Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center

Frequently Asked Questions

All Things Rome Center

What is the John Felice Rome Center?

The John Felice Rome Center (JFRC) is the oldest, continuing U.S. university program in Rome. Today, its campus spans five acres and sits atop Monte Mario, Rome's highest hill. Each semester, the JFRC is home to over 220 students, while collectively around 125 students spend summer sessions in Rome. Additionally, there is a wide variety of faculty-led, short-term programs, both from Loyola and other universities that use the center as a base during the summer.

Who is John Felice?

John P. Felice was the founder of the Loyola University Rome Center. After serving in the British armed forces during World War II, the Malta native, entered the Jesuit order and was assigned to teach theology at Loyola University Chicago.

His dream of a campus where American students could live and study abroad was realized in 1962 when he brought the first class of students to Rome. He served as its director until 1973. Shortly thereafter he left the priesthood. However, he remained continuously associated with the Rome Center throughout his life, first as a "consultant" and then returning in various administrative positions, finally returning as director in the late 1980s.

In December 2004, Loyola President Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., rededicated the center to its founder, John Felice. Learn more about John Felice.

Is the JFRC an accredited university?

Yes, the John Felice Rome Center is one of Loyola University Chicago's Global Centers. For students from our partnering institutions (non-LUC), this means that your transcripts for the session you choose to study in will come from Loyola Chicago.

Loyola is a Jesuit institution- what does that mean?

Loyola's faculty, staff and students come from all faiths and backgrounds, but together, we strive toward the same goal: being people for and with others. As a part of Loyola University Chicago, the JFRC continues the Jesuit Catholic tradition of excellence in education and recognizes extraordinary lives by looking for evidence of the following characteristics:

  • Commitment to excellence
  • Faith in God and the religious experience
  • Values-based leadership
  • Service that promotes justice
  • Global awareness

Learn more about the Society of Jesus, founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola.



How can I contact the JFRC?

By phone:

If you are contacting the Rome campus directly, the local Italian phone number is 06.355.881. If dialing from the U.S., dial: If you would like to learn more about studying at the JFRC, please contact one of our representatives.

By e-mail:

Please send inquiries to the rome@luc.edu e-mail. 

I do not attend Loyola Chicago. Will a JFRC representative be visiting my campus?

Our JFRC representatives visit campuses across the U.S. They participating in college study abroad fairs and can host an informational table/session at partnering instituions. To see if a representative is visiting your school, please reach refer to our contact e-mail above!

What is the JFRC's address? Can I send packages to the JFRC?

Our address is Via Massimi 114/A, 00136 Roma, Italia. Students receive letters, postcards and small packages from loved ones, however, we do not recommend sending large packages, technological or pharmaceutical products (i.e. computers, cameras, toothpaste, contact lens solution, any prescribed medication) to Rome. There is often a hefty required tax on them once they arrive in Italy and students may even have to go claim them in person at customs at the Fiumicino airport. 

Where is the campus located?

The JFRC campus, which has served as the home of the JFRC for almost 50 years, is located in the Balduina neighborhood of the Monte Mario district. This affluent Italian neighborhood, located in the northwest corner of the city on top of the “eighth” hill of Rome, has become a part of the JFRC community and experiences. Although primarily residential, students will find parks, elementary schools, soccer fields, supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, and pharmacies in Balduina.

What services are available to me on campus?

  • Our American-style campus will provide many of the same services as your home institution, however, bear in mind, this may be on a smaller-scale than you may be used to. Our reception desk is staffed 24/7, providing bus tickets and taxi services, in addition to serving as the safety and security hub for the campus.
  • There is Wi-Fi access throughout the campus. Our buildings include smart classrooms, the residence hall, the mensa (cafeteria), library, palestra (gym) and common areas, including a cafe. To get a better picture of what your home on a hill looks like, please take our virtual tour.

What kind of housing is offered to students?

All students are required to live on campus in the residence hall. All of the housing offered is double occupancy. Single room requests will only be considered for students with medical conditions who have properly registered for such accommodations through the LUC Student Accessibility Center a minimum of 90 days prior to the beginning of their term at the JFRC. Please note: single rooms are not guaranteed. 


What language are classes taught in?

