A website for lay students at Rome's pontifical universities




Are you a lay student at one of Rome’s pontifical universities, athenaeums, or institutes?  Are you thinking about joining the ranks?

Lay students are a clear minority in this clerical environment.  Seminarians, priests and religious are sent by their superiors.  Often the majority (or all) of their living expenses are paid for by their community or diocese, and a community living situation is set up for them.  By contrast, many lay students come to study in Rome on their own initiative.  They often struggle to fund their education, find housing, deal with the practical aspects of life in Rome, and find community and spiritual support.

It seems that each new “generation” of lay students has to re-discover these things by trial, error, and word of mouth.  This website was created by a lay student in Rome in an effort to make things easier for other lay students.

The site is mostly a collection of links that might be useful to lay students.  Obviously, it is completely unofficial.  This site assumes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of any external websites, books or other resources.

There is also a Facebook group for lay students at the pontifical universities in Rome: “Studenti Laici alle Università Pontificie / Lay Students of Rome.” This group posts events and other information to create community among lay students.

Please note as well:  This website does not intend to perpetuate the unfortunate tendency of some English-speaking students to come to Rome, study at the one pontifical university where there is an English section, and never learn Italian!  You’ll notice there’s a page on resources for learning Italian.  It’s in English simply because English is a standard international language, and this site is aimed at international students—including prospective students who have not yet learned Italian.  English also happens to be the author’s native language, and so the easiest one in which to quickly put up a website!  Of course, many links are in Italian.  If you don’t yet understand Italian, use a translation engine for those pages.