Loyola University Chicago

Ricci Scholars

Ricci Scholars

The Ricci Scholars Program offers an unparalleled study-abroad, immersion and global scholarship opportunity for highly motivated students. The program awards selected students with scholarships for travel, research and exploration during a junior year of study divided between two of the world’s most important cities: Rome, Italy, and Beijing, China.

As students of Loyola University Chicago, Ricci Scholars spend the Fall Semester at Loyola’s own John Felice Rome Center and the Spring Semester at The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies. Through their two-semester immersion, Ricci Scholars may learn Chinese and Italian, participate in travel excursions, study both cultures and their histories, and engage in academic research to develop individual projects. A sophomore year introductory session prepares Scholars for the year of study abroad.

Upon their return, Scholars complete their individual research projects and present their work to the university community and to the next group of Ricci Scholars.

Inspired by the cross-cultural travel and research of the program’s namesake, Matteo Ricci, S.J., and other early Jesuits, this distinctive program seeks to:

  • Enhance a capacity for scholarship through the student’s year-long, in-depth research project conducted with scholars and faculty in Chicago and abroad.
  • Encourage students at U.S. Jesuit universities to understand multiple world cultures and values, and to become integrally involved in global issues.
  • Build for both the private and public sectors a cadre of future leaders who have lived abroad, and worked and studied alongside foreign experts.

The Ricci Scholars program invites applications from high-achieving sophomores who have demonstrated academic success with a strong grade point average and a compelling proposal for a Ricci Scholar project.

  • Application deadline: Mid-November
  • Winners announced:  Early January
  • Ricci Scholars program begins the following Fall Semester in Rome, Spring Semester in Beijing

Who is Matteo Ricci, S.J.?

Led by St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, the early Jesuits studied and taught throughout the world, creating a distinctive tradition of learning and appreciation for distant cultures and beliefs. Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci (1552-1610) was one of the first Jesuit scholars to enter China, where he lived for nearly three decades, gaining unprecedented access to the country’s culture and technology.

His experience in China, along with his scientific and philosophical writings, made him a key figure of the late Renaissance, responsible for bringing centuries of civilization and culture of the Confucian East to the attention of the Christian West.