The Rome Semester

The Rome Semester

The Rome Semester is the signature study abroad experience of the Humanities Program and a life changing opportunity to live, pray, and study at the heart of the Catholic Church. Students live in an intentional community at the Pontifical Irish College (a few blocks from the Colosseum and the Lateran Basilica), study at the Pontifical Gregorian University, and immerse themselves in the history and culture of Catholicism. All Providence College juniors and seniors are eligible to participate, and courses often fulfill core requirements or requirements for degrees in Humanities, Catholic Studies, Theology, Philosophy, and related disciplines.

When and Where

Each fall semester (mid September to mid December) at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome, Italy, located just a few blocks from the Colosseum and the Lateran Basilica.

Community

Students come from colleges and universities across the United States and Ireland to live, study, and pray together while taking courses in Catholic Studies through the Pontifical Gregorian University. The community shares in common meals, Mass and prayer, guest speakers, social activities, and regular city excursions. Several weekend trips are also part of the semester (such as a community retreat in Assisi and a visit to Florence).

Study

Students take five courses through the Pontifical Gregorian University, the principal Roman university of the Jesuit order. Known as “the Greg,” the University is about a 25 minute walk or a short bus ride from the Irish College. Courses often emphasize the culture and history of Rome and include site visits when appropriate. A recent class schedule included:

“Sacred Spaces: Perception from the Pantheon to Richard Meier”
“Aristotle and St. Augustine on Happiness, Suffering, and Friendship”
“Catholic Novels of Rome”
“Three Catholic Philosophers: Maritain, Stein, and Anscombe”
“Christian Discipleship”

When we have left Rome, we are astonished by the discovery, by-and-by, that our heart-strings have mysteriously attached themselves to the Eternal City, and are drawing us thitherward again, as if it were more familiar, more intimately our home, than even the spot where we were born!

Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Marble Faun

Cost

Tuition is identical to regular Providence College tuition, and whatever scholarships or financial aid you have received from Providence College will remain in place for The Rome Semester.

Room and Board is $5,000, a significant savings over regular Providence College room and board costs. Accommodations include en suite rooms and three meals per day.

Additional Costs include airfare, incidental expenses, and a $1,000 fee administered by Providence College for all study abroad programs.

The Humanities Program is committed to ensuring the cost of The Rome Semester remains comparable to a semester on the Providence College campus, and limited fellowship opportunities are available for students through the Humanities Program.

Apply

Students apply to The Rome Semester in the fall of the preceding year. Applications for fall 2025 are due December 1, 2024 to our online portal. Interested students should contact Dr. Jim Keating, the Director of the Humanities Program, or Dr. Raymond Hain, the Associate Director of the Humanities Program for more information. NOTE: The Rome Semester of the Humanities Program is separate from the “PC in Rome” program organized through CEA CAPA.

PC students in front of St. Peter's in Rome

St. Peter's in Rome

Student taking photo in Rome

Image from Irish College in Rome

Sunset in Rome

PC students playing soccer in Rome

Cappuccino

Student praying in Rome

Group photo of PC students in Rome

Students listening to a lecture

meal at Irish College

church in Italy