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Ancient Rome and Its Legacy

monument vittorio emanuele rome 12.29.17

Program Highlights:

The city of Rome is a living museum.  As the center of the powerful and long-lived Roman Empire, the city's ancient past has served as the foundation for an uninterrupted history spanning the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras, all of which live on as integral parts of the lives of modern Romans today. And so this city of the Colosseum, the Circus Maximus, and the Vatican is not just about the past, it is a lively city filled with energetic people, incredible food, and an active nightlife. Rome is the perfect place to study abroad, combining an unparalleled history, art, and architecture to study while you experience a fascinating modern culture and people.

The CSUSM program in Rome will focus on the ancient history and lasting legacy of the Roman Empire in the visible remains, living structures, and works of art in the city of Rome over the course of twenty-one days under the guidance of Dr. Darel Engen. Most days there will be a two-hour class meeting in the morning followed in the afternoon by a two to three hour visit to an important site or museum. One thing is for sure, students will make Rome their living classroom. 

Academic Calendar:

December 28, 2023- January 17, 2024 (depart December 28 to arrive by late afternoon December 29)

Academic Focus:

  • Ancient Roman history and its legacy in the modern city
  • Vatican

Courses Available:

Undergraduate:  History 304A and History 304B (topics in history); will satisfy upper-divsion GE (CC & DD)

Graduate:  Two History 699s (independent study)


  • Class level:  Open to all class levels though students wishing to clear upper-division GE will require 60 units or more and upper-division standing.
  • Satisfactory Academic Performance to departure.
  • Current COVID-19 vaccination (at least the initial vaccination(s) plus at least one booster if eligible) is strongly encouraged for participation in any of CSUSM’s international travel programs due to the increased risk of contracting COVID while travelling.  


Six units will be awarded as detailed above, History 304A and History 304B or two History 699s.


All students will stay in the 4-star Hotel Napoleon in Rome. Students will be accommodated in twin rooms with private bathrooms.  Daily breakfast is included with your hotel stay.

Anticipated Site Visits & Program Highlights:

  • Colosseum
  • Roman Forum
  • Capitoline Hill
  • Ostia Antica archeological site
  • Bocca della Verita
  • Circus Maximus
  • Piazza Navona
  • Trevi Fountain
  • Spanish Steps
  • St. Peter's Basilica and Square
  • Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, & Papal Audience
  • Pantheon
  • And many more!

Estimated Total Cost*:

$4,350 + Extended Learning Fees, estimated at $492 for six units

All fees include airport pick-up and drop-off, transportation pass in country, accommodation, welcome and farewell dinners, daily breakfast, most excursions and medical insurance. 

Additional Expenses to Budget:  
Airfare:  $800-$1,200 (great deals are out there for those who book early, but do await permission to book by Global)
Meals:  $630 (estimated at $30/day; you may spend more or less)
Spending money:  $300 (depends on the individual, could spend more or less)

**Program price will be reduced to $3,850 if more than 20 students enroll!

Faculty Led Cancellation Policy

A Note on Financial Aid & Veteran's Benefits:

Please note that January and Summer programs are not financial aid eligible since they are optional terms at CSUSM, and therefore, all program fees would be considered out-of-pocket.  All program fees maintain strict deadlines and are due to the Office of Global Education the term prior to when studies will take place, following the dates set forward in the How to Apply section below. Tuition will be billed onto your student account according to the timelines of Extended Learning and must be paid through the structure set forth by University Cashiers.  You may begin researching alternative loans, Parent PLUS loan options etc. through the Office of Financial Aid:

If you are using VA benefits (CH33 or CH35), you must verify with Study Abroad that the program meets all of the following criteria:

  • Taught by CSUSM faculty
  • Course is needed as part of your degree plan
  • Tuition charges will appear on you student account

If all of the above criteria are met – you must reach out to Veterans Services for additional eligibility information – prior to signing up for the program

Note: Only the tuition piece of the program – if approved – can be submitted to the VA for payment.  All other costs will be the student’s responsibility.

If you are using CALVET – you will need to contact for further information.

Some Useful Airfare Search Engines:

Please be sure to read the fine print concerning change fees, taxes, luggage restrictions, etc. before booking.  Whenever possible, book directly with an airline and include trip cancellation insurance.  Do NOT book flights until Global Education has given you the authorization to do so.


An adult passport book with at least 6 months validity until expiration is necessary for overseas travel.  First-time passport book applicants can expect processing times up to 4 months.  Plan to submit your passport applications early if you enroll in this program as withdrawals due to passport delays will not be refunded.  Non-US travelers are responsible for researching entry requirements and possible visas through their country's consular pages.

To Apply: 

  1. Attend an information session led by Faculty Leader Darel Engen (
  2. Fill out the online application materials via the link below.   All application materials must be completed by Friday, September 29 along with your non-refundable $500 deposit.  Online payment preferred through TransAct.  Please be advised to choose E-check and enter your checking account details to avoid the 2.65% convenience fees applicable to all non-checking account payments. Cash, checks, and money orders made payable to CSUSM will also be accepted via the Cashier's Office in Cougar Central, but must include this deposit form to track the payment.
  3. Final payment is due on Monday, October 30, following the payment guidelines outlined above.  Payment of tuition related expenses will be billed by Extended Learning and appear on your Student Center, following the payment guidelines set out for Winter Intersession.
  4. Submit your flight details to Global Education:  Flight Information Form
  5. A mandatory pre-departure orientation will be held with Global Education & Professor Engen to discuss arrival instructions and the upcoming courses.  

January in Rome 2024 Application:

January in Rome 2024 Application

Attend an Info Session:

Day Time Location
Monday, October 2 2:30-3:30 PM MARK 421
Tuesday, October 3 (will say hello, moving to 1pm) 12:00-1:00 PM ZOOM:
Tuesday, October 3 1:00-2:00 PM ZOOM:
Thursday, October 5 12:00-1:00 PM ZOOM: