Editors Note: This article was originally published in February 2014. The dates below have since been updated to reflect the deadlines for the 2015 version of the program.
For law students across the nation, it’s never too early to start preparing for the summer between their 1L and 2L years. At Temple Law School, one popular option for students is the Rome summer program, a five week summer semester run through the Temple Law Graduate and International Programs office. With the deadline to apply for the 2015 program approaching, we sat down with the Assistant Director of Graduate and International Programs Beatrice Raccanello to talk about the program’s Global Scholars course, housing, cost, and of course, food.
Temple Law: When did the Rome summer program start, and what was the original purpose of the program?
Beatrice Raccanello: The program started in 1974. The purpose of the program was to enrich the law school experience of American students by exposing them to a foreign legal culture and to help them understand international and comparative law as related to the host country, Italy.
Since the program’s inception, we have recognized that U.S. law is no longer confined to national borders. Attorneys will face international law issues, regardless of the area of law they ultimately practice in, so we now place a much larger emphasis on the professional aspect of law so that students can be more conscious about the differences in culture, society, and law that exist between Italy and the U.S.
TL: Can you elaborate on some of the ways that your office has emphasized the more professional aspects of law in the Rome program?
BR: We emphasize the professional aspect in the Rome program through mandatory trips to local legal institutions like the Italian Bar association, international law firms and organizations. Prominent Italian attorneys, judges, and legal scholars, who have been associated with Temple’s Rome program for many years, are special guest lecturers for the courses that are taught in room and this gives students the opportunity to meet and learn from many different Italian legal professionals.
TL: Since the Rome program takes place during the summer, does it impact a student’s ability to find a summer job?
BR: It does not. The program starts on May 25th and ends on June 26th,so students can be back in the US before the July 4th weekend. That is early enough for them to do an internship for the rest of the summer. Employers – especially judges and professors, but often law firms too – are flexible with their start date because they recognize the value of a student’s experience with Temple Rome. Many employers in the Philadelphia area attended the Temple Rome summer program themselves.
TL: I’m sure the real draw to the program is the opportunity to spend five weeks in Rome. Can you elaborate on what that entails and what opportunities are presented to students during their time abroad?
BR: Well, first of all they get to live in the heart of Rome for five weeks; Rome, the eternal city, where ancient ruins, history, and art are all around. Not only that, but students can enjoy the best food in the world. Food in Italy is something you’ve never experienced before; it’s a way of life! Italians do not eat just to eat. They eat because it is a pleasure that has to be enjoyed and not rushed. It’s a way to welcome people to your country, town, or home. Italians can have long conversations about food just as easily as philosophy, art, and politics. And the food is GOOD. They have the freshest mozzarella, real pizza, homemade pasta, real melanzane alla parmigiana, the freshest and tastiest fruits and vegetables, amazing coffee and delicious gelato. I should stop here because I could start an endless conversation on food.
Additionally, being in Rome is being in the middle of Italy and Europe. It’s easy to travel by train to other cities in Italy or take a cheap flight to other European capitals such as Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, Berlin, etc.
TL: Is there on-campus housing for students, or do they need to find their own apartments? Does your office help with that process?
BR: Temple provides housing for students. Housing for the Rome study abroad students is in the Residence Medaglie D’Oro, a garden apartment building with hotel amenities convenient to campus. Typically, three students, of the same gender, share a one-bedroom apartment, which includes a living room, a kitchen/dining room, one bedroom, and a bathroom. The 2015 rental fee is $1800 (approximately) per person for the entire summer session. The Residence is a 10-minute metro ride, 15-minute bus ride, or 40-minute walk to the Temple Rome campus.
We also encourage students to look into apartment options on their own, as they may be cheaper than the residence. In recent years, most students have wound up finding their own place, and have ended up with great apartments for less than the residence price. Even though we cannot endorse them, we do provide a list of websites that have been used in the past by other students to find apartments in Rome. Students are welcome to come to our office, or talk to professors, to understand what neighborhoods are better and to get advice on what they find.
TL: How much does the Rome summer program cost, and how do students typically pay for it?
BR: Typically, the cost of the program ranges between $8,500 and $11,000. Students can ask for financial aid to cover those expenses, and we also have some partial scholarships available. The cost for the program is broken down in the following way:
– $3350 tuition
– Application fee $50 (Temple students are exempted)
– $300 Program fee
– Airfare estimate cost: $1200/$1500
– Housing: Temple housing is $1800. Students who look for apartments on their own usually find it for much cheaper.
– University Service Fees: $77-$132 (depending on how many credits they are taking)
– Meals, Books, spending money, personal expenses: estimate of $1700-$2700
– Mandatory Health Insurance: $60
TL: How do students apply for the program, and what’s the deadline to do so?
BR: Students can apply online to the Temple Rome Program. The deadline to apply is March 1st. The link to apply online is:
To be eligible for the program, applicants must have completed their first year of full-time legal studies or its equivalent and be in good academic and disciplinary standing (2.0 GPA) at an American Bar Association accredited law school. Our admissions process is selective, and we make admissions decisions on a rolling basis.
The following documents are required:
- Completed application form;
- Official letter from the applicant’s law school that indicates the applicant’s good standing (Temple students exempted); and
- $50 non-refundable application fee (Temple students exempted).
Many thanks to Beatrice Raccanello for sitting down to talk about the Rome summer program. You can learn more about the program by contacting Beatrice or Assistant Dean for International Programs Louis Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 215-204-1448.