Many of the students who participate in the Semester in Rome not only study and travel, but they also contribute to the life of the city that serves as their home for three months.
Students gravitate toward areas of interest and what they believe is God′s calling in their lives. Here are some examples of students′ involvement in Rome:
- Some give of their time as tutors for a local church′s English language program that attracts a wide cross-section of people: from a refugee from Yemen, a family from Ecuador, and an Italian sales clerk for Luis Vuitton, to a Russian waitress, a student from Mozambique, and a high ranking official in Italy′s government. In all, about 80 people from all corners of the globe and different walks of life come each week to study one of five levels of English instruction and practice conversation. The curriculum is Bible-based and each lesson ends with the reading and discussion of a Scripture passage.
- Other students minister to the homeless at the Termini (Rome′s main train station) by serving tea and cookies to more than 70 people from across the world one night each week.
- Some students help cook and serve meals at a soup kitchen for refugees while others play soccer (calico) with another group of refugees.
Participation in these projects is voluntary, but students who have chosen to engage the community through helping others comment that these experiences have enhanced their time in Italy tremendously—and they've made many new friends, too!
Students from institutions that require community service often receive credit from their home college or university for their community involvement in Rome.