Dartmouth's Foreign Studies Program in Greece

The Classics Rome Foreign Study Program in Rome

For over thirty years the Dartmouth Classics Department has offered a unique academic program of study and travel in Italy. During a regular fall academic quarter, fifteen students and a Dartmouth professor explore the history and archaeology of Etruscan and Roman Italy. The students themselves are a mix of sophomores, juniors, seniors. Some are majors in Classics. Others have demonstrated their interest in the ancient Roman world through preparatory coursework undertaken in Hanover.

The museums, archaeological sites, and landscape of Italy serve as our classrooms during the term. Most lecturing takes place on site. Students begin by examining the important prehistoric cultures of Italy. They continue with a survey of Etruscan culture. This leads to a study of Republican and Imperial Rome, and, finally, the development of Early Christian monuments in Italy.

The students work hard during the program. A short day begins at 8:30 and ends four or five hours later. During our field trips we often study together until dusk. Every two weeks or so the students submit essays on topics introduced in the field. Each student prepares and delivers formal oral reports ranging from five minutes to an hour or more in length. At the end of the program each student submits a final written project written on a topic that was defined and approved before leaving for Italy.

While the Dartmouth program is based in Rome, three extensive field trips permit visits to dozens of sites and museums the provinces of Italy. Our first trip explores Etruscan Tuscany. Our second excursion is focused on the ruins and museums of the Bay of Naples, home to famous sites like Pompeii and Herculaneum. Our last field trip takes us to the north, where we study early Christian Ravenna, Palladian architecture in Verona and Vicenza, and the Renaissance churches of Florence.

Alumni of the Rome FSP program have told us that the experience of study and travel in Italy counted among the most valuable of their Dartmouth years. Each program differs from its predecessor. We always discover something new, not only about the ancient Roman world, but about ourselves as well. This year, for the first time, we have implemented this website that we hope will impart some of this sense of discovery to parents, family members, and friends.

- Prof. Roger Ulrich, FSP director, Fall 2003