Rome Seminar FAQs
How should I prepare for the Rome Seminar?
ACCU compiles background reading material to help participants prepare for our meetings and discussions, and posts an online reading schedule on the ACCU website. Background in the content areas cited allows active participation in the seminar. All of the readings are posted to the ACCU website.
You will notice the readings are divided into nine weekly sets. The pace of the readings is intended for participants to process the material over the course of several weeks and to build their knowledge in preparation for the seminar.
Will I have an opportunity to share experiences from my college/university?
Participants are asked to briefly share one mission-related program or event that your institution does well to embody Catholicity, especially if it is unique. Throughout the week, it will be expected that participants will describe these programs in our dialogue with Curia officials. If there is a flyer, brochure, or other short handout you believe captures your college or university’s unique Catholic character, please feel free to bring a few copies, one to give to Cardinal Versaldi (Prefect, Congregation for Catholic Education) and a few for interested co-participants (not required).
Is there a dress code?
The Rome Seminar dress code, depending on whom we are meeting, will be either business or business casual. Some examples are listed below.
It is customary when meeting Curia officials that one dresses in business attire.
For men: Business suit jacket, tie, slacks, and comfortable dress shoes.
For women: Business jacket, skirt or slacks, blouse, and comfortable dress shoes.
For men: Khaki, pleated pants, collared shirt, and comfortable dress shoes.
For women: Khaki, pleated pants, skirt below the knee, blouse, and comfortable dress shoes.
It is requested that women cover their shoulders for meetings and entrances to holy sites. Shorts are not appropriate for any seminar activities.
Sturdy comfortable shoes are recommended for the significant amount of walking that transpires during the entire seminar. In addition, the quaint cobblestone roads that add to Rome's charm are not a friend to heels. When the seminar includes attendance at a Papal Audience, which may be held outside; participants will want sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. We also highly advise bringing a small, collapsible umbrella. Rome is quite warm in the summer, so bring lightweight clothing and carry water with you.
Is there any special protocol for meeting with Curia Officials?
During the seminar, we will meet with several Curia officials. These meetings are likely to follow a formal European educational protocol: We stand when the person enters the room, the person presents the educational content from a written text, participants take notes, and (sometimes) a question or two is asked by participants at the end of the presentation, always prefaced by an affirmation. While some of our speakers will choose a U.S. educational orientation, that is, an interactional/dialogical style, other speakers will prefer giving a formal presentation, especially if they are new to the program. Remember, in Rome it is not always about content, but rather about relationships.
Will there be free time?
The Rome Seminar schedule does allow time for attendees to explore Rome on their own. Opportunities to sightsee or enjoy a meal outside the group will be indicated on the final schedule. Representatives from the Lay Centre (which helps coordinate our meetings) will be available to provide suggestions on sightseeing, as well as dining in Rome.
Will I have cell phone coverage and Internet access?
The Palazzo Cardinal Cesi hotel provides free 24-hour Wi-Fi access in all areas of the hotel. While Internet access is very good, it may not be as reliable as you are used to. As such, please plan ahead to accommodate any lapses in your ability to access the Internet during your time in Rome.
Many cell phone carriers offer special service plans for international travel. Prior to your trip, it is advisable to contact your carrier regarding phone and data coverage (and billing) while you’re abroad.
Should I take any special precautions regarding cash and valuables?
Theft can occur anytime and anywhere, and traveling to Europe is no exception. On the plane, at the hotel, and on the streets, it is important to be cautious and aware of your surroundings. While the hotels, transportation, and destinations we choose are reputable, it is always best to take precautions and secure your valuables while traveling. Consequently, it is not wise to carry a lot of cash (ATMs are all over the city) or bring valuables (leave these home). It’s also helpful to contact your credit card company in advance with the dates you will be traveling overseas.