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Student News

Semester in Rome

Villa Serenella, monastery where students lived and studied, is located only five miles from the Vatican.

Aquinas sent seven students to Rome this fall as a new study abroad program began in the Eternal City. Aquinas students, along with students from partner school Thomas More College in New Hampshire, lived at the Villa Serenella monastery in the Trastevere neighborhood, located about five miles from the Vatican. “While the program is open to all students, it has a particular appeal for Catholic Studies minors and Theology majors due to the program’s extensive exposure to the Vatican,” said Joelle Baldwin, Director of International Programs. In addition to individually exploring the city, students were also given the opportunity to sightsee through the various courses taught by Thomas More professors. The offered classes covered the humanities, art, architecture, religion and languages. “I gained a whole new appreciation for art and architecture that I could only have learned from having the city of Rome as our classroom,” said Rachel Dubie, senior. “I don’t think there is any better way to learn about and appreciate art and architecture than to be in it.” Dubie, senior Emily Sandula and juniors Samantha Swartout and Julia Knoll took further advantage of the program through internships and classroom experience. Swartout took part in an internship at the local H2ONews,

16 Student News | Spring 2011 |

Aquinas Students Pictured (l-r): Emily Sandula, Nick Perez, Samantha Swarto ut, Julia Knoll, Rachel Dubie, Rachel Fike, and Shannon Anderson.

while Swartout, Sandula and Dubie taught English in a preschool and kindergarten classroom at a nearby Montessori school. “I learned many valuable teaching techniques from the wonderful teacher, the two other AQ students I worked with that I look forward to using in my future as a teacher,” said Sandula. “I never imagined that I was going to have this wonderful and applicable experience which will set me apart in the field of education.” The program has been marked as a success for the International Programs department, and there are hopes to further expand the scope of the program. “I really commend our 2010-2011 students for their efforts in being the first group of Aquinas participants,” said Baldwin. “Looking forward, it will be a goal to increase our participation numbers to 20 or 25 students, which will allow Aquinas to be the sole college at the study center for the fall semester.”

For more information on the program, visit

Aquinas Magazine :: Spring 2011  

Aquinas College Magazine

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