Ricci candidates begin the fall semester of their junior year conducting research on the “West” and “East” utilizing resources at Loyola's John Felice Rome Center (JFRC), then a destination in Asia. During this two-semester program, Ricci candidates may participate in travel excursions, explore both cultures and their histories, and work on their intercultural research projects with the assistance of faculty from Chicago, Rome, and an Asian destination.
Ricci candidates return to Loyola’s Chicago campus for their senior year to complete a one-credit course preparing their final presentation for Loyola's Weekend of Excellence, a student celebration of achievements, in the final phase of the program. Upon completion of the program, they are designated as Ricci Scholars. The inaugural group of five Ricci Scholars began their studies in Rome in fall 2007.
Key aspects of the Ricci Scholarship Program
Academic credit and designation: Students who successfully complete all aspects of the program (UNIV 301, UNIV 302, UNIV 340) will earn a total of 7 credit hours for their completed project and for participation in program seminars. At graduation, they will be specially designated as Ricci Scholars if they have successfully completed the requirements of the program.
Fall Semester (“West”): Students spend the fall semester at the JFRC where Loyola has been educating undergraduates since 1962. Among Western Europe's largest study abroad programs, the JFRC is a well-equipped American center located on Monte Mario, 20 minutes north of Vatican City and 30 minutes from Rome’s historic city center. At the JFRC, Ricci candidates may study Italian and come to understand European culture more thoroughly through courses and guided travel. Students will be taking Ricci Seminar UNIV 301 in the fall.
Spring Semester (“East”): Ricci candidates spend the spring semester of their junior year at a destination in Asia. Since COVID-19, in 2020, the “East” course was taught online, with a special trip to Vietnam when permitted and possible. Students will be taking Ricci Seminar UNIV 302 in the spring.
Faculty involvement: Ricci candidates receive preparation as sophomores before leaving the U.S., including being certified by the Institutional Review Board. 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 Italy and in the Asia destination coordinate student research and immersion activities in the respective cities. The students take a one-credit course (UNIV 340) back in Chicago to thematically link the two semesters, which will be presented at Loyola's Weekend of Excellence (URES).
Research projects: Ricci candidates will be expected to prepare an intercultural research proposal, work with a faculty mentor, and conduct a portion of their research onsite on the “East” and “West”. Students will be encouraged to choose a topic related to their majors to explore a significant question or thesis on “East” versus “West” during their junior year abroad. Research proposals may be for a paper, a portfolio, or other creative project in consonance with undergraduate curricular options at Loyola University Chicago.
Research and academic support: Supported by program supervisors in Rome and Ho Chi Min City, Ricci candidates receive personal assistance in developing research projects and topics. Candidates can also take advantage of classes in the country's respective languages. As seniors, returning candidates serve as peer mentors to sophomores beginning the Ricci Scholarship program.
Candidateship coverage: The Ricci Scholarship Program covers one roundtrip flight between Chicago and Rome and (tentatively) one roundtrip flight between Chicago and a destination in Asia Also included are a stipend of $750 per semester and faculty support. Students will pay tuition and room and board at Loyola University Chicago during their junior year, according to rates for the John Felice Rome Center and, if open, the destination in Asia.