Study Abroad in Rome, Italy - Service Learning

Study Abroad in Rome - Service Learning: Academics

Richmond, The American International University in London – Rome Center

The academic programs are taught by Richmond, The American International University in London. The University is an independent, non-profit international university of liberal arts and professional studies with a student population of approximately 1,500. It is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition to the U.S. degree granting authority, it has U.K. taught degree awarding powers granted by the U.K. Privy Council. It is the first university in the U.K. to have dual degree awarding powers. The Director of the program is appointed by Richmond and supervised by the Richmond administration in London. The Rome faculty credentials are reviewed and approved by Richmond University.

The Richmond Study Center is located in a beautiful building in Piazza Sant’ Andrea della Valle in one of the richest areas of Rome’s historic center. The Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Colosseum, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Roman Forum, Trastevere and the Vatican can be reached on foot in a few minutes.

In addition to classrooms, the Richmond in Rome Study Center houses offices, a computer lab with Internet access and printing facilities, a reference library and two small student lounges. The library has a selection of 2,000 volumes in English related to Richmond courses, a film collection and periodicals available for student reference. AIFS - Richmond students have free admission to the extensive library collections available to them in Rome and access to the University web resources for e-books such as Dowsonera, Jstore and EBSCO. Wireless Internet is available for free to all students.

Academic Overview

The Service Learning Program combines a community placement at the Caritas Centers with written work, designed to allow students of all majors to gain valuable life experience, learn more about one of the biggest social and political issues of the day and contribute in a positive way to the community they are living and studying in. It is based on the principles of civic engagement, ethical social responsibility and social justice. The assessment is based on reflective learning, social analysis and public problem solving. Caritas Centers in Rome are committed in their daily activities to support immigrants, refugees, and everyone in need or in vulnerable positions because of poverty or health problems. The Caritas Centers in Rome serve thousands of guests each year providing support, medical care, legal advice, assistance with finding work and serving hot meals. Italy is one of the main points of entry for refugees and migrants trying to reach Europe, many fleeing war and persecution in their home countries. Students will learn more about this humanitarian crisis in lectures which supplement the service learning course.

During the first three weeks students attend preparatory seminars and tutorials plus work part time at three different Caritas Centers.


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