This semester, I got to know Marcello Di Paola, the CEA Rome academic dean and my Business Ethics professor. I asked him to share his point of view on a few frequently asked questions regarding studying abroad in Rome, Italy.
Why study in Rome? What's unique about education in this city?
Rome is a unique blend of history, culture, art and innovation. Continuous re-elaborations of its composite tradition allow for intellectual renewal and provide endless resources for creativity. A student coming to Rome and dwelling in such cultural milieu for a while can see the contents of her studies come alive all around her, while getting the chance to critically consider many cornerstones of Western culture that have been deeply influenced by ideas and practices that originated in Italy during ancient times as well as the Renaissance. Studying in Rome gets you back to the very roots of your cultural paradigms, and allows their critical re-elaboration. And all this while being surrounded by downright heartbreaking beauty.
As the academic dean, what do you hope students gain from being abroad? How significant is the word STUDY in study abroad?
Study abroad has taken a different turn recently. The word STUDY has gained prominence, and more synergic relations with sending institutions has allowed the upgrading of courses, programs, methods, and most of all aspirations. CEA, for instance, has explicitly bet on academic rigor and quality as its main mission as well as selling point. It is of course not possible to just replicate exactly the academic experience our students have in the U.S. – but that is not our goal, here. As the academic dean, my goal is rather that my students come to realize that STUDYING, while abroad, is the best way to frame and interpret the ABROAD - much like knowing the science and history of a landscape allows for a fuller and deeper appreciation of its experience. My impression is that here at CEA we’re on the right track to realizing such goal: the key, I believe, is high-level faculty, knowledgeable staff, passion for our city, our work, and a consistent willingness to learn from our engagement with students.
What's something Americans can learn from Italians?
That there are a million ways to get things done. That life is rich no matter how you look at it. That if things go wrong, there’ll be opportunities to creatively fix them. That soccer is cool. That there’s always time for coffee and a chat.
What's the best gelato flavor to get?
Pistachio, of course. But hey, that’s me.
Thank you Marcello for your time and and advice!
Haley Bryan is the CEA MOJO in Rome, Italy. She is currently a junior at Providence College.
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