I took advantage of two different study abroad programs while at Duke, and there’s no doubt that they both added an incomparable dimension to my course of studies. I participated in the Duke in Rome summer program after my freshman year, just after taking a seminar course on Roman Civilization. I fell in love with the city and its history and art, certainly helped by the structure of the course, which consisted of exploring on foot. We also traveled to see Etruscan tombs, suburban imperial villas, and the Roman sites near Naples, including Pompeii. After that I was hooked on classics, and returned to Duke knowing I would make it my major.
It’s unusual to study abroad during one’s senior year, but for me it was the perfect time to travel to the Mediterranean again and see more of the places I had studied in my classics courses. College Year in Athens placed me in classes and housing with other classics enthusiasts. I spent nearly every weekend on a school-organized trip or traveling on my own to see for my studies archaeological sites I had previously only seen in pictures. And nothing quite compares to having a class about the Parthenon while sitting right in front of the Parthenon. Studying abroad sparked a passion for my eventual major, and it also provided a perfect capstone.
Elizabeth Rudisill, Duke 2008