Not to be mistaken for tourists

When I signed up and applied to study abroad, I knew that the classes would be different than from what I was used to at UC Merced. But what I didn’t know was how they would be different. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and I definitely never expected to be taking field trips every other day!

One of the courses I am taking is titled “The Changing Faces of a Capital,” and the main focuses are art, architecture, and urbanism in Imperial, Papal and Contemporary Rome. In summary, we are studying Rome as it transitioned through time, and what better way to study something than by going on-site? Rather than researching something by googling it, we are actually researching it by going to the very site where history happened!

Just this past week, our professor took us to see the Colosseum, where she lectured us right outside with us sitting on 1,000-year-old rocks and broken pillar fragments!

EM.2016.04.06 Coliseum group 2
Students listen to a lecture about the Colosseum at the actual Colosseum. (credit: Esteban Martinez)

Though we might look like tourists as we walk through some of the world’s most historical and religious sites, we are definitely far from being casual tourists. We are learning the detailed history of every site and their roles in the history of Rome. Since a bulk of the sites we visit are highly religious, we are actually limited to what we are allowed to photograph. Nevertheless, we all still enjoy our “course work” of having to visit a different site everyday, and best of all, we don’t have to pay since it’s already included in our tuition!

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