As an American university, all courses are taught in English except for the Italian language courses.

What courses can I take while studying at the JFRC?

The JFRC offers a variety of more than 60 courses for the summer, semester, and full-year programs. Students can take courses in fine arts, business, classics, communication, film, history, literature, music, philosophy, political science, science, sociology, theology and more! Many of these courses can count towards the Loyola "core," or general graduation requirements, as well as certain major/minor electives. Classes are held on campus, but more than half of our offered courses have on-site components, which means classes will travel off-campus, into the city. 

I am not a Loyola Chicago student. How do I get my courses approved?

All visiting students should speak to their home institutions Study Abroad Office or review their website to learn the procedure for course approvals.  Usually, you will need to provide a course description or syllabus to a Faculty or Dean for approval.  If this is the case you will find our courses on the Courses webpage.  If you need assistance please contact rome@luc.edu.

Does the JFRC offer internships?

Yes. An internship is a great way to take full advantage of your time in Rome, to hone your Italian language skills, and to gain work experience in a cross-cultural setting. Interns take part in a special 3 credit internship class, for which the JFRC Internship Coordinator serves as professor. Internships are currently available only during the academic semesters. No language skills are required, but some prior foundational knowledge of Italian increases placement opportunities. For more information, click here.

What are the requirements to attend the JFRC?

Students need to: 

  • be at least 18 years old by the program start date and have earned at least 12 semester hours of credit
  • be in possession of a valid passport, or a receipt verifying application for a passport
    • while a receipt verifying application for, or renewal of a passport may be used to issue a decision about admission to the program, a copy of the actual valid passport must later be uploaded to an accepted student's online application in order for that student to be eligible to register for classes
  • be in good disciplinary and academic standing (a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale). Once admitted, students must remain in good standing in order to participate in the program. 
    • Applicants with a GPA that falls belwo the minimum requirement must submit, along with their application, a personal statement, explaining
      • why their GPA is below the minimum requirement
      • their reasons for wanting to study abroad
      • how they feel they'd benefit academically and personally from the JFRC program
    • Preference will be given to those students who show an upward trend in their GPA
    • Students who apply with a GPA below the requirement are considered on a case-by-case basis and admission is not guaranteed

Can I apply to the JFRC without a passport?

All students must have a valid passport to travel to Rome. All non-EU citizens must get a study visa to study in Rome for a semester or full-year. The team based in Chicago will help guide students through this process. Summer students do not need a visa, but still are required to have a valid passport. 

Do I need to take Italian before going to Rome?

No, students are not required to take an Italian class before going to Rome, however; if you are a semester student and you have not taken Italian before going to Rome, you must enroll in Italian 101 and complete the course during your semester. Summer students are not required to take Italian as a language class. 

For more information regarding requirements and the application process, please visit the following:

When am I supposed to get to Rome?

The official move-in date for all sessions will be listed in our academic calendar. Students are expected to arrive on this particular date no later than 4pm, as mandatory registration and orientation activities begin immediately.

What if a student arrives to Rome before the official move-in day?

Students may not move into their rooms on campus until the official move-in day. If students are traveling independently and arrive in Rome earlier, they must arrange their own accommodations elsewhere (hotel, hostel, airbnb) until they are allowed on campus.

What kind of orientation is held? 

There will be a mandatory online pre-departure orientation for both Loyola Chicago students and students from partner institutions, who will need to complete an evaluation at the end of the module. For LUC students, there will be an optional on-campus, in-person session that students will be invited to attend, but will need to register for due to space limitations. Any student who shows up but failed to register beforehand will be turned away.

Upon arrival in Rome, the on-site orientation provides students with important information and activities that facilitate their adjustment to the program and their host country, including:

  • Opportunities to meet JFRC staff, faculty, resident advisors, and fellow students
  • Dinners at local pizzerie and restaurants
  • Explanations of JFRC community standards, facilities, and services
  • Tours of the local Balduina neighborhood and nearby Prati neighborhood
  • Presentations by the US Embassy, JFRC Student Life Team, JFRC Academic Affairs Team, JFRC Wellness Team, and JFRC Director
  • Explanation of optional Program Excursions
  • Completion of important immigration paperwork for the permesso di soggiorno, or permit to stay (a strict requirement of both the Italian government and the JFRC program)
  • Mass of the Holy Spirit at the Church of St. Ignatius and community dinner in the historic center of Rome
  • Day trip to a historic village outside of Rome
  • Day trip to and tour of a Roman neighborhood

Where can family and friends stay if they're visiting a student in Rome?

