The Rome semester is one of the most iconic parts of an education at the University of Dallas. Offering multiple months in Europe while taking relevant classes that further illuminate weekends spent on independent adventures, the Rome program remains a point of growth and fond memories for many students.
However, some student-athletes may worry about whether it is worth the possible effects, financial or otherwise, that are placed upon their college athletic career and season. According to two students, these athletic related fears for Rome are largely unfounded – and the experience can actually pay dividends for future seasons and a general mindset growth.
Evan Corsiglia, a junior biology major and #14 on UD’s soccer team, highly enjoyed his time abroad over the spring semester and saw the invaluable effects the experience had on his life as a person.
Evan (second left) and friends in Rome. Photo by Evan Corsiglia.
“I feel like I grew more as an adult being over there,” Corsiglia said, “because you no longer have your parents to plan your trips, make sure you’re safe, make sure you’re eating food, or make sure you’re go- ing in the right place. It’s kind of all up to you.”
Cassandra “Cassie” Dyoub, a senior business major and #12 on the volleyball team, enjoyed her summer Rome program and spoke on her experience as well. Similar to Corsiglia, Dyoub grew more responsible during her trip abroad.
Between exciting travels, Corsiglia continued to enjoy his sport, playing pick-up games and practicing on the soccer field. He also participated in the soccer culture in Italy, which opened his mind to a greater appreciation of a game he already loved.
“I was privileged to go to four professional soccer matches while I was over in Europe where soccer is the main sport,” Corsiglia explained. “It’s just a different culture over there than it is here. I was able to bring some of that appreciation and culture back home in the way that I watch it and the way that I appreciate just the game of soccer itself.”
Both Corsiglia and Dyoub remained active with long walks through Europe’s cities or friendly sports matches with other Romers. However, the transition back to the Dallas campus – and the regular athletic routine – took slight readjustment.
While she picked up volleyball again quickly, Dyoub had difficulty retaining her other hobby, weightlifting, while in Rome. Classes and travels left her little extra time.
“There’s really no time to go to a gym or anything like that,” Dyoub explained. “I tried my best to try and work out but it’s just way more difficult.”
Despite these short-lived adjustments to life abroad and then re-acclimation to the Dallas campus life, both students strongly encouraged their fellow athletes to try and go to Rome.
Dyoub sympathized with athletes’ struggles and encouraged them to find summer Rome as a solution if spring or fall seasons would get in the way of sports.
“[Since spring or fall Rome are] four months of not playing their sport which can be a little bit daunting, I definitely think summer is a good option for athletes,” Dyoub explained.
Corsiglia echoed Dyoub’s sentiments and encouraged finding a solution to scheduling obstacles or other fears.
“Don’t worry about it affecting your season,” Corsiglia said. “It’s worth going. You shouldn’t let your athletic season get in the way of an incredible experience especially because Dallas offers multiple semesters where you can go whether it’s summer, fall or spring.”
The Rome Campus eagerly awaits the arrival of new students – and athletes – into her well-worn walls and experiences. A great experience stands ready for those who leave the bench and join the field.