Rome Summer Program

June 13 - July 20, 2016


Buongiorno a tutti!

Villanova University School of Law and the University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minneapolis) proudly announce their tenth annual Summer Law Study Abroad Program in Rome, Italy.

Rome. The Eternal City. The City of Seven Hills … an ideal location in which to study and enjoy life in the heart of Europe. Home to restaurants, museums, the Vatican, ancient historical sites, shopping and spectacular scenery, Rome has something to interest every visitor, and this beautiful city provides an appropriate backdrop for the courses offered in this popular summer program.

Rome bustles with activity in the summertime – outdoor opera and ballet, evening music and special eventsVisitors can find plenty to enjoy – whether in italiano or in inglese.

In the Rome Program, you can earn six (6) semester hours of credit while enjoying the incredible historical, cultural, religious and culinary experiences that Rome offers. Classes will be held on the campus of John Cabot University, located in the charming and lively Trastevere neighborhood. All classrooms are air-conditioned, are equipped with wireless Internet access, and are located in a lovely area near the Tiber River. Faculty and the Program Director’s offices will be in the same building, making access convenient. You will have access to computer labs and other University facilities.

The Program has been approved by the American Bar Association, and was reaccredited in 2012. Students in good standing at an ABA-accredited law school or foreign equivalent who have completed one full year of full-or part-time study may be admitted into the Program, as space permits.

For more details, read on…


Academic Program

You must choose two of the three-credit courses offered. Each course will enroll up to a maximum of approximately 35 students. Course enrollment is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Each course will meet for 20 sessions of 105 minutes each; together, your two courses will meet for a total of 3.5 hours daily. The remainder of each day will be free for you to study and to explore Rome and its environs. Guest speakers and trips to local legal institutions will complement your course work.

Villanova and St. Thomas use nearly identical grading systems. The Villanova system, which will be used for the 2016 Rome Program for Villanova students and students from schools other than St. Thomas, is as follows:



Villanova Grading System

The St. Thomas grading system, which awards slightly different quality points to each grade, will be used for grades awarded to St. Thomas students.

All students are expected to comply with the Academic Rules and Policies for the Rome summer program, which will be distributed to enrolled students. Please noteThe Rules and Policies of the sponsoring law schools may be updated prior to the commencement of the program. All enrolled students will be provided with and deemed to have read and understood the Rules and Policies.

Each of the three courses offered will be assessed by written examination of approximately three hours each, or by alternative methods designated by the course professor(s).  Some courses may include graded components for presentations, papers, and other assignments. Letter grades will be assigned for each course, and grade reports or transcripts will be sent by the Registrar of Villanova University School of Law (for Villanova students and students from schools other than St. Thomas), or by the Registrar of the University of St. Thomas (for students from that school only), to each student or to the student’s school, at the direction of the student. Grades will also be available online. The release of grades is contingent upon the student's payment of all costs and fees that are due to the Program.

Acceptance of any credit or grade for any course taken in the Program is subject to determination by the student’s home school. It is unlikely that participation in a foreign Summer Program may be used to accelerate graduation. Students interested in acceleration or in determining whether Rome grades will calculate into their GPAs should consult with their schools to review this issue. Grades for Villanova and St. Thomas students will be calculated into those students’ GPAs.

Students will be required to authorize the Program co-sponsors to release information to third parties as permitted by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) following acceptance into the Program.




Courses offered during summer 2016 are:


Comparative Labor & Employment Law

Prof. David Caudill and Prof. Ann Juliano, Villanova

This course will examine the history and current status of the labor union movement in the United States and in several representative countries.  Topics will include federal labor legislation and NLRB jurisdiction in the U.S., including unfair labor practices, collective bargaining, strikes, grievance procedures, labor arbitration, and the intersection of labor and antitrust law, as well as the laws and procedures in place in Australia, Japan, The Netherlands, Germany, and France.  Particular attention will be paid to the decline of unions in the U.S. and in Europe, as well as the negative effects of outsourcing on wages, benefits, worker safety and current efforts to ameliorate income inequality.  The first part of the course will conclude with a mission-oriented discussion of Catholic Social Teaching on labor.