No guests are allowed to stay overnight at the JFRC (as noted in our guest policy in the JFRC Community Standards). Friends and family who are visiting students in Rome, can find a number of guest accommodations in Rome, both in the centro storico (historic center) and near the JFRC. 

What does Student Life look like?

At the Rome Center, there's plenty to keep you busy, from community dinners, to movie nights, to our own calcio (soccer) league. The Student Life staff regularly plans activities both on and off-campus. Some popular programs include:

  • outings to Roman neighborhoods and city markets
  • attending AS Roma soccer games
  • cooking classes and other gastronomic experiences
  • visits to tourist attractions off the beaten path, such as:
    • a virtual reality tour of the Baths of Caracalla
  • free excursions outside Rome, such as:
    • the International Chocolate Festival in Perugia
    • the celebration of Carnevale in Ronciglione
    • a visit to the Park of Monsters at Bomarzo
    • a visit to the "Dying City" of Civita di Bagnoregio
  • events, tastings, and aperitivos at local Balduina wineries, cafes, bakeries, and restaurants

Are there any student employment opportunities?

The JFRC offers a few paid opportunities on and around campus. 

  • Tutoring and babysitting in the neighborhood: a cultural and language exchange that allows students to become a part of the lives of our Balduina neighbors, while making a few extra euros
  • Library assistants: application will be available the first Monday of classes of each new semester
  • Student worker assistants to the Student Life Team

Can I volunteer or get involved in service work while in Rome?

Yes! Our Student Life staff works to help students find service opportunities in Rome. As one of the Jesuit core values, the JFRC can help serve the Balduina community they live in and the greater community of Rome. Additionally, some of our engaged learning courses have service-learning components.

What is the tuition cost for the JFRC?

The cost of the JFRC can be found under Costs & Scholarships.  Loyola Chicago students should speak to their financial aid advisors, all student aid will follow except for work study. Visiting students should speak to their study abroad advisors to confirm the program cost, as this may vary, and what other aid may apply. 

What is covered in the cost?

Each fall or spring semester includes:

  • tuition for 4-6 courses (12-18 credits)
  • room and board, including a meal plan for lunch and dinner when classes are in session
  • access to on-site staff
  • personal safety app for your cell phone
  • orientation
  • emergency medical and travel insurance

Each summer session includes:

  • tuition for 2 classes (6 credits)
  • room and board, including a meal plan that varies by program
  • access to on-site staff
  • personal safety app for your cell phone
  • day trips outside of Rome
  • emergency medical and travel insurance
  • **Fusion session participants: two weeks living in another region of Italy

What are some additional costs to consider?

  • Roundtrip flight to and from Rome ($700-$1500)
  • Study trips offered and led by JFRC staff throughout the semester, to be announced upon arrival ($35-$1500)
  • Books & class supplies ($200-$500/semester)
  • Taxi fare from the airport to the JFRC (around 60€)

What kind of insurance is required while studying in Rome?

All students will be automatically enrolled in a specialized medical insurance coverage plan for the duration of their program abroad. Insurance coverage is provided by Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). This plan is not intended to take the place of your primary health insurance, but to provide coverage specific to overseas travel.

Am I eligible for a scholarship?

There are various awards available for all students enrolled in an accredited U.S. institution who will be studying abroad at the JFRC. Please note that all scholarships are competitive and need-based. Please see our Scholarships page for eligibility requirements and applications. 

How much extra "spending" money should I bring?

This is a question we receive often and truthfully: it depends on a case-by-case basis. Remember: students are more likely to be going out to dinners more frequently than during a normal semester in the States, traveling throughout Italy and Europe, and participating in student activities (i.e. playing on the JFRC intramural soccer league) and shopping! We encourage students to take the extra step and doing some initial research. 


Students in Agropoli, Spring 2018.

If you have any more specific questions, please contact rome@luc.edu



Life in Rome

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