HSS Study Abroad 2020

Study Abroad: Rome 2020


About the Program

Rome is the capital of Italy, a world heritage site, an artistic treasure house, an archaeological wonder, a primary tourist destination, a home for immigrants and refugees, the center of one of Europe’s great ancient empires, and seat of the world’s largest Christian denomination. Rome is layered with centuries, clothed in ages, burdened by time and defined by it. Learn the history of this place, marvel at its varied art and architecture, and ponder Italy’s complex present. Students will spend four weeks living in and touring Rome, studying Roman history, contemporary Italian society, and American cultural engagement with Italy over time. They will live in apartments in Rome with the city itself as a major text. Tours and site visits will comprise a major portion of the experience. From Rome’s central location means convenient travel to Tivoli, Naples, Herculaneum, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, the Amalfi Coast, Sicily, Assisi, Perugia, Florence, Pisa, the Cinque Terre, Milan, Ravenna, Venice, and many more historical, cultural, and natural sights that make Italy one of the richest travel destinations in the world.

The Colleseum at sunset


Program Highlights

  • Earn 6 units of CSUF course credit.
  • Program taught by a CSUF faculty member
  • Tours of Ancient Rome sites, including the Colosseum, the Forum, the Capitoline Hill, the Pantheon, and more.
  • Tours of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica, Castel Sant’Angelo and the Villa Borghese galleries.
  •  A cycling tour to ancient catacombs and aqueducts on a cycling tour.
  •  Other cultural events and gatherings: an Italian cooking class, an excursion to a 16th century artisanal winery in Frascati, and more.
  •  Live in the Eternal City and walk great neighborhoods such as Trastevere and the Janiculum Hill, Aventine, and Monti for great food, shops, and views.
  • Try to decide which Roman fountain is your favorite.
  • Take the train for Tivoli, Florence, Naples, and other sites across Italy. 


Matera al tramonto


Why I Studied Abroad

"Only one percent of college students study abroad, and I'm so glad that I chose to be one of them. Studying abroad in London was a dream come true, and being able to support my expectations with some firsthand experience was both a challenge and a reward. If you're truly prepared to immerse yourself in another culture and ingest what it has to offer, it will change you - for the better. I highly recommend that you take the plunge!"

-Kirsten O'Brien, 2016

Photos from Abroad

Collage of student snapshots

Instagram Photos by Alumni


In Rome, time can be seen on the walls, underground, in the fountains, and in the churches. The courses in this Study Abroad experience are designed to introduce students not only to Rome and Italy, but to sharpen their senses of themselves as part of a globalized world by examining the experiences of Americans who came before them and by learning about and participating in the life and culture of today’s Rome.
HIST 340 Americans in Italy - (3 units) G.E.: Arts and Humanities (Area C.3)
Americans encountering Italy after the 1760s found themselves both attracted to and uncomfortable with its antiquity, its beauty, and its sensuality—to say nothing of Protestant suspicion of the Catholic Church. This course will examine depictions of Rome in the works of American writers, painters, photographers, and filmmakers who visited Italy over two centuries. We will study the work of artists such as Benjamin West and Thomas Cole and read writings by Margaret Fuller and Mark Twain. We will walk the streets they walked, view the art that astonished (or baffled) them, and compare our own experiences as Americans abroad with those who came before us. 
HUM 350 Italian Life and Culture  - (3 units) G.E.: C3 & Z.
Students will experience enriching historic tours of Rome in this course while also learning about contemporary Rome and Italian culture. Guest lectures on significant issues such as politics and immigration, the place of women and the family, and the role of the church will be augmented by hands-on opportunities such as an Italian cooking class and a wine excursion. We will also discuss the impact of ourselves—tourists—on the livability of Rome and Italy and visit a multicultural Roman neighborhood to better understand the contemporary city. 




An award-winning teacher and scholar, Benjamin Cawthra is professor of history and associate director of the Lawrence de Graaf Center for Oral and Public History. Cawthra approaches history from an interdisciplinary humanities perspective. He has a degree in literature and longstanding interests in art, architecture, and film, He has led two previous summer study tours to Italy, both based in Florence, and has visited Rome several times, including living there for language study. Cawthra is the author of Blue Notes in Black and White: Photography and Jazz and his current project, The Redemptive Lens: World War II and the U.S. Image of Italy.


Panorama of Trevi Fountain



Program Fee

$3745 estimated






Scholarships and Financial Aid

Scholarships and financial aid opportunities are available to qualifying students. Follow these links to learn more!


Scholarships for All Students


Scholarships for HSS Majors and Minors


Financial Aid


Interior of the Vatican



Program Advising and information

Location: Student Success Center, room H-112


Exploration Events and Information Sessions

For more information about the Rome Study Abroad program please contact Jaycee Cover to schedule an appointment at jcover@fullerton.edu or stop by the Student Success Center in room H-112, 8am-5pm M-F.

Rome Application


Questions? Contact Jaycee Cover at (657) 278-2070 or jcover@fullerton.edu

Photo Credits: Rome Colosseum by Sunilbhar, CC BY-SA 3.0. Roman Forum by Katie Kalmykova, unsplash. Trevi fountain by Livioandronico2013, CC BY-SA 4.0. Colosseum at Sunset by Willian West, unsplash. All modified.

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