Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center


Tentative Plans to Reopen in Fall 2021

Tentative Plans to Reopen in Fall 2021


April 14, 2021

The Office of Global and Community Engagement is pleased to announce that LUC is moving forward with plans to reopen the JFRC in the fall 2021 semester. This decision has been informed with input and insight from LUC and JFRC leadership and public health experts, using the most recent available data to forecast the conditions that will make study abroad at the JFRC safe and feasible. During the current semester, a special task force was established and has given careful consideration to the reopening of the campus. The task force also recognizes that this decision is based on current information and that the planning and operation of the fall 2021 semester at the JFRC may be subject to modification.

The health and safety of the JFRC campus and the surrounding communities in Rome are the paramount concern of LUC as we plan to resume study abroad at the JFRC. To promote protective health and safety standards, LUC will require all students to be fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to arriving in Rome. Students, faculty, and staff will also be required to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing provided on location at the JFRC. In addition to LUC health and safety guidelines, all Italian protocols and guidelines related to international travel, quarantine, COVID-19 testing, tracing, social distancing, and the use of face coverings and masks will be enforced. In order to provide a safe student residential environment, the JFRC will be limiting all housing to single occupancy rooms on the campus during the fall 2021 semester.

The fall 2021 semester will employ two teaching modalities. Classes will be held remotely and solely in the online modality from August 30 to September 13. Students must plan to arrive in Rome on September 16 to participate in an onsite orientation (Sept 16-19), either in quarantine or in person, as permitted by Italian health guidelines at that time. Classes will recommence on September 20 and phase into the in-person modality as soon as permitted. A Fall break is scheduled for October 15-17. The final day of class is scheduled on November 24, to be followed by Thanksgiving break (Nov 25-28). Final exams will be held from November 29 to December 2. Checkout and departure from the JFRC will be on December 3 and 4. Unlike students attending JFRC in previous semesters, students traveling to Italy will not need to procure a student visa because their stay will not exceed 90 days. Rome Start students who plan to study in Rome during the fall 2021 and spring 2022 semesters will still need to procure a visa. Additional visa guidance will be provided to admitted students as the fall semester nears or as additional visa information becomes available. During the fall semester students will only be allowed to travel within Italy, as permitted by local and regional guidelines.

The Office of Global and Community Engagement will continue to monitor all circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the vaccination rollout in Rome and in Italy. While students are encouraged to plan for a fall 2021 semester abroad in Rome at the JFRC, they will be informed on or before June 15, 2021, of definitive plans to reopen the campus. Students will need to make back-up plans for the fall semester in Chicago with their academic advisors in the event that they are not permitted to travel to Italy in September. LUC recognizes that the normal study abroad experience will be altered as the JFRC reopens. The university remains confident that students will have a meaningful and impactful experience in their classes, with onsite visits to historic and cultural locations in and around Rome, with organized activities, and with visits to cultural sites in Italy. 

Together in Loyola,

D. Scott Hendrickson, SJ, DPhil

Associate Provost for Global and Community Engagement