The second part of the course will examine the protections afforded workers in a variety of countries.  We will begin with the basics of the U.S. system including the at-will system, workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, wrongful discharge, anti-discrimination statutes.  The recent reaction to the civil service system (i.e., in Wisconsin) will also be discussed.  Then we will turn to the same issues in a number of representative countries—Canada, Mexico, U.K., France, China, Japan, India and of course, Italy.   Finally, we will discuss international labor standards adopted by the International Labor Organization (a U.N. organization) and trade agreements such the North American Free Trade Agreement and the European Union.

International Art & Cultural Heritage Law

Prof. Diane Penneys Edelman, Villanova

In October 2013, more than a thousand works of art confiscated by the Nazis were discovered in a Munich apartment, followed soon by the discovery of 250 artworks in the Austrian second home of the art collector. At around the same time, Cornell University announced that it would return 10,000 ancient tablets to the government of Iraq. In December 2014, a federal district court in New York ordered the forfeiture of portions of a 65 to 70 million year old dinosaur that had been shipped to the United States, falsely described as a French replica. Elsewhere, Egyptian museums are using satellite technology to identify locations where looting of precious artifacts occurs in an effort to protect those artifacts.  Today, news reports about the looting of antiquities arising from unrest in the Middle East appear on a constant basis, as communities struggle to protect their cultural treasures from looting and destruction.

Although not necessarily a commonly known fact, issues involving cultural heritage and the law crop up virtually on a daily basis. From the removal of the Elgin (or Parthenon) Marbles from Greece, to the looting of art by the Nazis, the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan, civilizations have often considered objects of art and cultural property to be their rightful spoils of war or conquest—to take, sell, or destroy as they will.  Sometimes these acts are committed by governments, sometimes by private actors.  The players are many and read like a thriller – governments, museums, private collectors, galleries, and underwater treasure seekers are all involved in legal disputes involving cultural heritage. Legal issues relating to art are also complex and varied, touching the areas of theft, forgery, transfers of artwork, and the like.  Students in this course will look at how art is defined and treated under the law, and will examine major international legal instruments, legislation, court decisions, and policies relating to the protection of artists' rights and cultural property. Class will include a visit to the Carabinieri Art Crimes headquarters.

Professional Responsibility in the United States and Abroad

Prof. Neil Hamilton and Prof. Gregory Sisk, Univ. of St. Thomas

The bulk of this course will follow the basic professional responsibility/legal profession curriculum required by ABA-approved law schools.  Students will also be exposed to perspectives arising from other nations’ efforts to regulate the legal profession.  Because this course is intended to satisfy the ABA’s professional responsibility requirement and prepare students to pass the MPRE, the breakdown between time spent on the American legal profession versus international perspectives will be roughly 80% to 20%.  Some topics that are normally taught in a professional responsibility course, such as legal malpractice and admission to the bar, will be eliminated to allow for discussion of international and comparative aspects of the course subject.  Some of the topics that we will cover include the role in professional life of an attorney’s personal conscience, “role morality,” peer review and regulation, conflicts among ethics of duty, the ethics of  aspiration and conscience; and development of a variety of lawyering skills, including ethical sensitivity, moral reasoning, problem-solving, and communication.

Successful completion of this course will satisfy the University of St. Thomas Professional Responsibility course requirement and the Villanova Legal Profession course requirement.  Students from law schools other than University of St. Thomas and Villanova must check with their Registrar or other appropriate office to determine whether this course will satisfy their school’s ethics/professional responsibility requirement. 

In addition, because of the substantial overlap of subject matter in this course and in both St. Thomas’s and Villanova’s Professional Responsibility/Legal Profession courses, students who enroll in Professional Responsibility in the United States and Abroad may not enroll in the standard Professional Responsibility/Legal Profession course at St. Thomas or Villanova.  Similarly, students who have already taken this required course at St. Thomas or Villanova during the regular academic year will not be permitted to take this course in Rome.



Program Activities

The Rome Program offers many opportunities to experience the immeasurable historical, cultural, and religious bounty of Rome.

During the summer, you can participate in a variety of cultural activities, including museum visits, entertainment, and lectures, during which you can practice your italiano and learn more about Italian culture. We hope to repeat two religious highlights of past summers – a Papal Audience with His Holiness, Pope Francis, and weekly private mass services, in English, at St. Peter’s Basilica.

In addition, we anticipate that we will have a variety of social events for faculty and students throughout the Program, including an opening lunch, closing banquet, and our annual group weekend trip to a special destination of cultural, religious and historical significance. In past years, program participants have travelled as a group to Assisi, Orvieto, and Monte Sant’Angelo … and we’ll have another trip in store for the first weekend of the 2016 program – watch for details!

