Panorama of Vatican

First Month at the Bernardi Campus

October 8, 2018 / By: Amy Muse
Photo of Amy Muse

Dr. Amy Muse is the faculty director of the Fall 2018 Rome Empower Program. She is an associate professor in the English department and has been directing study abroad programs in Greece, Turkey, and Scotland since 2004.

Today, October 8, 2018, we celebrated our first month in Rome living in community at Bernardi for the Rome Empower Program. We have already attended a papal audience with Pope Francis and celebrated mass in St. Peter’s; traveled to Subiaco, where a monastery was constructed around the cave St. Benedict lived in for three years as a hermit; to the ancient ruins of Antica Ostia and the Necropolis (City of the Dead) of the Etruscans in Cerveteri; to the graves of the English poets Keats and Shelley at the Protestant Cemetery; and to the Great Synagogue of Rome and the former Jewish ghetto. And that’s just for starters.    The blog this fall will share our experiences getting to know the people and places of Rome and of Italy—and of getting to know ourselves through travel, study, conversation, and contemplation.

 Photo of the Pope

Our city, Rome, is a city of exiles, from its earliest days recounted in the founding story of Aeneas leading the refugees of the fallen city of Troy to new and safer shores, to today’s arrivals from around the world. Some of the posts you’ll read are from students taking a literature of human diversity course called Thirteen Ways of Looking at Rome. We are reading about people who are, like ourselves, outsiders in Rome and who have been assigned labels—e.g., student abroad, traveler, tourist, expatriate, foreigner, alien, immigrant, refugee, asylum seeker, migrant, pilgrim—that carry strong, and often very limiting, connotations. Our mission: to see the complexities, the layers, in each of these categories, and in the city of Rome itself.

 Students posing in Rome

We welcome you on our journey!