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Want to study in Rome? There's a meeting for that.

09/06/2012

The history department's Dr. Donald Prudlo wants to open up the world to JSU students. He, along with Dr. Paul Beezly, will lead a study abroad in Rome, Italy next year.

An interest meeting will be held Sept. 25 and there are a limited number of seats available.

"We have a lot of interest and I want to make sure people are able to have a chance if they really want to go," said Prudlo. "When we have the meeting, we'll have a lotttery. Because I want to be fair."

Students will spend three weeks in May 2013 getting credit for HY 399: History Study Abroad. Every weekday morning there will be guided tours.

"And so we go through, generally chronologically, through history, from ancient history, the Roman monarchy, the Roman Republic, through the period of the barbarian invasions, and then the Middle Ages, Christian history in Rome, the Rennaissance, all the way up to Mussolini and the 20th century," said Prudlo.

The group will take a break in the afternoon, just as the Italians do, followed by an hour of reading and discussing source texts.

"So we sit around and discuss maybe a report of the Roman republic from Cicero, or look at one of Mussolini's speeches or something like that," he said. "And through the three weeks we take the students on a 3,000-year tour through history."

This course is offered every two years, originating in 2007 and the first full group visiting in 2011.

Senior Christine Cunningham was part of the 2011 trip and describes it as "absolutely amazing".

"The Italians have a totally different lifestyle over there," she said, "and it really just opened my eyes to a different way of viewing life."

Students will stay in an apartment-style hotel approximately three blocks from the Vatican and right next to the Metro. This is unique to European travel, explained Prudlo, in that students will have a two- or three-person room with a private bathroom, as well as air conditioner and internet access.

"They also have a kitchenette. So we want to encourage them to cook for themselves," he said.

"Go to the market, get some of the local experience, too, instead of having some pre-packaged holiday where we feed them and take them everywhere. We want them to experience the culture as well as the history."

In fact, the group will hold only three group dinners during its three weeks. Evenings are free, as well as weekends.

"Lots of free time-we've built that into the trip," said Prudlo.

"What we do is we leave on a Tuesday and we get back on a Tuesday. This means that they're going to have three weekends."

In the past, students have used this free time to visit Florence, Pompeii, Naples and Venice.

A few even choose to arrive early or leave late to travel outside of Italy.

"The class is designed where you have a ton of free time to go exploring on your own," said Cunningham, "but I still swear that I have never learned so much in my life."

The cost of the trip is $2,600, which includes boarding, entrance fees, unlimited inter-Rome transport and two group meals.

Students are responsible for airfare, travel documents, insurance, food, JSU May tuition and miscellaneous expenses.

"We try to keep the cost as low as possible for them," said Prudlo. "Because I've spent so much time in Rome and built relationships, it is considerably cheaper."

Prudlo said other university trips average about $4,000 or more.

Almost thirty people have expressed interest in the trip, and only 15-18 seats are available.

The interest meeting will be Sept. 25 at 4:30 p.m. in Stone Center Room 326. A lottery will be drawn at that time.

"We really want to focus on opening up the world a little to JSU students because there's not too many opportunities for that," said Prudlo.

"I can't wait to go back," Cunningham said. "It was an incredible adventure that I will never forget."

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