Standing on stage when the Pope’s Twitter account is officially launched, assisting with social media outreach that impacts more than 1 billion people around the world, covering the installation of Pope Francis for the Rome Bureau of Catholic News Service, and working on virtual reality tours of the Sistine Chapel using state-of-the-art-technology that provides an unrivaled view. Our students have been there for all of these firsts.
Many universities offer students the chance to study abroad. Many universities also encourage students to immerse themselves in a culture different from their own and experience things they never dreamed they would. But here is where the comparisons end. Villanova is only university in the world to offer its students the opportunity to intern in offices at The Vatican and Catholic News Service. This exclusive partnership has allowed our students to truly be a part of history.
It’s known as “The Vatican Experience,” but it may be more accurate to call it “The Vatican Life-Changing Experience.” Just ask any former intern.
Villanova Juniors Sean Hudgins, Danielle McMonagle and Lauren Colegrove were in the international spotlight when Pope Francis was named in February 2013. Sean, Danielle and Lauren were interviewed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and by Matt Lauer for the “Today” show. Also, an Associated Press story written about the three interns was picked up by media outlets both here and abroad- 500 in total!
Here’s a sampling of the remarkable media coverage Villanova’s Vatican Internship program received.
We can’t promise that you will be on the “Today” show during your semester in Rome, but we can promise you that an once-in-a-lifetime experience awaits - one that will you will remember and draw upon for years to come.
"Interning at Catholic News Service was an incredibly unique experience. I had the opportunity to work in a positive environment, both in and outside the office, that helped me learn and grow while in Rome."
Bridget Kelly, Intern at Catholic News Service in Rome, Spring 2012
"Interning in Vatican City was a fulfilling experience in every possible way. It was clear that the work I did was making a difference, whether it was posting news on Facebook, designing banners for the www.news.va website or taking photos at papal events. I couldn't have asked for a more memorable or wholly enriching semester abroad."
Caitlin LeMay, PR intern at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Spring 2012
For more on the student perspective, please visit the Vatican Interns’ blog.
Besides working at the Vatican (a great resume builder, to say the least) our students also grow academically and personally. Living in neighborhoods and studying alongside Italian students provides students with an authentic experience, allowing them to connect deeply with the culture and challenge themselves to go beyond their previously held limits.
We are fortunate to partner with Arcadia University’s program in Rome where students participate in an Italian language class and take two courses carefully selected to match with Villanova requirements. These courses, combined with the six credits students receive for their for their internship work, means that a full course load can be completed while in Rome.
One last incredible selling point: Students who are selected for the program are reimbursed for their air travel expenses thanks to a generous grant from the Waterhouse Family.
Want To Change Your Life?
To be eligible to apply, students must be Communication majors who will have junior status by the time they go to Rome and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students are required to complete at least one 3000 level course in their area of interest (COM 3460 Public Relations OR COM 3360 Introduction to Journalism) as well as COM 3307 Multimedia Production prior to their semester in Rome. Experience with Italian is not required; however, it is a plus.
To apply, please email a cover letter and resume to the faculty member below who represents your area of interest. Selection for the program is quite competitive since only three slots are available each semester.
- Journalism: Dr. Tom Ksiazek
- Media Arts & Design: Prof. Michael Mafodda
- Public Relations: Prof. Jill Flanagan
Students selected for an in-person interview will be contacted. During the final round of interviews, candidates will be asked to supply two letters of recommendation from professors and/or supervisors who can comment on the student’s skills and work ethic.
Applications are currently being accepted for the Fall 2014 semester.