DelVal Honors Students Travel to Rome During Spring Break

Apr 05, 2010

Thirteen students enrolled in the DelVal Honors Program travelled to the Italian capital of Rome over Spring Break as part of a special Honors Colloquium on Roman History and Culture led by Dr. David Snyder and Dr. Jack Schmidt, both professors in the Department of Liberal Arts.

The Rome Honors Colloquium examined the city's important contributions to the cultural history of Western Europe and explored its key role in the development of our modern world. Classes were held on DelVal's campus during the first seven weeks of the semester and then continued in Rome over the break. This special foreign study experience allowed students the opportunity to see first hand the magnificence of Roman history and enjoy the excitement of European culture.

While in Rome, the group enjoyed expert-led tours of the historic city and its key cultural sights such as the Coliseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon and Saint Peter's Basilica. Students experienced first hand the beauty and magnificence of Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces in the Vatican Museum (Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel Ceiling, Raphael's School of Athens), Borghese Gallery (Bernini's David, Apollo and Daphne), San Luigi dei Francese Church (Caravaggio's Calling of Saint Matthew), and Santa Maria della Vittoria (Bernini's Ecstacy of St. Teresa).

Senior Small Animal Science major Stephanie Weiss remarked, "Our trip to Rome was by far, the greatest experience of my life. Looking at pictures and learning about the city and all of the masterpieces in it can not even compare to seeing it with my own eyes."

In addition to group activities, students enjoyed time to explore the city on their own, shopping, sampling the amazing food and especially enjoying the city's famous gelato. Senior Food Science major Carly Bombolevicz explained, "The world as we know it is becoming more international, so knowing the culture and customs of another society is crucial for our future success."

Senior Kristin Brett commented that the foreign study component of the trip created "a much greater sense of appreciation than merely learning about it in a classroom."

"Delaware Valley College prides itself on quality experiential learning. This is experiential learning at its best," said Dr. Schmidt. "Experiences such as the Rome Honors Colloquium will help re-shape the way students think about the world and their place in it."

The trip to Rome was the fourth Honors Colloquium to include a foreign study component. Previously Dr. Schmidt, Dr. Snyder and Mr. Lawrence led trips to Vienna in 2004, Rome in 2006 and Berlin in 2008. Future plans include classes in Paris, Madrid, and London.