student seminarian in black sunglasses, church in background

SJV in Rome

More than 90% of Saint John Vianney seminarians participate in the highly regarded study abroad program in Rome. Students study with distinguished faculty at the Dominican Pontifical University of St. Thomas, otherwise known as The Angelicum, for a semester while living at the Pontifical Irish College under the care of an SJV priest formator. Many seminarians have been privileged to serve Mass for the Holy Father at St. PeterĂ­s Basilica. All course credits and financial aid packages are fully transferable. 


  • Catholic Studies major or minor
  • Student at St. John Vianney Seminary
  • Sophomore, junior or senior standing at time of participation
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA 
  • Good disciplinary standing

Application Process

  • Meet with Fr. Becker ( to discuss academics and requirements  
  • Complete your online application by the appropriate deadline for the semester you wish to go abroad 

Selection Process

  • Application requirements reviewed by Fr. Becker and the Office of Study Abroad 
  • Students notified of admission decision and next steps  

Application Deadlines 

January 15: priority application deadline for both fall and spring semesters

March 1: final application deadline for fall semester

September 15: final application deadline for for spring semester 

Course Information

  • Conversational Italian (ITAY 199) is taken on a pass/fail basis each semester. Higher levels of Italian language can be taken for credit, if needed, on a student-by-student basis. 
  • Students typically select either Patristic Teaching or Modern Philosophy in the fall and either Moral Theology or Medieval Philosophy in the spring. 
  • Courses, aside from Italian, are four credits and are taught by faculty at the Angelicum.


Students live at the Irish Pontifical College, where they will have individual bedrooms with either a private or shared bathroom. Amentities include shared spaces including a pool, a basketball court, a small soccer pitch, a chapel, a library, a gym, a recreation room, and a lounge space specifically for SJV students. The Irish Pontifical College is within walking distance to two metro stops and various bus stops. Students can either walk or take public transportation to The Angelicum. 


All meals are provided at the Irish Pontifical College and are included in the program fee. Students may need to provide additional meals for themselves on certain excrusions, retreats, and personal travel time at their own expense. 

Excursions and Weekend Retreats 

Included as part of the program are study tours to Bologna in the fall and Ravenna in the spring. Most of the courses will also include site visits within Rome. Each semester, there will be planned trips to Siena and Assisi in which students may elect to participate at their own cost. Each semester a weekend retreat is planned at Casa Divin Maestro in the quiet woods on Lake Albano in the Alban Hills outside of Rome. The Casa offers respite from the activity of Rome. Students will have time for quiet prayer and reflection as well as community life and activities.

Spring 2021 Program Dates

Weekend of February 5 - 7: Move-In to The Irish Pontifical College 

Monday, February 8: Bernardi Orientation with Catholic Studies Students 

Tuesday, February 9 - Saturday, February 13: Angelicum Orientation, Class Registration, Italian Course Begins

Monday, February 15: Classes begin at The Angelicum

Saturday, March 27 - Sunday, April 11: Easter Break, No Classes 

Thursday, May 20 - Tuesday, May 5: Final Exams

Wednesday, May 26: Move-Out Date 

Fr. Becker, SJV Rector 

Dr. David Foote, Catholic Studies Rome Program Director 

Fr. Dominic Holtz, Catholic Studies Director at The Angelicum, Rome

Msgr. Aloysius Callaghan, Formator - Spiritual Director, SJV

Thanos Zyngas, Bernardi Campus Director

U.S. citizens are required to obtain a visa if their stay in Italy will exceed 90 days. Because the SJV in Rome Program (both the fall and spring semester programs) is longer than 90 days, accepted students are required to obtain an Italian student visa. Upon acceptance to the program, the Office of Study Abroad will provide instructions on how to apply for the visa. Although St. Thomas employees will provide instructions and assistance on the visa application and approval process, St. Thomas employees are not Italian consular officers and have no ability to guarantee the successful procurement of student visas. The multi-step process requires careful attention to detail from each student in order to successful obtain this legal immigration document. 
Students should not plan any international travel plans during the period 90-days prior to departure for Rome since their actual physical passport needs to be submitted along with the visa application and other required documentation materials.  Any international travel plans prior to program departure may jeopardize the ability to obtain an Italian visa. 

Costs are comparable to the St. Thomas comprehensive semester fee for tuition, room and board plus the off-campus study fee. Program fees include tuition, room, partial board, site visits, and excursions within Italy. 

Students are able to use their financial aid packages in Rome as they would on the main campus in St. Paul. For specific questions, students should reach out to the Office of Study Abroad and the Financial Aid Office. Additionally, students may wish to consult Fr. Becker ( to discuss any aid specific to SJV. 

Once in Rome, students are required by the Italian government to hold the I.N.A. Assitalia, the Italian national hospitalization insurance. This insurance is included in the program fee and is obtained during the orientation in Rome.
As part of the program fee, students will be enrolled in a Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) insurance plan for the duration of their program dates. Generally, CISI insurance will provide comprehensive accident/sickness, medical evacuation, repatriation, 24-7-365 worldwide assistance and a comprehensive security evacuation plan while students are abroad. Students will receive more information on the insurance plan prior to departure, including a digital/printable insurance card and a detailed policy document.

Although insurance coverage is provided in the program fee, students are required to keep their existing U.S. health insurance plans in full force during the duration of the study abroad program.