Between that first opening day and the last day of classes, you’ll be able to attend a wide variety of exciting trips and tours. In addition, you can sign up for walking tours of a wide variety of religious, historical, and cultural sites in and around Rome. During the past eight summers, we have visited:*

  • Palatine Hill and Colosseum
  • St. Peter’s Basilica
  • St. Mary’s Major & Santa Prasseda
  • Great Synagogue and Ghetto
  • Catacombs of Priscilla
  • Historical Center of Rome
  • San Clemente and SS. 4 Coronati
  • Roman Forum
  • Galleria Borghese
  • SS. Giovanni & Paolo and the Roman Houses
  • Ostia Antica
  • Trastevere
  • Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel
  • Scavi excavations under St. Peter’s Basilica

* Note: Not all of these trips and tours will be offered each year, although program participants can visit most of these sites on their own.




During summer 2016, you will be housed in apartments in John Cabot’s Viale Trastevere apartment building, an authentic Italian apartment building located 25 minutes walking distance or 10 minutes by tram from John Cabot’s two campuses. The residence is equipped with wireless internet service and good cell phone reception. One set of linens is provided, and each apartment has a washing machine. Kitchens are equipped with cook top, oven, microwave and refrigerator. Various sized apartments are available. All John Cabot-arranged apartments are non-smoking. Please note that the Viale Trastevere apartments are not air-conditioned;  however, they are spacious and have balconies.  You should wait to decide whether to purchase a small fan inexpensively from a nearby store after you determine whether you will need one in your apartment.

If you prefer, you may arrange your own housing. Suggestions for how to do so will be provided after you enroll in the Program.

Move-in date: Friday, June 10, Saturday, June 11, or Monday, June 13

Note: Plan to arrive in Rome at the latest by the morning of Monday, June 15 so that you can move into your apartment and be on time for the mandatory orientation meeting that afternoon.

Move-out date: Friday, July 22

The anticipated range for summer 2016 housing costs in the Viale Trastevere apartments is U.S. $ 1650 to $ 1950 per person. Housing costs will vary depending upon the location and number of students living in the apartment. More detailed information regarding housing will be provided upon admission into the Program.


Travel Information

United States Citizens will need a valid passport to enter Italy. For information on obtaining or renewing your passport, visit If you are not a U.S. citizens, you must state your nationality on your program application because entry requirements to Italy may differ from those required for U.S. students. If you do not already have a passport, please apply for one as soon as possible to avoid rush processing fees and to make sure that your passport arrives in time for your departure. Please note that for certain air carriers, your passport must be valid for six months beyond your return date.

In addition, please review the U.S. State Department Country-Specific Information for Italy, the Holy See (Vatican City), and San Marino, and the State Department’s Tips for Traveling Abroad. If this Country-Specific Information is revised by the State Department prior to or during the Program, the link to the revised information will be posted on this website and sent to you by email.

Please note: Students visiting Italy for summer study only do not need a visa.



John Cabot University, and the city of Rome generally, are not easily accessible for individuals with physical disabilities. For example, students are required to navigate stairs to and from classes and may be required to walk a fair amount to and from the campus, often over uneven surfaces. In addition, most housing arrangements will not be easily accessible for individuals with physical handicaps.


Medical Conditions & Insurance; Waiver of Liability; FERPA

If you are admitted into the Program, you will be required to obtain and carry current medical insurance. Proof of health and hospital insurance will be required before you may participate in the Program. In addition, you should have written confirmation of your insurance in hand when you enter Italy. Please note that if you are accepted to the Program, you will be asked to document your physical and psychological fitness to participate in the Program. You will receive materials requesting this information after acceptance into the Program.

Upon acceptance into the Program, you will also be required to complete a waiver of liability releasing Villanova and St. Thomas from any liability relating to the Program, and stating that you have consulted with a physician and do not have any physical or psychological impairment that would affect your ability to participate in the Program. You must complete and return the waiver in order to participate in the Program. You will also be required to complete paperwork permitting disclosure under Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

Program Costs

Tuition, Fees, and additional costs of the 2016 program include:


Tuition $3,900*
Activities Fee $770*
Application Fee $250**
Study Abroad Fee $250
Travel (From East Coast or Midwest) $1,600-$1,900
Meals $1,500***
Housing $1,650-$1,950 (estimated)
Miscellaneous (books, local travel, entertainment) $1,000***
Total (approximate) $10,920-$11,520

* A surcharge may be applied after May 1, 2016.

