Temple University Rome's Summer I students experienced Rome at a pivotal time of its revival after closures due to Covid-19. With heavy restrictions finally being lifted, Italy is going through a drastic transformation as it is reopening its doors to many parts of the world. Museums, tours, restaurants, and group activities are beginning to resurface, and Temple Rome students witnessed the beginning of the city's rebirth.
Summer I Digital Photo students were thrilled to go out in Rome as the city was opening up and capture images for their Personal Views of Rome assignment. The course, co-taught by Professors Liana Miuccio and Marina Buening, showed students how to go beyond the postcard photo and create images that show their personal perspectives of the city.
Kathryn Lockwood, CLA '22 reflects on her experience in the course:
"[Course excursions] were an amazing opportunity to get to improve my photography skills on-site rather than behind a screen or inside a classroom. Liana made the world our classroom, which I really appreciated. I was so fortunate to explore Rome and take beautiful photographs, which is something I would've been doing anyway with or without this course.
The assignment of Rome opening back up was super fun in that you could see the look on the faces of many people that this was their first time back out at museums, back out on the beaches, back using public transportation, and so appreciative of the things once taken for granted. My favorite on-site visit was the Zoo in Rome during our last week of class. Wonder appeared on many faces of children, parents, and other visitors looking at the animals and beautiful scenery- a look that had probably not been common during quarantine. It was most likely the first time many of the kids were getting to see the zoo animals."
Meanwhile, Professor Anna Tuck-Scala's Art of Sacred Space class took advantage of the reopening of Rome from a different angle. This course dives into where and how people of the many different cultures of the Greco-Roman world communicated with their gods by engaging students' senses throughout the city. Hannah Seeley, FOX '23 remarks:
"My Art of Sacred Space class really used the city as our classroom. We met on-site almost every day, and we went to a lot of places that I wouldn't have gone to on my own, but that ended up being very worthwhile experiences. We went to several museums, as well as big locations like the Capitoline hill, the Pantheon, and Saint Peter's Basilica. I might have gotten the same knowledge elsewhere, but I wouldn't have had the experiences that made the class so memorable. For example, learning about Etruscan tombs in class was interesting, but going to the Villa Etruscan Museum and stepping foot inside a real Etruscan tomb was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
My favorite on-site visit was our visit to the Capitoline hill and Roman Forum. We stood at an overlook of the Forum on top of Capitoline hill and looked at the many temples and constructions within the forum. One important theme of the class was sacred spaces and how worship was accomplished in sacred spaces, so to be able to see the many temples of the Roman forum and discuss what each of them meant and what time period they were constructed in was very interesting to me. Learning about such a wide range of art and sacred spaces, in the context of their history and religion, made the course feel very developed and was very interesting to me personally."
Students studying at Temple Rome after being in the United States during Covid-19 are unanimously appreciating the opportunity to have in-person courses after a year of online learning. To be able to once again step outside of one's comfort zone and reflect on the world in a new way is a unique experience that students continually look forward to when studying abroad. Lockwood adds:
"Finally being able to experience in-person courses while here in Temple Rome was a nice way to transition back to the in-person format before the fall semester starts on Main Campus. The most powerful part of studying abroad was getting to fully immerse in a new culture, which is something I've never done before. I have traveled to other foreign countries but never once got to experience living among locals, navigating the grocery stores, learning public transit, and overcoming the language barrier over an extended amount of time. It was such a fun challenge that made for an awesome six weeks. My main take away is that it's important to go outside your comfort zone and try new things. I'm hopeful that in the future I'll have similar opportunities to do so like I was able to here in Rome!"