Video: The Rome International Scholars Program

Author: Todd Boruff


Notre Dame senior Joseph Strasz made the most of his study abroad experience by participating in the Rome International Scholars Program—a unique opportunity for students interested in conducting research, completing an internship, and participating in extensive service learning in Rome.

“I am exceptionally glad that I chose to do this. It has been 100% worth it,” said Strasz, an Italian studies and Greek and Roman civilizations major.

The Rome International Scholars Program, coordinated through Notre Dame International’s Rome Global Gateway, is offered during the spring semester and for up to six weeks into the summer. A scholarship is provided to help cover the cost of the summer portion.

After completing the spring 2016 semester at the University of Roma Tre, Strasz spent the summer taking an additional course on Dante while interning at the American Academy in Rome. During his internship, he created a finding aid for the institution’s archaeological materials and had access to the Academy’s library, which Strasz said was an “absolutely phenomenal” resource for completing research on medieval Italian poetry.

“My research project is looking into the poetry of the Scuola Siciliana in the late 1200s and how their poetry then influenced the later work of Dante,” said Strasz, who plans to use the project as the basis of his senior thesis.

The highlight of Strasz’s time in Italy was his homestay, another component of the program.

“It’s great practice for my Italian but also a wonderful way of getting to know some of the locals and really integrating into the culture,” he said.

Students interested in the Rome International Scholars Program can apply at