April 24, 2023

For the last four months, students from the Conway School of Nursing (CSON) have been living, exploring, and, most importantly, studying in Rome, Italy. This opportunity is a part of CSON’s unique study abroad program where nursing students can continue their studies in Italy before they embark on their clinicals. To learn more about this program, we interviewed Emily Scott and Kathryn Marquis who spent the spring semester in Italy.


 “ I chose Catholic because I fell in love with the community here...... 

And you can tell the nursing professors at Catholic, even when I visited, they really care about their students and they care about their success. And I think that's what drove me to Catholic's Nursing program. ” 

— Kathryn Marquis


 What brought you to Catholic to study nursing? 

I chose Catholic because I fell in love with the community here, and the nursing program seemed to focus on personalized care. The community I saw on my campus tour also bled into the nursing program itself. With such a heavy course load major, bigger schools don't provide that personalized education. The Conway School has better outcomes and a better learning environment, and you can tell the nursing professors at Catholic really care about their students and they care about their success.

What does your Rome trip entail? And how'd you hear about it? 

I have always wanted to study abroad, but obviously, that's hard for nursing students with such a heavy course load and clinical requirements. This opportunity to spend a whole semester abroad is unique because you are immersed in the culture. You are learning to live in a different country, which is something that not many nursing students get to do. We are privileged to travel, mainly because we don't have clinicals yet. Having the professors living with us on campus allows for a great way to balance school. I've been able to travel and see so many new things. Getting that worldly experience before entering the nursing profession is an awesome opportunity.

What classes are you taking?

Health and Wellness with Dr. Jill Dombroski is asynchronous, so she'll send out recorded lectures. That course is on most nursing students' course load. Most of us are taking Pathophysiology and Nutrition, taught by Professor Taylor. We have theology, the Church and the Human Person, Biomedical Ethics, and an Italian course.

Do you have any advice for students who might want to go on this trip in the future? 

Take any opportunities that you can, obviously without impeding your studies. It can be easy to make excuses for not getting out there, but you're only here one semester, and it's such an amazing experience. Saying yes to more things will allow you to have a better experience and be more open to everything.

Will you be doing any clinical visits, or is it all classwork? 

It's mostly all classwork because we're not on our clinical rotations. We did a clinical visit for our biomedical and ethics class with Father Giordano. He took us to a nursing home in Italy that was run by a group of sisters. We got to meet the residents there, we saw the nurse come in for all of the checkups with all of the patients, and we got a glimpse of what global healthcare looks like.

How do you balance your studies with traveling? 

If a test is coming up, we don't travel that weekend before, The three-hour classes are only twice a week, so you can create your schedule and get to know yourself better. It's about making a personalized plan for yourself. And that's easy to do again with having classes only once or twice a week. 

What was your favorite place you've gone or favorite activity you've engaged in besides studying? 

Our campus is in a great location in the Trastevere neighborhood. Trastevere is one of my favorite places. It just feels so homey. The best restaurants in Italy are right here. The friends I made here are wonderful, and we've gotten so much closer through having those experiences and exploring the city together. 




“I love the size of the classes as they're very small here. You get a close connection to our professors, which is really nice. And the campus here is fun because it is just so close-knit.”

— Emily Scott


What does your trip to Rome entail? 

It entails taking many different classes, traveling in Europe as much as possible, and making new connections and friends.

What classes are you taking? 

I'm taking Nutrition, Physiology, Health and Wellness, which is online. I'm taking Italian Conversations, Bio-medical Ethics, and Church and the Human Person.

What brought you to Catholic University to study nursing? 

I had heard great news about it from friends who went to Catholic University, and they absolutely loved it. I just fell in love with it and wanted to live in D.C. 

How did you hear about the opportunity to study in Rome? 

An email from Kim Walsh, the  Director of Undergraduate Academic Programs, highlighted this new opportunity for sophomores to come to Rome, and I've always wanted to study abroad.

Do you have any advice for students who might want to go on this trip in the future? 

Have a  good schedule, and focus on time management, because taking six classes, and wanting to travel to different countries can be a lot. Set a good routine for yourself and try to explore and see as much as possible.

How do you balance your studies with being overseas and wanting to travel around Europe? 

We have classes Monday through Thursday, so I prepped throughout the week so I could have weekends available to travel. I made sure to study while traveling too.

Do you have any fun stories of your time in Italy you’d like to share? 

Oh, what's not to share? My friends and I are trying every single gelato place we can find. Getting to experience the whole culture is absolutely amazing.


What's your favorite part about taking classes in Rome? 

I love the small size of the classes. You get that close connection to our professors.   The campus here is fun and close-knit. You get to be close to everybody who's here.


 Photos were taken by Noah Gomes