** This is nonrefundable if a student does not enroll. For those who enroll, this will be credited to the student account to cover the Study Abroad Fee of $250. The Study Abroad Fee covers additional insurance and other administrative costs.

*** Subject to change depending upon the value of the Euro. Additional charges for official documentation in Italy may be assessed. For a convenient currency converter, visit

The tuition and fees charges include all application fees, tuition for two courses, and the group program trip, certain tours, and special events. A variety of additional events will be offered on a fee-per-event basis. Information about participation in and payment for the additional events will be provided at a later date.

The tuition and fees are to be paid as follows:

You must submit a completed Application and non-refundable Application Fee of $250.00. In addition, if you attend a law school other than Villanova or University of St. Thomas, the Dean or Registrar of your school must send a letter certifying that you are a student in good standing (academic and disciplinary) prior to your acceptance into the Program. You will be advised of other requirements (including advice about your passport, transportation, housing, etc.) following your admission to the Program. Applicants from Villanova and University of St. Thomas are not required to submit a certificate of good standing.


The balance of tuition and fees will be due before the Program begins.

Payment for housing is due according to the following schedule:

All tuition and fees must be paid by personal check, cashier's check or money order, in U.S. dollars. Checks or electronic funds transfers received from your Financial Aid office will also be accepted. The cost and method of payment for course materials will be determined prior to the start of the Program.

Grades from the Summer Program will not be released until all outstanding charges have been paid in full. If special circumstances warrant any adjustment in your payment schedule, you should communicate with the appropriate Financial Aid Office immediately.

Financial Aid

If you need financial aid funds to participate in the Rome Program, you need to contact the Financial Aid Office at your home institution as soon as possible, as that office will process your aid for the Program. If you are not a Villanova Law or St. Thomas student, you must have your Financial Aid Office send a consortium agreement to the:

Rome Summer Program
c/o Office of Financial Aid
Villanova University School of Law
299 N. Spring Mill Road
Villanova, PA 19085 
Phone: 610-519-7015 

Fax: 610-519-6597

Please note that it is possible that your financial aid funds may not be available until close to the start date of the Program, and some fees (e.g., Housing) may be due approximately two months before the Program begins. If you need financial aid, you must request a deferment of expenses as early as possible, by letter addressed to the Villanova Office of Financial Aid (for Villanova students and students from schools other than St. Thomas). Financial aid questions for St. Thomas students should be directed to Chad Nosbusch. He can be reached at or 651-962-4051.

Please note that air fare may vary based on the age of the student and the air carrier. Because you will likely have to purchase your plane ticket before you receive your financial aid award, you will need to plan accordingly. You are responsible for arranging for your transportation between the United States and Rome (Fiumicino Airport), and Fiumicino and the JCU campus. Further information about transportation between Fiumicino and JCU will be provided at a later date.


Complete your application to the Program by downloading it here and typing directly onto the Application. You will need to submit your Application as a hard paper copy, by regular mail or in person at the offices listed below.


Please read important information on Medical Insurance, Housing, and Program Costs before completing your application.  Also, please make sure to complete all steps on the following Application Checklist before submitting your Application:

  • Completed Application
  • Signed and dated section II  -- not required for Villanova or St. Thomas students
  • Signed and dated section IX – not required for St. Thomas students
  • Letter of good standing (may be sent separately; not required for Villanova or St. Thomas students)
  • Check or money order for $250 non-refundable application fee (for all students)
  • For St. Thomas Students only: Deposit Receipt from the Business Office - documenting the deposit of the $250 non-refundable fee.  Please note: St. Thomas students must print a deposit Voucher and submit it with their non-refundable application fee.

ApplicationDeadline:  March 31, 2016, or until the Program is filled.

Download the Application here.  You may complete your Application by typing directly onto the form.

For Villanova students and students attending schools other than St. Thomas:

Rome Summer Program
Office of the Registrar
Villanova University School of Law
299 N. Spring Mill Road
Villanova, PA 19085-1682
Telephone: (610) 519-7002 or 7017
Fax: (610) 519-7495

For students at St. Thomas only:

Ms. Jill S. Akervik
Law Registrar

University of St. Thomas School of Law
1000 LaSalle Avenue, MSL 131
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403-2015
Telephone: (651) 962-4928
Fax: (651) 962-4861



Villanova University Law School and University of St. Thomas School of Law reserve the right to cancel the 2016 Rome Summer Study Abroad Program if there are not enough applications from qualified students for the Program to be economically viable. Villanova and St. Thomas will make this decision, if necessary, after the March 15 application deadline, but before April 15, 2016. If the Program is cancelled, registered students will be notified immediately by email and notice of cancellation will be posted on this website.

