language placement test during orientation; students who place at the elementary level are required to take the intensive 6-credit Italian language course); AN/SO395 Community-Based Learning Seminar (taught in Italian) with appropriate community service placement; and three additional courses from the IES area studies course offerings (in English or Italian) in the areas of Art & Architecture; Literature, Drama & Film; Political Science & International Relations; and Religious Studies & Sociology. 

In effort to connect IES participants with local students, the IES courses taught in English are generally available to local Italian students from Roma Tre.  Students with appropriate language proficiency and academic background are encouraged to take one or two courses at local Italian universities such as Università degli studi Roma Tre, Università degli studi di Roma 1 "La Sapienza,”  and Rome University of Fine Arts (RUFA).

Community Service Program (3 credits)
A required component for all Newcomb-Tulane participants in Rome, the community service program allows students to engage in activities that address specific community needs, and provides unique exposure to the local culture.  Participating organizations vary by term and all organizations are vetted by IES. Securing a community service placement is a competitive process, and placement depends on availability, background and skills, quality of résumé, and previous language study. Final placement is determined by an on-site interview, which allows the local organization to choose the student that best matches the position. Prior placements have included the International Red Cross, UNICEF, local elementary and secondary schools, Rome City Hall, and Rome Children’s Library.

The community service placement is supported by a required seminar: AN/SO395 Community-Based Learning Seminar. This course offers contextual support to the practical service experience in the European setting. Through assigned readings, relevant lectures, and discussions, the seminar will provide students with an opportunity to synthesize the practical and theoretical components of the experience with a continued focus on intercultural competency. An IES faculty member supervises the academic work, and placements are routinely and formally monitored. A grade, based on the academic and practical component, is awarded for the 3-credit practicum/tutorial combination. 

Please note: The community service program will be reviewed by the Center for Public Service Executive Committee in the spring ’08 semester for consideration as an option to fulfill the second-level public service graduation requirement.

Because the specific academic nature and expected outcomes of the IES Rome program, Newcomb-Tulane students should not expect to receive major/minor Italian credit for coursework completed on this program.

Tulane awards 500-level credit for coursework completed on this program. 

Housing: Tulane students stay in homestays arranged by IES.  Located throughout the city, homestays generally house only one or two students and may offer private rooms. You will receive a daily breakfast and have the option of sharing certain evening meals each week with your host family. Commute times may range from 45-90 minutes, which is very typical for local students at Roman universities. Homestay students are also assigned an Italian Student Companion (ISC), a local Italian host who is a student or young professional.

Web links
For additional program information, including course descriptions and housing details, visit

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