Students participating in the Lasallian Universities Center for Education (LUCE)Program will study alongside peers from other Lasallian colleges and universities while living in the Generalate of the De La Salle Christian Brothers in Rome, Italy.
This exciting new program created by the US Lasallian universities and housed at Lewis University provides students the chance to gain a deeper understanding of Saint John Baptist de La Salle and the De La Salle Christian Brothers, as well as the International Lasallian Network, while completing major, minor, and general education requirements at their home institutions. The program includes a number of excursions to different parts of Italy to allow students the chance to explore more of the rich history and culture of Italy.
Eduardo Dimas was one of the students participating in the program last year and he shared his thoughts on this exciting experience: “The program is about three months long (way too short in my opinion!). Most of the time will be spent in the city of Rome, exploring the history and beauty of the many different monuments, buildings, and churches from the time of the ancient Roman Republic, all the way up to modern day! So much to see! […] During our semester abroad, we travelled to Florence, Assisi, and Pisa. A couple of those places required us to stay for multiple nights, allowing plenty of time for personal exploration and sightseeing.
He continues by remembering his time in Rome: “I participated in the Spring 2018 semester-long study abroad program with 19 other fellow students, most of whom came from other Lasallian schools (one participant came from a Lasallian university in Mexico!), not including faculty and staff. A decent-sized group; we all came to grow pretty close.
“While I was in Rome I learned of the hardships that many people are experiencing in Europe. Living in the United States feels almost as if we live in a bubble, separate from the rest of the world. Once I broke out of that bubble and went to Italy, my awareness of the problems many people face in the world grew immediately. The issues of poverty, unemployment, and current migration crisis in many countries in Europe can definitely be seen and felt”.
“This program allows for students to live and learn together as a community. Because of that you can’t help but grow close to each other! It can’t be avoided and it is something for which I am very grateful. I have made lifelong friends (more like brothers and sisters) thanks to this program, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! My life was forever changed because of it”.
LUCE 2019 will take place February 1 – April 28, 2019. Brother Stephen Markham, FSC, director of Contacts for the Midwest District, has been assigned to serve as mentor and assistant resident director for students from Lasallian universities living at the Brothers’ Generalate in Rome.
While in Rome, students take courses in the history, culture, art and architecture of Rome with particular attention to the Catholic intellectual tradition. In addition to being available to mentor and assist students, Brother Stephen will help organize extracurricular activities, including joining students and faculty on excursions to Scampia, Assisi and Milan and some class scheduled field trips
He will also serve as a liaison with the Brothers at the Generalate and seek opportunities to invite individuals to offer presentations on Lasallian topics to the students.
Text by Ilaria Iadeluca – Director of Communication, Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, Rome (Italy).