If there are changes in the course offerings or other significant aspects of the Program (other than a change in Program personnel), those changes will be communicated promptly to any student who has paid a deposit or registered for the Program, and that student will be afforded the opportunity to obtain a full refund of all fees paid.

Should the Program be cancelled for any reason after a deposit has been paid, the Program Director will use her best efforts to make arrangements for each student enrolled to attend a similar Program, if the student so desires.

If, prior to its commencement, the Program is cancelled for any reason, all funds advanced by the student will be refunded within twenty (20) days after the date of cancellation.

If, prior to the commencement of the Program, a U.S. State Department Travel Warning or Alert is issued for Italy, registered students will be notified promptly and given an opportunity to withdraw from the Program. Should a student withdraw, or should the Program be terminated for this reason, you will be refunded all fees paid except for room and board payments utilized prior to the date of termination or withdrawal.

If, during the course of the Program, a U.S. State Department Travel Warning or Alert is issued for Italy, registered students will be notified promptly and will be permitted to withdraw from the Program. Should a student withdraw, or should the Program be terminated for this reason, you will be refunded all fees paid except for room and board payments utilized prior to the date of termination or withdrawal.

In addition to the $250 non-refundable Application Fee, you may be subject to a cancellation fee if you withdraw from the Program after you have been accepted. If you withdraw from the Program after April 15th, 2016, you will lose not only the full deposit but you may be responsible for payment of the entire program fee as well.

A refund for students who withdraw after the final cancellation deadline is based upon recoverable costs. Depending on the date of cancellation, the entire Program fee may be forfeited. If cancellation occurs within 45 days of departure, there is little chance of a refund. There is no monetary refund for the cost of passport/ID photos, payment for which is your personal responsibility. Cancellations caused by medical emergencies or U.S. government shut down (such as passport offices) do not guarantee a full refund, and in some cases, may involve no refund.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

Because cancellations, even for most medical reasons, do not guarantee a refund, students are strongly encouraged to consider trip cancellation insurance.


Additional Disclosures

In accordance with the American Bar Association’s Criteria for Approval of Foreign Summer and Intersession Programs Established by ABA-Approved Law Schools (revised August 2010), the following information not otherwise disclosed on this website relates to the 2015 Rome Program:

Relationship with John Cabot University

Villanova University School of Law and University of St. Thomas School of Law have a contractual relationship with John Cabot University according to which John Cabot hosts the Rome Program and provides a variety of services to students enrolled in and faculty teaching in the Program.

Anticipated Enrollment and Past Participants

The sponsoring schools anticipate annual enrollment of 50 to 60 students, with a maximum of 65 to 75 students. It is possible that a small number of students from law schools located outside of the United States may also enroll in the Program. During summer 2015, 29 students were enrolled in the Program. 28 students enrolled in 2015 attended the sponsoring schools. One student enrolled in 2015 attended Southern University School of Law.


In previous years, students from the following law schools have enrolled in the Program:

Arizona State University College of Law
Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School
Ave Maria School of Law
Chapman University School of Law
Charlotte School of Law
Florida A & M University College of Law (2)
Florida International College of Law
Fordham School of Law
Loyola Law School (Los Angeles)
McGeorge School of Law
Mercer University School of Law (3)
New York Law School
Nova Southeastern School of Law (8)
Ohio Northern School of Law
Pace School of Law
Quinnipiac University School of Law
University of Denver School of Law
University of Idaho School of Law
University of North Carolina School of Law
University of Northern Kentucky School of Law
University of Ottawa Faculty of Law (Canada)
University of Toledo School of Law
St. Mary’s School of Law
Tulane University School of Law
Washington University School of Law
Widener University School of Law
William Mitchell School of Law



Location of Classrooms and Administrative Offices
All classes are held at John Cabot University's Tiber Campus, located at lungotevere Raffaello Sanzio, 12.  On occasion, classes and special presentations may be held at John Cabot's Guarini Campus, located at via della Lungara, 233.

