The International Core Curriculum Rome
Winter Semester 2017
To be given the opportunity to study UNCC300 in Rome, is one of the best experiences and memories I will have from my years at university. It was the perfect taster into the life of studying abroad.
The core curriculum encouraged me to discover more about the ways I can bring about positive change within this world.
Especially the sort of change the improves the lives of those that would be unable to do so without help (e.g. the homeless).
One of the most rewarding activities that I was able to participate in, was visiting the town of Rocca di Papa to assist with young volunteers of the San Egidio Church with a disadvantaged kids camp.
The town alone was beautiful, but it was nothing in comparison to the warmth and kindness we were exposed to by the children and volunteers.
Very few of the children spoke English, so this provided us with the challenge of a language barrier. We resorted to miming and using very broken sentences in Italian to communicate and learn more about the children and volunteers.
One of our activities involved dancing with the children. They taught us their Cioccolato Latte (chocolate milk) dance, and in return we taught them the Macarena. As the children were unable to use verbal language to teach us the moves, it became a game of mimicking. It was very fun, and we were able to come to a renewed understanding of ways to communicate verbal non-verbally.
The game of the day was a real-life version of Cluedo, in which the children and ourselves worked collaboratively to solve the case of who stole Dorothy the doll.
The volunteer leaders of the camp acted out the scene and then afterwards, we were divided into groups with the children and went about interviewing the cast and discussing who might have Dorothy.
Even through the language barrier made this activity difficult, the children helped us feel included through miming the various theories they had about the identity of the thief.
For me, community service was a reciprocal experience involving giving, receiving and helping those who needed it.
The children we met in this town come from underprivileged backgrounds from across the globe.
I highly recommend completing UNCC300 abroad if you can, it allows you to see the principles and values studied within the unit in practice. I was able to contribute to numerous community service projects during my time abroad, some of these were only available to me because I was in Rome.
This is just a little sneak peek into the wondrous benefits of going on the UNCC300 international core program. I learnt so much and have loved the experience.