Undergraduate students apply for the Ricci Scholars Program in the Fall Semester of their sophomore year. Those selected as Scholars are notified in January, and the newly named Scholars participate in a special preparatory session during the Spring Semester.
The Ricci Scholars begin the Fall Semester of their junior year at Loyola’s own campus: the John Felice Rome Center in Italy, and spend the spring semester in China at The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies. During this year, the Scholars may study Chinese and Italian, participate in travel excursions, explore both cultures and their histories, and work on their intercultural research projects with the assistance of faculty and other experts from Chicago, Rome and Beijing.
Ricci Scholars return to Loyola’s Chicago campus for their senior year presentation as the final phase of the program. The inaugural group of five Ricci Scholars began their studies in Rome in Fall 2007.
The following provides further detail about key aspects of the Ricci Scholars Program.
Academic credit and designation: Students who successfully complete all aspects of the program will receive a total of 6 credit hours for their completed project and for participation in program seminars. At graduation, they will be specially designated as Ricci Scholars.
RomeSemester: Students spend the Fall Semester at the John Felice Rome Center where Loyola has been educating undergraduates since 1962. Among the largest study abroad programs in Western Europe, the Rome Center is a fully equipped American campus, located on Monte Mario, 20 minutes north of Vatican City and Rome’s city center. At the Rome Center, Scholars may study Italian and come to better understand European culture through courses and guided travel. For more information about the Rome Center, visit: LUC.edu/romecenter.
BeijingSemester: Ricci Scholars spend the Spring Semester of their junior year in Beijing, China, where Loyola University Chicago supports The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies (TBC). Established in 1998, TBC provides students from Jesuit universities and other institutions with premier comprehensive education about China. TBC professors include some of China’s best faculty from Peking and Tsinghua universities. While at TBC, Ricci Scholars may study Chinese, and travel around China, learning about its institutions and rich history. For more about TBC, visit: LUC.edu/studyabroad/beijing.shtml.
Faculty involvement: The Ricci Scholars program is student-focused and takes a developmental approach to study abroad. This means that students are not dropped into a “foreign” culture for a period of time and brought home at some later date. Ricci Scholars receive preparation as sophomores, before leaving the U.S. The program also offers assistance with language acquisition, guides students through the travel component in their junior year, and helps them as seniors to complete their project presentations. Designated faculty in Rome and in Beijing coordinate student research and immersion activities in Beijing and Rome, and organize a seminar for participants to thematically link the two semesters.
Research projects: Ricci Scholars will be expected to prepare an intercultural research proposal; work with a faculty mentor; and conduct a portion of their research onsite in Rome and Beijing. Students will be encouraged to choose a topic related to their majors with the aim of being able to explore a significant question or thesis on both continents and in both cultures during their junior year abroad. Research proposals may be for a paper, a portfolio or other creative project consonant with undergraduate curricular options at Loyola University Chicago.
Research and academic support: In addition to the sophomore year preparatory session before their year abroad, Scholars can also take advantage of classes in Mandarin Chinese and Italian while in Beijing and Rome. Supported by designated faculty, Ricci Scholars receive personal assistance in developing internships and research projects and topics. As seniors, returning Scholars serve as peer mentors to sophomores beginning the Ricci Scholar program.
Scholarship coverage: The Ricci Scholarship covers the following costs: One roundtrip ticket for a group flight between Chicago and Rome; and one roundtrip ticket/group flight between Chicago and Beijing. Also included: research assistance; research-related travel while in Rome and Beijing; and faculty support. Ricci Scholars are expected to pay tuition and room and board at Loyola University Chicago during their junior year, adjusted according to rates for the Rome Center and The Beijing Center. Normally, institutional aid from Loyola University Chicago as well as financial assistance apply to enrollment at the Rome Center and The Beijing Center.