The Catholic University of America

  Shannon Ells - CUA in Rome


Top Five Reasons to Select the Program

  1. Rome is the perfect blend of ancient past and modern comfort
  2. There is never a dull moment or a day where some great event isn't going on
  3. Rome is centrally located and every cheap airline flies to the rest of Europe from Rome's airports
  4. The Italian people are super nice and always give you free food!
  5. If you enjoy anything that has to do with ancient Rome or history in general there is literally no place more impressive on earth to study abroad for a semester


What I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Went

  1. Bring a rain jacket or umbrella
  2. Don't try to exchange dollars for euros here because it's just not worth it
  3. Bring only one pair of boots
  4. Shorts up until September are perfectly acceptable and not at all out of place
  5. Wear the clothes that will keep you warm/cool and comfortable
  6. Learn to let go because you can't control other people or situations
  7. Bring a reusable water bottle

A Funny Story or Situation

The street sellers are really pushy in Rome and they always try to give you things and then make you pay for them. We had been harassed all day and I was sick of saying, "No, grazie" so I just brushed past the next guy trying to shove roses in my face. He had dipped them in water to keep them alive and apparently he was upset with my rudeness because he flung all the water from the roses at my back! Luckily he missed and hit some poor tourist taking pictures of the Spanish steps!


An Embarrassing Situation

Trying to order food in Italian as a first time speaker is always embarrassing. One time I tried to order a 2 euro gelato and was instead given two gelato cups. When I tried to explain the problem to the cashier I needed her English speaking coworker to translate.


The Teacher From Whom I Learned the Most

Dr. Crispin Corrado is such a pleasure to listen to in class and her knowledge of Roman art and architecture is really helpful. Her sunny disposition and ability to field any question asked of her in class makes her an easy professor to learn from.



I lived in the dorms and found that since there were so few of us, we really formed a close bond together. The laundry and kitchen areas are right in our wing of the dorms and walking down one flight of steps to get to the majority of my classes was very convenient.

Student Profile:

Major: Classical Civilizations

Minor: Anthropology

Hometown: Brick, NJ

Program: CUA in Rome

Term Abroad: Fall 2012

Contact Shannon