For the first time since COVID-19, five Temple University academic advisors and five study abroad representatives from partner U.S. universities visited Temple University Rome (TUR) from June 11th-17th to get a taste of student life at TUR. Their visit better equipped them for advising students studying abroad.
“This being my first trip to Rome gave me a real-life experience through the eyes of a student to see what being there is like and how very well supported Temple campuses are around the world.”Sue Stirling, senior academic advisor, Temple’s College of Public Health.
Other visiting Temple advisors came from the College of Science and Technology, Fox School of Business, Klein College of Media and Communication, and Tyler School of Art and Architecture. Partner institutions represented included Colorado College, DePauw University, Duke University, Lafayette College and University of Puget Sound.
The advisors toured Temple Rome, met with faculty and staff such as Dean Emilia Zankina, who is also the vice provost for Global Engagement at Temple, Associate Dean Patrick Murphy, and the Student Life Team. They also joined a simulated orientation, a mini-Italian lesson, excursions to historical sites and classes taught by TUR professors, and activities such as a cooking class and wine tasting.
Stirling, like many of the other advisors, brought back from this trip a better understanding of the curriculum that they can share with their team in Philadelphia. Also important to them was seeing firsthand how welcoming the campus is to the LGBTQ+ community. They believe being aware of what traveling abroad is like for someone from this community and seeing how they would be treated provided essential information to help them ensure the continued diversity of Temple Rome.
The recommendations of visiting advisors have long influenced TUR’s campus growth. Fifty-five years ago, the Rome Campus’s academic focus was limited to Temple’s Tyler School art program. Now, the university provides a wide range of courses.
According to Zuri Jones, Temple education abroad manager of advising and outreach, currently, courses have expanded to nine different academic areas. These include Architecture and Urban Studies; Business; Humanities and Social Studies (including Italian Language and Culture); Media and Communication; Sport, Tourism and Hospitality; STEM: Biology and Engineering; Visual Arts; Health Professions; and Cinematic and Performing Arts. Jones along with Temple’s Education Abroad Associate Director of Academics and Outreach, Suzanne Willever, accompanied the group.
As advisors have done before, being on the ground in Rome enabled this group of advisors to contribute new ideas for Temple Rome’s expansion.
“I would love to see homestays brought back at some point in the future, as that is such a terrific intercultural learning and relationship-building option for students,” said Heather Powell Browne, assistant director of Global Education at Colorado College.
Homestays allow students to stay with a local family in that country for a more immersive experience.
Powell Browne expressed how glad she was when Temple reached out to Colorado College about participating. Over the years, despite sending many students to Temple Rome, she had never been there herself.
As an advisor working with 150+ different programs and study abroad locations/experiences, going to Temple Rome helped her understand the student perspective on the ground and added to her mind’s “matchmaking” database so that she can better help students find the right program for themselves.
Hopefully, now she will be even more likely to recommend Temple Rome. “The program has evolved a lot over time, but the core of this program remains the signature warmth and support from staff, something that visiting advisors got to experience firsthand,” said Willever.
By Jadyn Amelia Howard, communications intern ’22-’23
Header photo provided by Suzanne Willever