Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you are more than welcome to attend and take one of the three courses for credit. In fact, we encourage students from other institutions to enroll in these courses. The mix of students and variety of perspectives provides a strong and healthy course environment. We recommend that you check with the program director at your home institution to be sure that the course will transfer. We can supply the course syllabus, the reading list, and other information that your home institution might need.

Absolutely! This program is designed not only for graduate students but for any adult who has an interest in the topic(s) and is willing to audit the course. The tours are especially attractive for those who are not working on a degree. Keep in mind that graduate students will have homework, reading assignments, and a final paper. Auditors are not required to do that work. Of course, this is also a less expensive option. The audit fee is 50% of the graduate tuition rate.

If you are taking a course for credit or audit, you may be joined by a spouse, partner, friend, or family member, who pays the program fee. That second person does not need to take a course for credit or audit, but is welcome to do so. If the second person does not take the course for credit or audit, s/he is not allowed to sit in class, but can join the tours.

For those taking the course for credit, homework may be assigned and due before the trip. A final paper will be due in early August. We do not want you holed up in a room while you are in Rome. When we are in Rome, the city will be our text. We will be soaking up the atmosphere, text, and life of the city and its environs. There will be time before and after our trip for reflection and writing of papers. Check your syllabus for more details.

"Group meals" (usually one a day, other than weekends) will be spent together in various locations and paid for by the fees.  The meals in the city that we have on tour days are “fixed” and will not require ordering from a menu. We will simply walk into the restaurant and the wait staff will begin serving bread, wine, water, appetizers, etc. These meals are designed to be a true experience of Roman dining, and would be difficult to achieve on one’s own. We can plan to spend about two hours over lunch in the city on our tour days. It’s all part of the educational experience!  Please let us know of any dietary restrictions in advance.

Rome is a walking city. Each of the tour days will involve walking from one site to another, even though we may be using public transportation. Past participants have noted that Italy does not have the equivalent of the “Americans with Disabilities Act.” That is to say, sometimes stairs are the only way up or down into a church or other site. Though the hotel and the campus have elevators, they are uncommon in the city. Also, the cobblestone streets of Rome can be uneven or difficult to navigate. Be prepared to walk at least thirty minutes or more each day. If you have any concerns about the amount of walking required, consult your physician.

We encourage all participants (faculty and students) to stay with the group in our booked lodging.  Oftentimes we gather socially before or after events.  If for some reason you choose to stay elsewhere, we will deduct $400 from the program fee. Know that you will be responsible for getting yourself to class and tour sites on time. We may not be able to wait for you to begin a tour.

Unfortunately no, that is not possible. The John Felice Rome Center does not offer guest housing on campus for visitors.

You are welcome to come to Italy as early as you like and stay as long as you like. We ask only that you arrive at the booked accommodations on the date of check-in and depart on the date of check out.

The accommodations are included in your program fee. Any additional costs you incur at the places of residence (phone calls, additional meals, room service) will be your responsibility.  The housing varies depending on program, and may include renovated convents, academic centers, or more modern hotels.  All are clean and thoroughly well vetted by our staff and faculty on the ground in Rome. The airfare is your responsibility.

In our experience, many adults who travel to Rome prefer to be on their own during periods of time. Class days will normally end at 4 p.m. when participants are free to walk the neighborhood, go into the city for site-seeing, theater, opera, or other night life. When tour days conclude we will often find ourselves in the heart of the city. Some may want to return to the accommodations, but many others take advantage of being in Rome to explore the city and find a pleasant place for dinner or further site-seeing. We will be in the city for ten days and we will certainly not exhaust everything there is to do in Rome -- "One lifetime is not enough," the locals say. These free periods are an ideal way for you to weigh your own priorities and do what is most important to you.  We have lightened schedules on the weekends, but do include group site visits on some of these days.

Congratulations! We are so glad you’ll be joining us in Rome. To facilitate the flow of communication with all of our Rome participants, we have developed a web-based “Sakai” site. Only those going on this year’s program who have paid their registration fee have access to that site. It is a venue that we use to share additional information. Participants can get to know each other, or even coordinate travel, flights, or evening and weekend trips. The website is here

Refunds may be available for tuition based on standard add/drop/withdrawal policies. But due to the commitments and advanced planning we make on your behalf (hotels, tickets, reservations, etc.) the program fee (also referred to as base cost) is non-refundable. If you are concerned about whether your circumstances might prevent you from going, we encourage you to explore trip insurance with a reputable provider.