Loyola University Chicago

Ricci Scholars

Program Details

Program Details

The Ricci Scholars begin the Fall Semester of their junior year at Loyola’s own campus in Italy - the John Felice Rome Center, and spend the Spring Semester in Vietnam at the Loyola Vietnam Center. During this year, Ricci Scholars may study Vietnamese 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 Ho Chi Minh City.

Ricci Scholars return to Loyola’s Chicago campus for their senior year presentation in the final phase of the program. The inaugural group of five Ricci Scholars began their studies in Rome in Fall 2007.

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.

Rome Semester: Students spend the Fall Semester at the John Felice Rome Center (JFRC) where Loyola has been educating undergraduates since 1962. Among the largest study abroad programs in Western Europe, the Rome Center is a well-equipped American campus, located on Monte Mario, 20 minutes north of Vatican City and 30 minutes from Rome’s historic city center. At the JFRC, Ricci Scholars may study Italian and come to understand European culture more thoroughly through courses and guided travel. For more information about the John Felice Rome Center, visit: LUC.edu/rome.

Vietnam Semester: Ricci Scholars spend the Spring Semester of their junior year in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where Loyola University Chicago has a center. Established in 2011, the Loyola Vietnam Center (LVC) provides students from Jesuit universities and other institutions with premier comprehensive education about Vietnam and its fascinating story. LVC professors include some of Vietnam’s best faculty from local universities. While at LVC, Ricci Scholars may study Vietnamese language and culture, and travel on school-sponsored educational excursions throughout the island, learning about its institutions and rich history. For more about the Loyola Vietnam Center, visit: LUC.edu/vietnam

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 Italy and in Vietnam coordinate student research and immersion activities in Ho Chi Minh City 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 Ho Chi Minh City. 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: Supported by designated faculty, Ricci Scholars receive personal assistance in developing internships and research projects and topics. Scholars can also take advantage of classes in Vietnamese and Italian while in Ho Chi Minh City and Rome. 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 Vietnam. Also included: research assistance; research-related travel while in Italy and Vietnam; 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 John Felice Rome Center and the Loyola Vietnam Center. Generally, institutional aid from Loyola University Chicago as well as financial assistance will apply to enrollment at JFRC and LVC.