Lay Centre Offers New Language and Culture Program

The Lay Centre begins a new Italian language and culture program

The Lay Centre begins a new Italian language and culture program in 2015.

The Lay Centre will be inaugurating an Italian language and culture program, Buongiorno Roma!, on 1 September—though students are encouraged to arrive 31 August. Dr Donna Orsuto, The Lay Centre’s director, provides some details and information about this exciting new course below:

1. How did the idea of Buongiorno Roma! come about?

Buongiorno Roma! has been percolating for a long time. It is always a challenge for first semester students at The Lay Centre to find time to study Italian well, and to come to a deeper appreciation of the Italian culture. I encourage new students to come early and make a gentler landing into life here in Italy and at The Lay Centre.

2. What are some of the highlights of the program?

The participants will attend a language school, the Centro Studi Cassia, where professionals teach small classes. They are held every morning, from Monday to Friday, for four hours. The participants will live at The Lay Centre where they will enjoy meals together. At least two days a week, “Rome” will be the classroom, where participants will meet Italian friends and visit sites of religious and historical interest. As part of the cultural activities, students will view and discuss Italian films and explore Italian literature.

3. What can participants enjoy that is particular to The Lay Centre, as opposed to other centres in Rome?

The Lay Centre will offer unique religious and cultural activities that will enhance their language studies. Participants will also have an opportunity to build friendships among themselves, and with some of our Italian friends.

4. Who can sign up for the program?

The program is aimed especially for lay students who will enrol at pontifical universities in the autumn. Others interested in this program may participate and should contact us for more information.

  1. How many people can participate?

The Lay Centre portion of the program, which includes the cultural activities, will be limited to 15 students. However, the language classes will include other people.

  1. Can people sign up for the cultural activities without signing up for the language classes, and without living at The Lay Centre?

For this year, we would like to limit it to those who are living at The Lay Centre and are signed up for classes.

  1. Are the Italian courses for credit or just for fun?

The Italian courses are meant for those who really want to learn Italian and who will commit the time and energy to study language intensely—this can also be fun!

  1. Some of the activities have a faith element, like prayer and church visits. How is this program connected to faith and the Catholic Church? Do I have to be Catholic to sigh up?

People of all faiths are welcome. We want to introduce people to different prayer experiences here in Rome, for example through a visit to the Sant’Egidio community or the Augustinians at Santi Quattro Coronati.

9.  When is the deadline to sign up for this program?

We have extended the program deadline from 30 June to 30 July.

10. Who can I contact for more information?

Please contact We look forward to providing you with further information about this program.

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