The Director and Faculty of the Rome program have shared office space in the Faculty Rooms at both the Tiber and Guarini Campuses, and may also be reached by telephone and email throughout the duration of the program.  Administrative offices for John Cabot staff are located at both the Guarini and Tiber Campuses.  The specific office locations and contact information for members of the John Cabot administration and staff can be found on the John Cabot website and in offices throughout the Guarini and Tiber Campuses.



Frequently Asked Questions

How will I get around in Rome?

All students participating in the UST-Villanova Rome Program will receive bus passes for the summer during the first week of classes. Students will be responsible for purchasing their own tickets if they plan to use the public transportation before the passes are handed out or after the Program concludes.

The Metro is Rome’s subway; the stations have a red “M” logo. Most of Rome’s sites are served by a public transportation net, which includes buses, trams, and two subway lines: Linea A, which runs east-west, and Linea B, which runs north-south. Linea A and B intersect at Stazione Termini, the city’s largest train station. Linea A and Linea B run every day (Sunday to Thursday) from 5:30 a.m. - 11:30 p.m. and from 5:30 a.m. – 1:30 a.m. (Friday and Saturday). Stazione Termini is the main train station in Rome with full access to most cities in Italy and Europe. Local trains and buses can easily reach some of the smaller towns. Several other large train stations are located throughout the city.

You must have a valid ticket to get on the bus, metro, or tram. Tickets are the same for all three methods of transportation and have to be bought in advance. They are available in Metro stations, tabacchi and newspaper stands. There is a €100 fine for using public transportation without a ticket or pass. You must pay the fine on the spot.

A common ticket BIT (biglietto integrato a tempo – integrated time ticket) costs €1 and is valid for 75 minutes. On the bus, it can be used multiple times within the 75-minute limit. On the Metro, however, one common ticket is good for only a one-way trip. If you take the bus, youmust validate your ticket at the beginning of your trip and again at the end (to be sure you haven’t passed the time limit). Tickets must be validated on the bus or on the yellow ticket machines prior to entering the Metro platform.

You can purchase a day-long pass for €6, a three-day pass for €16.50, a weekly pass for €24, and a monthly metro-bus pass for €35, which gives you one month’s unlimited use of buses, the Metro and inner city commuter trains.

You can purchase a Metro-bus map at magazine stands and some tabacchi. This is a good purchase for up-to-date routes.

You may also choose to take a taxi, but you should be warned that taking a taxi in Rome can be rather expensive. In Rome, taxis usually cannot be hailed as they are in other cities, but taxi stands can be found all around the city. In addition, you can usually order a taxi by phone. Always use official Comune di Roma metered cabs. Licensed taxis are white, have an identification number, and are equipped with a meter. Do not trust people who approach you offering private taxi service. In many cases, they are operating illegally and will overcharge you. To get an official taxi, wait in line at a taxi stand or phone a cab. There is a surcharge in the evenings, on weekends, and for each piece of luggage.

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How do I get to the airport by public transportation?

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Is there a beach near Rome? How do I get there?

There are beaches near Rome. Take the bus to the Piramide station and take the local train to Lido di Ostia. Get off at Ostia Lido Centro, Stella Polare, Castel Susano or Cristoforo Colombo. There will be a number of different beach clubs which will have entrance fees of up to €10. There are also public beaches in between the beach clubs. For more information, see

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Should I bring a map?

Yes. Definitely bring a map with you, and familiarize yourself with Rome before you arrive in Italy. You might want to buy an inexpensive basic map at home and look for a more detailed map when you arrive in Rome.

Maps of Rome are available online at: (Rome downtown) (Underground) (Map of Rome)

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What will the weather be like?

Rome will be very hot during the day. During the past few summers, the daytime temperature has reached its peak by mid-July; in summer 2010, it became hot by the end of June. Usually, the weather will be in the mid-80s and very sunny. For average temperatures, see:

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How do I call home?

All students in the participating the UST-Villanova Rome study abroad program will be provided with cell phones. The program pays for the phone rental, but you are responsible for all charges. Your cell calls to the U.S. will be charged at a higher rate than your calls within Rome.

You may also want to consider purchasing a prepaid phone card. Phone cards can be purchased at local tabacchi shops. We recommend the EUROPA card.

In previous summers, many students who had laptops used Skype to call home. Skype-to-Skype calls made over the internet are free. You can also use Skype to call a telephone in the U.S. for a very reasonable fee. To get more information about Skype and to see current calling rates, go to:

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What do I need to do before I leave?


