Admissions Blog: Highlights from my Sweet Briar field trip to Rome

Roman ForumWhen looking at colleges, I always had in mind the idea that I wanted to study abroad in some form during my college career. Upon entering into my junior year, Sweet Briar had created a new calendar system that included an intensive 3-week session. During this session, some amazing opportunities were presented for students to take advantage of. One of them was the chance to spend over two weeks studying art history in Rome, Italy!

I wholeheartedly took advantage of this opportunity but had some concerns about the cost for the trip. Luckily, Sweet Briar has a great program that grants each student the chance to apply for up to $2,000 in funding for scholarly projects or study abroad experiences. I was accepted and given the money to put towards this trip, which made it very affordable. This grant opens the door for an opportunity for all students to be able to study abroad.

After months of anticipation and completing the 11-hour flight to Italy, we began to see all the beautiful and historic sights Rome has to offer. Here are some of my favorites:

Colosseum Rome

This first image is of the outside of the Colosseum. This was one of the first sites we visited, and it was really valuable to be able to view the structure that we were learning about, as well as see firsthand some of the details.

Roman Forum

This image shows the ancient Roman Forum. This was one of my favorite sites that we visited because we were able to walk around and see structures that are thousands of years old. I loved being able to see all the monuments put together as they stand now after many centuries.

Marcus Aurelius

Here we are all taking a picture with a huge statue of Marcus Aurelius. This statue was my favorite statue that we saw on the trip. It was huge and an amazing sight to see in person. It was incredible to learn about its history while we were able to look at it in person!

St. Peter's

This is the inside of St. Peter’s Basilica of the Vatican. The Vatican was one of my favorite sites we visited just because of all the history and importance that is placed on the city. We also got to see the Vatican museums and the Sistine Chapel.

Group at Vatican

Here we are pictured outside of the Vatican! Professor Annie Labatt is on the far left and was amazing at showing us all around Rome, as she herself studied abroad there for two years! She was granted a fellowship with The American Academy of Rome to do research in medieval studies. She is just one example of our amazing faculty here at Sweet Briar!

Overall, this was a trip of a lifetime and an experience I encourage all Sweet Briar students to take advantage of! It was amazing to get an opportunity to go abroad for a very low cost and have one of our amazing professors be our tour guide and show us all the amazing sights in Rome. It was an invaluable experience to be able to immerse yourself in a new culture and learn about a topic in a hands-on manner. This would not have been possible in a traditional classroom.


Ready for an adventure? Learn more about Study Abroad at Sweet Briar College!

Yes, there’s a lot you can do with Sweet Briar’s Grants for Engaged Learning. Learn more here.


Cassidy BodkinCassidy Bodkin ’20 is an international affairs major with a Spanish minor from Aldie, Va. She is a student admissions ambassador, judicial chairwoman, vice president of the College Republicans and secretary of the Campus Events Organization.