(UT affiliated) - The "Centro" is administered by Duke University; students take a double course on the history, topography, and monuments of Rome, and three other courses (Latin, Greek, Renaissance and Baroque Art History, and/or Elementary Italian). The program includes visits to the major archaeological sites and museums with wider-ranging trips to Campania, Tuscany and Sicily.


Kali Grable and Megan Miller

Kali Grable
Centro- Spring 2006
Megan Miller
Centro- Spring 2006


1. How exactly do classes transfer? What's available that's applicable to my major? Kali- There is a mandatory class called the City Course and it counts for 6 hours, and it can be counted as CC or AHC courses. The advanced courses in either Latin or Greek can be counted as an upper-division course and the intermediate courses can count as either LAT 312 or GK 312.

Megan- Classes transfer on a pass/fail basis. you can usually manipulate the title and number of the class to satisfy the requirements you need them to fill. talk to whoever is in charge that year and bring cookies.
2. How much of Rome/Italy were you able to experience?

Kali- The best part about the Centro is that the program is designed for field
experience. One day you learn about an archaeological site in lecture, and
then the next, you go out into the city of Rome and see it for yourself. And,
there are two one-week trips to Sicily and the region of Campania.

Megan- we get fridays off, so alot of travelling can be done over the weekends. the train system is very easy to use and understand and buses inside Rome are easy as well. I stayed in the country the entire time and had alot of fun going all over.

3. Did you enjoy fraternizing with the other students?

Kali- One of the best experiences that I took away from the Centro was the friends that I had made. These students are some of the best undergrad Classicists in the nation, so it was enjoyable to exchange ideas and experiences with eachother. I still keep in contact with a handful of the friends that I made
during my semester at the Centro.

Megan- you'd better. the living situation is dorm style and the rooms are small. you get to know people really well, and its great now to have friends at colleges across the country.

4. How frequently did you visit museums, sites, etc... for your classes?

Kali- Every Tuesday is a full-day field trip, and it either consists of spending an
entire day in Rome, or taking short trips outside the city. Either Wednesday
or Monday is a half-day field trip which usually was spent in Rome. And of
course, there are the amazing one-week trips to Sicily and Campania. Our group also took a weekend trip to Ravenna, which no group had done before. The professors pretty much dictate which sites are to be visited and which ones are to be missed, so every semester varies slightly when it comes to the field trips.

Megan- tuesday = field trip outside of Rome day, and museums are scattered throughout the week

5. How heavy is the work load?

Kali- The class schedule is only made after the director knows what every student is taking. I ended up having a seemingly heavy workload because my language classes were only on Mon. and Wed. and on Tues. we would always have a full-day field trip, so it seemed like I was doing a ton of work on that Tues. night to prepare for Wed. classes. Then, we would have a light day of the City course on Thurs. and I had Fri. off, so in reality I had plenty of time to prepare for classes the following week but I chose to play in the city of Rome or take long weekend trips to other countries in Europe. It wasn't a workload to get stressed over.

Megan- pretty intense, especially if you take both languages. they still expect you to treat this as a regular semester, even though we did most of our studying in a small italian cafe down the street.

6. How difficult is it to get financial aide? What are my options other than FAFSA? Try getting aid through the program, and UT also offers some help for study abroad students.

Kali- I did not get any financial aid, even after I heard that the Centro gives money willingly. There is a form that a financial advisor at UT needs to fill out,
and that is how the Centro determines if a student needs aid. I would suggest
sitting down with a financial aid advisor in person to discuss money, because I
didn't and the advisor just wrote to the Centro that I could pay for the program
in loans. I didn't realize this until after I had already accepted admission.
It was still worth it even though I have so many loans!


7. How much is the program and what is included?

Kali-The actual program is $18,567.50. This price includes tuition, a room, every meal for weekdays, montly bus passes, all travel expenses for the field trips including charter buses and hotels for the week long trips. This price does
not include the price of books, weekend meals, airfare, passport/visa, or any
other miscellaneous cost. The Centro estimates this extra cost at $4000-4500.
I didn't keep track of how much extra I spent, but I do know that a plane ticket
from TX to Rome is always around $1500. I've been there three different times
and I've never found anything cheaper. It doesn't mean that low prices are not
out there!

Megan- its plenty, i don't remember exactly, look at the website. housing and food on the weekdays is included as well as museum fees and transportation on fieldtrips. you also get a monthly bus pass for Rome

8. How much background do you need to have before you get there? Any class prereqs?

Kali- You have to be a sophomore with at least a 3.0 GPA, and you have to take at least one of the language courses in either Latin or Greek.

Megan- no pre reqs technically, but it is helpful to have an intro to rome course under your belt. language-wise, you can't be just starting a language, be atleast at a 312 level for the intermediate level they offer, and be prepared for a 365 level if you take the advanced courses.

9. Do I need to learn Italian?

Kali- No, but there is a beginning course offered.

Megan- nope, but if you want to they offer it. learn words like "vor-ei" and "doe-ve" (i'd like...{pizza} and where is...{museo})

10. How hard is it to get in?

Kali- The competition is fierce. The Centro has an established reputation as one of the top study abroad programs for undergrads studying Classics. UT students
have a great chance of getting in because of UT's stellar reputation in the
Classics world, so don't let this deter you!

Megan- not to hard if you are from texas and have a good essay and good rec letters. it isn't a guarentee, but you should still apply

11. What essentials should I bring with me?

Kali- Definitely some warm, winter clothes including a heavy/snow jacket, beanie, gloves that still allow you to write, long underwear, and some hiking shoes. The program ends in mid-May and I was still wearing pants by then (with t-shirts), so I wouldn't focus too much on summery clothes. If you plan on taking trips over the weekend to other countries be aware in advance of what kind of weather they will be experiencing (like Berlin in Feb.!). And, rain
gear since so much time is spent ouside on the field trips. Also, all
toiletries can be purchased in Rome so I would suggest not weighing down your bag with full bottles of products, unless you just have to have some brand
name. Just pack little travel-sized toiletries so that you can have a few days
to adjust and find the nearest grocery store. And the one thing that I regret
most is not taking any DVDs, but this can only be done if you are taking your
own laptop since Italy has a different region for DVDs. Remember, you will be
in Rome, one of the fashion capitals of the world, and they even have specialty
stores with high end hair/skin products that cannot be purchased in the US.
Pack as light as you can without sacrificing the essentials. Airlines allow
two bags up to 50 pounds each, but you have to carry that! And you have to
think about having such a load if you plan to travel afterwards. The Centro
will hold stuff for you after the program is over, but you have to get back to
Rome to pick it up. Oh, and you have to bring the required books with you, so
that adds extra weight.

Megan- gloves, a coat, galoshes, a hat, really you can get everything you need there (you aren't going to a third world country) and they provide bedding and towels.

12. What would you consider the "Highlights" of CENTRO?

Kali- Sicily and Campania! Spending 10 hours in Pompeii is an experience I won't soon forget. The Centro is even reputable in Italy and we get to go to places where the general public doesn't have access. For example, in Pompeii most of the houses are closed but we got to go inside them while tourists were standing on the outside. And, only 10 permits/year are given out to climb the column of Trajan and the Centro has 2 of them (for each semester). There too many examples like this to explain here. And, don't forget the wonderful meals!
You will gain weight. It's inevitable but sooooooo worth it.

Megan- the pingpong table in the courtyard, franco, sicily, campagnia, the food, the city, italy in general

13. I need more info, can I contact you with more questions since you have actually been through the program? Kali Grable- kgrable@mail.utexas.edu
Megan Miller- megan_miller@mail.utexas.edu