  • Talk to your bank; verify that you can use your credit cards, debit cards, etc. in Europe.
  • Tell your bank that you will be travelling in Europe so that it doesn’t suspend your credit and debit cards when charges in foreign countries show up on your card.
  • Make copies of passports, credit card information, insurance cards, and the like, and leave them with your family and/or friends at home.


  • Talk to others who have studied abroad.
  • Talk to family and friends- make sure that they support your decision to study abroad.
  • Plan ahead — bills tend to come in before loans due!
  • Talk to Professor Diane Edelman (Villanova and non-UST applicants) and Dean Haaland (UST applicants)
  • Listen to Italian Language CDs
  • Check out:

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How do I order my course books?

During the spring, the Program Director will let you know what books you’ll need for your course and how to order them. You will need to purchase your books ahead of time and bring them to Rome with you; you will not be able to purchase them after you arrive. Please order your books sufficiently in advance of your travels so that you can take advantage of discount shipping rates and so that you’ll be sure to have your books on time for the first day of classes.

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What's the best way to deal with money (ATM, credit card, traveler's checks)?

It’s probably best to use your cash card to withdraw money and pay cash when you are out and about in the city instead of paying with your credit card, especially with the euro to dollar exchange rate. For example, if the currency exchange rate is €1.00= $1.30 and you buy something with your credit card that costs €15, keep in mind that when you receive your credit card statement, it may appear as a $20 charge because of fluctuations in the currency exchange rate. In addition, be sure you check with your bank on the amount of money you are able to withdraw from an ATM machine within 24 hours and let your bank know that you will be overseas for five–plus weeks.

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Will there be computers available at JCU for students to use?

Yes. There are three computer labs and a multimedia lab at JCU. Most of these facilities are located in the older Guarini building. The labs contain more than eighty personal computers equipped with the latest software, as well as black and white and color high-speed laser printers and scanners. In one of the main labs all the computers have writable DVD-ROM drives installed. You will receive a certain amount of printing credit when you arrive, and you can purchase additional printing credit during the Program.

The Chapel Lab is located just inside the main entrance of the Guarini building, behind the student lounge. The Secchia Lab is located on the ground floor of the Kushlan Wing (across the Lemon Tree Courtyard) in the same building. The Kushlan Lab is located on the second floor of the Kushlan Wing and can be accessed using the staircase from the Lemon Tree Courtyard. The multimedia lab is located in the library. Wireless internet access is also available in the newer Tiber Campus building.

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Any packing advice?

Do not pack more than you can easily carry. Pack light. If you bring heavy luggage, you will regret it at the end of the summer. Don't weigh yourself down with items like as a hair dryer, that can be purchased inexpensively in Rome. Start planning what you will pack by reading the baggage allowance guidelines of your airline online. Also, be aware that on flights between European cities (for those of you who might be planning to travel around Europe), the baggage allowance may be even less. Airlines often charge a penalty fee for overweight or excess baggage. And don’t forget to leave enough room in your bag for your books! You’re expected to purchase your books before you depart and have them with you when you begin the Program. You will not be able to purchase your books in Rome, and having someone send them from the States will be very costly.

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What kind of bags do students use for traveling?

A messenger/satchel type bag with a flap over the side may deter pickpockets. Students use all kinds of bags for traveling, so anything that is easy to carry on the plane and while traveling will be fine.

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What type of clothing shall I bring?

The weather will be very warm—usually in the mid to high 80s, so plan to dress accordingly. Also, bring jeans and one or two dressy outfits for special occasions throughout the semester. If you need anything else, there are many shops (inexpensive ones) where you can renew your wardrobe. Italians typically wear shorts only when they go to the beach or to the gym, so if you want to bring a pair of shorts with you, just keep this in mind. Bring clothing that does not require special cleaning, although dry cleaning is available if you need it.

Outfits should be casual and comfortable. As you will be walking a lot, bring comfortable walking shoes, and slippers to wear in your residence. Pack whatever type of clothing you feel most comfortable in; just be practical. Stick with basics that can be paired together to create several outfits.

Remember that religious sites and other tourist destinations in Rome and Vatican City have strict dress codes. Men may not be allowed to wear shorts and women may be required to wear pants or a skirt that falls below the knees and have their shoulders covered. Women may want to consider bringing a lightweight shawl with them when visiting churches so they can cover their shoulders. Many places will turn visitors away for not adhering to the dress code.

