Freshman Fall in Rome

Where will your heart take you?

SHU Freshman Fall in Rome

The true worth of your Sacred Heart experience won’t be measured by facts we teach you or skills you acquire while you are here.

It won’t be something that we give you.

At Sacred Heart we believe that inquiry, pursuing knowledge and intelligent reflection – both inside and outside the classroom – create greater opportunities and choices. 

The Freshman Fall in Rome (FFR) program is a signature experience of Sacred Heart University.  As a FFR student, you’ll spend your first semester in Rome, Italy at our partner university before enrolling in classes on SHU home campus in the spring semester.  

A semester studying in Rome is an exciting and intellectually stimulating way to begin your college career.  During the FFR program we challenge you to be fearless in your curiosity by making the world your classroom. 

Why do we offer the FFR program?

Because the discovery of your own talents, abilities, strengths, character, and dreams is the most valuable outcome we strive for as educators and mentors.  The FFR program provides you with an international foundation early in your academic career.  With programming that supports a broad range of educational, professional, and personal objectives, there is no better way to learn about yourself, expand your worldview, acquire marketable skills, and develop the habits of mind, heart, and spirit that will prepare you to engage purposefully in a global world.

Program Features
  • An opportunity to forge strong bonds with fellow SHU freshmen;
  • Small class sizes and specialized curriculum tailored to SHU core graduation requirements;
  • Carefully-chosen, university-managed living arrangements;
  • The opportunity to travel, volunteer, and to participate in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities;
  • Full-time staff members, in both Fairfield and Rome, to assist with your transition to college life abroad.


With a few exceptions*, if you are accepted to Sacred Heart as an incoming freshman you are automatically eligible to participate in the FFR program.  All you need to do is complete the FFR enrollment process.  

You may be a good candidate for the SHU Freshman Fall in Rome program if you:

  • Wish to study abroad immediately, rather than waiting;
  • Possess intellectual curiosity and are ready for a transformative experience;
  • Love to learn through seeing and doing;
  • Have a keen interest in international travel;
  • Are open to immersing yourself in a different culture;
  • Have the maturity to balance academics, travel, and living abroad.

*Please note that students receiving scholarships for participation in varsity athletics are not eligible for the program.  Students receiving a merit award for participation in performing arts programs will not receive their participation grants during the fall semester in Rome.  Non-scholarship varsity athletes should discuss with their coaches the impact that participation in the FFR program may have on involvement in the sport upon return to campus.

Enroll in the FFR Program Now

FAQs are available on our program brochure web page:
For further information about this program contact the SHU Office of Global Affairs.