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50 years of Study Abroad in Rome

Katie Cowart

UGA Classics in Rome completed its 50th anniversary program this summer. Elena Bianchelli, senior lecturer in the classics department, and Christopher Gregg, professor-in-charge of the UGA Classics in Rome program, accompanied 24 students for six weeks studying the archaeology, topography, history, and art of Rome. 

On October 4 and 5, the program will host an alumni reunion at the Georgia Museum of Art to celebrate the program’s 50thanniversary, including a discussion of a half-century of UGA in Rome followed by lunch and a wine and cheese tasting. Participants are invited to join one of the guided tours to two special exhibits in the GMOA: Storytelling in Italian Renaissance Maiolica, and Drama and Devotion in Baroque Rome. Registration is required. 

Established in 1970 by Edward Best, Professor Emeritus of classics at UGA, the UGA Classics in Rome program is the second oldest American study abroad program in the Eternal City and is known for the quality of its instruction. The students receive 9 credit hours with classes including the Art of Rome and the Latin Tradition of Rome, supporting student progress towards completing a minor in classics. Professors take the students to visit various sites in Rome and Campania, with discussions and lectures at the monuments and inside the museums.

"For our three courses, we don’t use slides or a classroom. Rome is our classroom and by lecturing in museums and in front of monuments, we let the students experience the texture, size, and mood of each artifact under different lights," said Bianchelli. "This physical proximity often inspires the students to notice things they would not in the classroom or prompts questions that would not have occurred to them otherwise. It also forges a more immediate bond between student and object, so they remember things longer and more vividly. In the afternoon, students have the luxury of going back or finding other places that interest them."

This year, the program also enjoyed a special visit from Martin Kagel, an associate dean of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, who accompanied the students on field trips during his time in Rome. Field trips include a multi-day visit to the Bay of Naples and Pompeii, Herculaneum, the Ancient Greek settlement of Paestum, and the Archaeological Museum of Naples. The students also take day trips to the Etruscan sites of Cerveteri and Tarquinia, to Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este in Tivoli, and to Ostia Antica.

Congratulations to everyone involved with this extraordinary program, especially the numerous program alumni. May your memories endure like the Eternal City itself.

Photos of Rome courtesy of the Franklin college of Arts and Sciences.

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