Studying in Rome
Studying the International Core Curriculum at ACU’s Rome Campus was an eye-opening experience for students Julie Finley and Belinda Aldridge.
ACU’s Core Curriculum is about seeing the world through the eyes of others. And while the Core can be studied at all of ACU’s Australian campuses, the chance to truly see the world from a different point of view was an irresistible opportunity for Julie and Belinda.
When in Rome
While students can opt to study the International Core Curriculum in Beijing, New York or Leeds, by choosing Rome, Belinda and Julie were able to take advantage of ACU’s Rome Campus, located just minutes from The Vatican.
“It was always Rome for me,” said Julie, who is studying nursing. “I thought it would be the most enriching place to study the Core. And as the city is at the heart of the Catholic Church, I thought it would add an interesting perspective to what we were there to learn.”
For Belinda, the highlight of studying in Rome was the time she spent exploring and soaking up the atmosphere.
“I studied ancient history in high school and to see all of these ruins as we were just wandering around was incredible,” she said.
“Visiting all of the landmarks like the Colosseum and the Pantheon was so interesting, as clearly it’s not the type of history you see in Australia,” Julie added.
Out and about
While students head to Rome to study the Core through tutorial-style sessions, the approach to class time is relaxed.
“The schedule was pretty fluid and we were in and out of classrooms the entire time. I loved going out and about and we even had an outdoor lecture in the park one day,” said Belinda.
During their trip, the group took part in tours of the city, language classes, and guest lectures. They also had an opportunity to volunteer their time at Italian not-for-profit Citta Ecosolidale, which recycles clothing for people in need.
Both agreed that being in the heart of Rome helped their Core studies come to life.
“Rome was the perfect place to be studying a subject related to social justice, and being in a new city changed everything. It definitely allowed the Core to have a deeper impact on me,” Julie said.
“We were exposed to things like poverty that you wouldn’t normally see at home, and it makes you stop and think. I came away from the trip feeling like I do want to make more of a difference.”
“Because we were in Rome, it really enhanced our global perspective and we came to understand you can do a lot as one person, but as a group you can do so much more,” said Belinda.
As non-school leavers, both Julie and Belinda admitted to trepidation about the trip but were welcomed fully into the group.
“The other students were great. I was worried we’d drag them down! But it wasn’t a problem,” Belinda said. “And the lecturers we had with us were fantastic. They had an incredible depth of knowledge. If I had the opportunity to go again, I’d jump at the chance.”
Both Julie and Belinda received financial support and the ACU Vice Chancellor and President’s Travel Scholarship to make the trip possible, and both encourage other students considering overseas study to investigate their options.
“My flights were covered, which was incredible, and I had $1,000 taken off the program fee. With these combined, the trip suddenly became within my reach,” Belinda said.
Interested in experiencing Rome like Julie and Belinda? Learn more about the International Core Curriculum.