Many Kenyon students find off-campus study a vibrant — and often life-changing — experience regardless of their destination. But those who choose to study and travel with fellow Kenyon students and professors on one of the College’s own study programs will have an unparalleled experience, finding a rich array of exciting intellectual and cultural adventures designed to integrate meaningfully into Kenyon’s liberal arts curriculum.

The Kenyon-Rome Program offers you the once-in-a-lifetime chance to study Italian art and culture up close, with extended visits to Florence, Naples, Sicily and other cultural centers in Italy. Housed at Accent International’s Rome Study Center in the beautiful Palazzo Banco Santo Spirito, you will seek inspiration from artistic masterpieces and historical sites all around you, with at least as much time spent on site as in the classroom.

The Kenyon-Rome Experience

Study abroad in Rome, a city where ancient meets modern and there is so much to see and do that every day is a new experience. Subject courses taught in English provide an in-depth focus on the city of Rome and give you an extraordinary perspective into Italian history and culture. Classes are small and the faculty instructors are all long-term residents of Rome. With excursions as part of almost every course, historical sites such as the Forum, Piazza Navona, and the Colosseum become your classroom. Practical Italian suited to your level, as well as internships and volunteer activities, provide you with the opportunity to use your vocabulary outside of class and put you in direct contact with the local culture and society.

“Being able to study art in its original location was an incredible experience. It was also refreshing to have professors lecture at us in a setting other than the traditional classroom.”  

Caroline Chang '18
Fall 2016 program participant

Program Details

(REQUIRED) ARTS 191 (ST) Rome: Discovery through Drawing

Taught by Professor Craig Hill (.5 Units)

This introductory drawing course combines studio work with the Rome experience as a way to explore ideas and materials as well as the development of an individualized approach to drawing. Students will gain a comprehensive overview of the topographical, architectural and urban history of Rome, while practicing drawing, en plein air. Through firsthand experiences of visiting and drawing various streetscapes, landscapes, and sites of antiquity each student will engage in rigorous observational drawing of the rich historic sites in Rome. The goal of this studio course is not only to improve one's technical ability but to probe the limits of what can be done in drawing; defining the boundaries of what a drawing is, and how it relates to contemporary art and other studio practices. 


(RECOMMENDED) ARTS 291 (ST) Mining the Eternal City: Exploring the complex history of Rome in the creation of comics and graphic narratives 

Taught by Professor Craig Hill (.5 Units)

In this course, we will visit numerous great sights within The Eternal City. In each location we will discuss and sketch architecture, monuments, and urban spaces. These sketching sessions will serve as a primer to explore and create personalized theme-based comics and graphic novels, utilizing the rich symbolism in Italian art.

The structure of the course will provide each student with a solid foundation of ideas and methods for drawing and writing: cartoons, comics, zines, and graphic novels. There will be an emphasis on effective characterization, plot progression, and narrative structure. You will learn how to adapt writing into a comic through storyboarding; create a detailed script for dialogue, setting, and action; and explore the interactive development of text and image. 

In addition to making comics, we will also read and discuss classic and contemporary Italian comic book artists and graphic novelists including: Angela and Luciana Giussani, Max Bunker, Sergio Bonelli, Tiziano Sclavi, Hugo Pratt, and Guido Silvestri (just to name a few). Class meetings will consist of on-site drawing sessions, technical drawing demonstrations, writing and drawing exercises, and discussions regarding weekly assignments and longer projects.


(REQUIRED) Beginner Italian Course 

(Intermediate/Advanced available on request)

This course provides students with a sound basis for communicating effectively and accurately in oral and written Italian. Students are required to make use of newly learned grammatical skills to interact with Italian university students in conversation encounters and cultural tours.

Authentic materials are used in a communicative-based approach, and emphasis is placed on the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. The course is conducted entirely in Italian.

Optional courses offered by the University of California Education Abroad Program

Please note that this list is not final, and courses may be subject to change based on Fall 2023 enrollment.

• Sociology of Rome (Sociology)

• Cosa Nostra: A Comparative Study of Crime and Deviance in the Italian Context (Sociology)

• Ancient Romans at Work and Play: Reconstructing the Past (History)

• A Celebrated Rivalry: Bernini and Borromini in the Making of Baroque Rome (Art History)

Student Apartments  

Students stay in double/triple rooms in apartments around the center of Rome, with commutes of less than one hour by walking or bus. Each bedroom is furnished with beds, a closet or armoire, and linens. Kitchen facilities include a stove, refrigerator, cooking utensils, and dishes. Kitchen and bathroom facilities are shared by everyone in the apartment.  