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Do I need to bring an umbrella?

Probably not. It does not rain very often or for very long in the summer in Rome, although in summer 2009, we did have a few brief rainstorms. If you find that you need one, you can buy an umbrella in Rome from a store or a street vendor.

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What kind of toiletries shall I bring?

You will be able to buy whatever health, hygiene and beauty products you need in Rome without having to worry about bringing stocks of shampoo, shaving cream, and soap from home; you just may not find your favorite brands. Bring the basics you use every day in travel-sized containers. Also, prepare a medical kit with a few over-the-counter pain relievers (i.e., Advil, Tylenol, etc), cold medication, and vitamins. For contact lens users, you may want to bring a supply of all the necessary solutions. You may also want to have an extra pair of glasses on hand.

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What if I have prescription medication?

If you need prescription medications on a regular basis, you should carry a note from your doctor stating your medical condition, the purpose of the medication, dosage information, the brand and the generic name of the medication. This is especially necessary if you will be carrying insulin or you might be allergic to certain medication. Bring enough of your medication to last your entire stay abroad. Prescriptions written in the United States cannot be filled in Italy, and medications cannot be mailed from the United States.

If you have a serious allergy or medical condition, contact Professor Edelman about preparing a letter regarding the condition and its treatment and having the letter translated into Italian so that you can bring copies with you as you travel throughout the summer.

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Do I need an electricity converter?

In Italy, the current is 220 volts, whereas in America it is 110. The difference in electrical current is so great that if you plug your American appliance into an electrical socket in Italy, it may explode, short out, melt, or cause a fire. You should be very careful, as not all travel appliances are multi-standard. Italians have at least three types of plugs and sockets, all different. If you can't find dual voltage versions of your favorite appliances (i.e. hair dryer, curling iron, electric razor, etc), you can buy transformers to convert the electricity and adapter kits for the different sockets at your local hardware store before you leave home. However, you may be better off just buying an inexpensive hair dryer, curling iron, etc in Rome. Adapters are really made for occasional, not daily use. They do not always work and the kits can be expensive and heavy to carry. For more information, see Electricity in Italy.

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How much money students generally spend on travel and/or extra expenses?

Often times, students are very resourceful and they find inexpensive hostels, restaurants, etc. online when they make their travel plans, so it is really up to each person's personal budget and how good the student is with budget management. A great travel website is, which offers reviews and pictures of accommodations.

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Should I buy an Italian-English dictionary?

Yes. It always helps to have a dictionary, whether for shopping, traveling, or emergency situations. Buy your dictionary here so that you can learn a few words and have it handy when you arrive in Rome.

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Are there any particular vocabulary words or types of words (i.e. food/menu words, adjectives, nouns, etc.) that would be most helpful to learn right now?

Try to learn words for food items, directions, transportation, numbers, and money.

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Do you recommend buying a travel guide?

Yes. Especially if you are planning on traveling within or outside of Italy, it’s helpful to have some idea of the area.

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Will I have time to travel during the Program?

Yes. The program is designed so that almost every weekend is a 3-day weekend, and there is one 4-day weekend as well. If you budget your time wisely, you should have time to complete your course work and explore Italy. Many students have used the weekends to explore other parts of Italy and visit other countries, as well as to take in the many sites right your backyard in Rome.

For those who do want to travel outside of Italy, please be sure to check State Department Travel Information and keep track of your passport and valuables. There are convenient trains and many inexpensive airlines that you can use for travel during the summer.

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May I have guests stay at my JCU apartment?

You may have overnight guests in your apartment only according to JCU procedures, which will be provided to you later in the spring.

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Applying for the Rome Program:

For Villanova students and students attending schools other than St. Thomas, download and complete the application.

Contact Information

Villanova students and students at schools other than University of St. Thomas should direct questions to:

Diane Penneys Edelman 
Director of International Programs
Villanova University
Charles Widger School of Law
299 N. Spring Mill Road
Villanova, PA 19085-1682
Telephone: (610) 519-7047
Fax: (610) 519-5173/6282

St. Thomas students should direct questions to:

Cari Haaland
Assistant Dean for Admissions and International Studies
University of St. Thomas School of Law
MSL 124, 1000 LaSalle Avenue
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403-2015
Telephone: (651) 962-4872 
Fax: (651) 962-4876