Experiencing Rome through Community-Engaged Learning

Author: Costanza Montanari

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The Rome Global Gateway in the Fall of 2021 inaugurated the first Community-Engaged Learning core course entitled Migration in Italy: Practical Perspectives from Rome.
This semester, 46 study abroad students attended the course led by prof. Gioacchino Campese, general director of Casa Scalabrini 634.

The course, which consisted of four appointments, offered a brief overview of the reality of migration in Italy complemented by the practical strategies of two non-governmental organizations in the city of Rome that have been welcoming and accompanying migrants and refugees on their journey toward integration.

“Experiencing Rome through Community-Engaged Learning has given me an enhanced viewpoint on migration in Italy and around the world” comments Joseph Vettoretti, Fall 2021 study abroad student in Rome. “Prior to taking this course, I had naively thought that my knowledge of migration was substantial. Being from Texas, I had heard many firsthand migration stories from Mexican migrants whom I am close with, so I felt that I was well-informed on the reality of migration. What I had not realized, however, was that I was only familiar with migration in America. Learning about migration in Italy has opened my mind to a whole new side of migration, giving me a far more comprehensive understanding of the subject.”

 The Community-Engaged Learning course aims at  introducing students to the complexity of human migration in the Italian context and to the practical approaches of Caritas Roma and Casa Scalabrini 634. It is designed to be a form of Experiential Learning that puts students in direct contact with some aspect of  migration in Italy. In this way, students receive information from community experts who find value in educating students and raising awareness around the issue.

“I truly enjoy the title of this course; I think it is quite fitting,” added Matthew Adamo, Fall 2021 study abroad student in Rome. “From a Community-Engaged Learning experience, a student can certainly expect one thing: engagement. I believe that this course has provided true engagement more than any other class that I have previously enrolled in.”

“I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity I have been given to take the Migration in Italy: Practical Perspectives from Rome course and even more so for the wonderful impact this course and its teachings have had on me,” adds Vettoretti. “I truly feel as though this course, by exposing me to the authentic reality of migration, has helped me develop a stronger sense of empathy—something that has made me a better person and that will serve myself and others for the rest of my life.”

Learn more about undergraduate programs at the Rome Gateway.

 

Originally published by Costanza Montanari at rome.nd.edu on December 23, 2021.