Graduate Student Shares Reflections on Studying in Rome
School of Education graduate students have the option to take one of three classes offered in Italy at Loyola’s Rome Center campus as part of their course work. All of the courses make use of the vast cultural resources of this world-class city and involve on-site instruction. In addition, activities are scheduled for students that expand interaction with Rome and with the Italian way of life. Today, with its ruins and palaces, streets and museums, fountains and churches, Rome is a classroom for understanding the cultural context of the present time.
Alyssa D. Humbles, graduate student in the Higher Education program, shares some of her reflections:
When I chose to study abroad at the conclusion of my first year in the program, while I did not have any preset expectations of this experience, I was open to an accelerated format with a strong cultural component integrated into the course content, however that may have looked. As we began studying in Rome, it was readily seen that the course structure was beautifully crafted. I believe the dialogues were much richer due to the landscape of the environment and internalized experiences we each had and shared.
The intentionality of utilizing the community, historical context and theory not only provided me with an opportunity to expand my cross-cultural competence but also hold a mirror up to the culture in which I am immersed in daily. From those moments of reflection, it became easier to identify similar themes from a western perspective and co-construct alongside my peers ways to disrupt the notions of power and authority in a healthy manner within our individual spheres of influence.
While this was my first time studying abroad, my learning expanded beyond the course curriculum and gave me an opportunity to also learn more about myself and how I negotiate my daily relationships alongside my role within higher education. I am very appreciative to have had the opportunity to take my learning beyond the typical classroom as I believe it has not only enriched my capacity professionally, but also personally.