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Learning by Rome-ing

November 25, 2015
As a dual CEA Center and John Cabot University student here in Rome, I am fortunate enough to be able to use the city of Rome as a gateway for learning. This semester, I am enrolled in three CEA classes: digital photography, Italian for Beginners, and Pope and the Papacy. Being in Rome has led to such a more integrated style of learning. Every day I pass the Vatican, and I find myself in numerous different churches with beautiful and intricate architecture. I still find it incredible to believe that I am studying abroad in Rome about the history of the Papacy, and I actually live in the city where the Pope resides.
 St. Peter’s Basilica, where I got the opportunity to see the Pope and hear him speak at a Wednesday morning audience.

While my specific religion class does not go on a site visit every week, many of the art history and other religion classes CEA offers in Rome do. The art history students go to churches to examine original frescoes and architecture, the art gallery in Villa Borghese, the Colosseum and Roman Forum, and the Sistine chapel. The religion class takes notes while touring churches like San Clemente, Saint John Lateran, Saint Paul outside the walls, and catacombs!

Below are two pictures of some of the Churches I went on in site visits!

To make it easier for students to take notes, they often have earphones provided by the professors so they don’t miss any pertinent information.
 my friend Claire O’Connor viewing beautiful Italian
architecture while listening to her professor on a sunny day in Rome.

Italian is the only class I have four days a week, but sometimes we do have trips outside the classroom to practice our newly learned Italian skills. We visited the market to purchase groceries, where we also asked the vendors questions about which foods were in season, and how certain products cost.
 Market Class Visits

My personal favorite “site visit” in Italian class was to the panino, or sandwich shop across the street. We ordered our paninis in Italian, and learned about new combinations popular in Rome. Here's one type of sandwich I had never heard of before: You ask the pizza maker to cut you a slice of pizza Bianca, or plain pizza crust, and then to slice it like a sandwich. Then he takes it over to the sandwich maker where you tell him to fill it with whatever meats, cheeses, and vegetables he has available. I opted for mozzarella, prosciutto, and olive oil. It was delicious!
 Panini Time!

One of my favorite classes, partly because we have such an awesome teacher, is Digital Photography. Every week we visit different sites around Rome to search for artistic inspiration, and our teacher shows us how to capture the city with different light, shutter speed, and ISO. Below are a few pictures from my photography class so far.
 This is a picture of Crista Butler and our photography professor during class.
 Anthony Ravosa working on his artistic creativity by the Tiber River.
 Photography class where our professor demonstrated how to take portraits with different shadows and lighting.

Overall, CEA offers a range of classes like religion, ethics, business, food and wine, art history, and language. I have traveled to different places in Europe while living in Rome, and I continue to count my lucky stars that I chose this beautiful historic city as my home for the semester. Having class outside a room and through experiences gives so much more meaning to what I am learning.

Emma Barnard is the Fall 2015 MOJO Photographer in Rome, Italy. She is currently a junior at the University of Georgia.

Read more about our CEA MOJO Bloggers & Photographers.
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