Language: Given the critical role that a shared, common language plays in intercultural communications, the Villa seeks to enhance language skills and abilities of every resident, no matter the level upon his/her arrival to Rome. This will be accomplished through conversational groups organized with Italian students both in and outside the Villa, the formal study of the Italian language, and the dedication of an entire floor to 24/7 language immersion for students wishing to further develop their Italian language skills.
Academic and Social Programs: To promote an understanding of and appreciation for the Roman cultural landscape, the Villa will make a variety of experiential learning opportunities available to students in all programs. These will include concerts at Rome’s Parco della Musica, ceramics classes with local artisans, a night at Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera, and professional sporting events. Students will also be encouraged to participate in the lecture series, symposia and book presentations led by scholars in a variety of disciplines in the via Ostilia building.
Annual Events: Acknowledging that annual or recurring events form an important foundation to every Notre Dame community, the Villa seek to build and foster new traditions unique to Rome. Such initiatives include a guided trip to Orvieto for all students at the start of each semester, a pilgrimage to Dante’s Florence, the hosting of an Easter Sunday reception for students from across Europe, and, in collaboration with the Community of Sant’Egidio, an annual commemoration of deportation of Roman Jews on October 16th, 1943.
Health and Wellbeing: In light of the impact of each student’s health and wellbeing to his/her experience abroad, the Villa seeks to promote the skills, knowledge and resources that will help students thrive. This includes facilitating 24/7 access to a network of English-speaking, HTH-approved wellness providers, coordinating a weekly lineup of yoga and intramural sports activities in collaboration with local organizations, and educational seminars promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Food: Although students will be primarily responsible for their food decisions, the Villa will make a variety of healthy options available and accessible. This will include providing students access to kitchen facilities, hosting cooking classes led by local chefs, brokering special agreements with nearby eateries and Italian university dining facilities, and, in collaboration with the School of Architecture, establishing a sustainable food/urban garden initiative for education and consumption.
Civic Engagement and Public Service: The principle aim of the Villa is to merge classroom learning with social and community interactions in and around the city of Rome. This will be accomplished by facilitating student connections to the ongoing work of community-based organizations, including the Sant’Egidio Community, the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center, after-school programs, and Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity.
Internships and Fellowships: All residents of the Villa will have the opportunity to carry out internships in organizations representing a broad range of fields and disciplines. These may include the American Academy of Rome (classical studies), Italy’s National Institute for Microcredit (economics), the Commission for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (social sciences), the Pontifical Council for Life (theology), Treccani Encyclopedia (business), and a local clinic (pre-med).
Diversity and Community: Recognizing the intrinsic diversity of today’s Global Rome, the city itself provides a unique classroom for the student learning experience. In addition to the civic engagement opportunities mentioned above, residents of the Villa will be living and learning from students of varying backgrounds, disciplines and nationalities. By engaging with members both in and outside of our community, students will take part in discussions on issues of timely national and international importance.
Religious Life: In collaboration with Notre Dame’s Campus ministry and local faith-based organizations, the Villa seeks to support the cultivation of each student’s spiritual development. Formal initiatives will include the weekly celebration of Holy Mass in historic churches throughout the city, contemplative walks with members of a local university’s faith-based community, a bi-annual pilgrimage to Assisi, and moments set aside for for fellowship and reflection on topics of spiritual nature.
Student Organizations:Recognizing the centrality of each student to the quality of his or her experience abroad, the formation of student organizations will be encouraged within the Villa. This will be accomplished through the formation of student-operated, staff-supported organizations based on academic, spiritual, musical or recreational interests and pursuits.