Students who choose a homestay in Rome live with carefully selected host families. Homestay accommodations provide students with an opportunity to observe firsthand how Italians live, and allow them to become more fully immersed in the language and culture of Italy. Students are placed in double and single rooms in homes within the Rome city limits, with varying commutes to classes of 15 to 55 minutes by walking, bus, and metro. Ideally students considering homestays will have previous knowledge of the Italian language to participate in basic conversations.

A series of free and inexpensive activities is available to all students at the Rome Study Center, including a number of events that are planned along with students from La Sapienza University in Rome. Past students have found these events to be a highlight of the semester, both for the opportunity to practice Italian and also expand a local social network in Rome. In past semesters, activities have included:

• Contemporary Italian literature book club

• Italian cuisine series: tiramisu tasting, Neapolitan pizza in the university neighborhood, and aperitivo

• Cineforum: film screening and debate with local students

• Arteinbottega: Informal art workshop in Testaccio neighborhood

The Rome Study Center has a variety of volunteer opportunities in all areas of interest. Past students have found their volunteer post to not only be a great resume builder, but to provide a social and professional network for their semester in Rome and long after. Past opportunities have included:

• Refugee Center: English tutoring, administration of refugee sports leagues, as well as office support in marketing and social media

• NGO for Hunger and Homelessness: Food distribution with local volunteers at weekly breakfasts in Trastevere and dinners near Piazza di Spagna

• Italian Elementary School: students work as conversation partners in a public elementary school

• Jewish Cultural Center: students assist Italian children with their homework and work together with other staff members on sports and games activities  

Students participating in the Kenyon-Rome program pay Kenyon tuition, room and board to Kenyon. These fees cover program tuition, room, meal stipend, metro/bus pass and all co-curricular travel. A non-refundable $1,000.00 deposit is due approximately two weeks after acceptance by Kenyon into the program.  

Kenyon provides a meal stipend to each participant. In Fall 2019, this stipend was $2,100. Students participating in homestays providing meals will have the stipend lowered accordingly.

Expenses for which the individual is responsible include transatlantic transportation, books, personal living expenses (laundry, mail, printing), food expenses beyond the meal stipend, and personal travel expenses.

For the purpose of scholarships and loans, Kenyon-Rome students are considered full-time Kenyon students. Kenyon financial aid is automatically transferable to the Kenyon- Rome program. Students should contact the Center for Global Engagement for detailed information on how their financial aid package will be applied towards program payments.

Professor Craig Hill earned his BFA in drawing from the Atlanta College of Art and his MFA in painting and printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design. He teaches drawing, painting and printmaking. His work appropriates imagery and techniques from pop culture and modernist works of art. In using well-known childhood imagery such as super heroes, toys and ray guns he creates paintings that revolve around issues of masculinity and male rites of passage.

At the Accent Center

The ACCENT Rome Study Center is located in the beautiful Palazzo Banco S. Spirito on the Piazza dell’Orologio, which is marked by the impressive clock tower by Borromini and is considered the very heart of Rome. Among the historical palaces of Piazza dell’Orologio is the famous Casa delle Letterature or Biblioteca dell’Orologio, which is the home of literature in the “Eternal City.” ACCENT’s central location makes it an ideal base for classes and as a jumping-off point for on-site study visits.

The City of Rome and Environs

Rome’s rich history inspired its nickname — the Eternal City — yet modern residents keep the atmosphere vibrant. Here students will find inspiring art like the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel, and the Pietà, intermingled with thriving studios and artists. Italy’s capital is also the hub for government, religion, and education, with nearly 3 million residents calling Rome home. Classes are held in the center of Rome, but frequently leave the classroom to integrate studies with visits to masterworks and the settings that inspired them. Outside of class, students are invited to experience la dolce vita, relaxing with friends and savoring the sights, smells and tastes that make up Rome.

"If you love the idea of walking in the rain along cobblestone streets at night, Rome's lights glowing all around you as you pass monument after monument, you will love Kenyon Rome. Expect to put in some effort, but know there will be time to explore and experience as much of the culture as you are willing to put yourself out."

Cody Bratzler '21
Fall 2019 program participant