Pontificia Università San Tommaso

Pontifical University of Saint Thomas

Note that St. Thomas Aquinas's name is Thomas, not "Aquinas"

The education I got during my year at the Angelicum was the most valuable of my whole life. It was difficult, since all the classes were in Italian, and I never did get to the point of being fluent in Italian. Reading Italian is easy enough, but listening to lectures in Italian for a few hours was a bit rough.
Aside from that, the Angelicum is far superior to anything I've ever seen in the U.S.A.

The weekly schedule was Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday. That is a very easy schedule to keep. On Wednesdays, one of the priests (almost all the teachers there are Dominican priests), who was an American, would give summaries of all the classes in English. That helped a lot. That, plus being able to read the textbooks (which are all written by the teachers, unlike here in the U.S.) in Italian or in Latin, and also having a good American friend to sit next to who was fluent in Italian, I was able to get through those classes alright.

I also liked having classes in an auditorium environment. When I came back here and then started going to West Chester University, it was embarrasing to go back to sitting in cute little desks.

Anther difference was that the teachers changed classes, instead of the students! It does make things a lot easier to be in one room for all your classes.

Exams were very different. For most courses, the students would schedule time to take their own exams. Those exams were oral, often just one question. Then we got a grade, on a scale of 1 to 10.

There were also research papers to do. There are no due dates for any papers; they just have to be done before you can get a degree.

There was no "homework" (another thing about American universities which strikes me as being rather juvenile now, after having gone to the university there).

One interesting event was one day in March when all classes at the Angelicum were cancelled. One day each year, all the Italian Communists would gather in Rome for a big demonstration. Because some students at the Angelicum had been attacked by Communists in a previous year or years, all the classes are cancelled on the day of the demonstrations. It was considered unsafe for seminarians to be outdoors on the day of the Communist demonstrations.


This is a picture of the university chapel. It's a sight we would rarely see, since we wouldn't enter that way.

The Czech college was in the opposite direction, and when we would talk the bus or (rarely) walk there, we'd go in from the other side. Some of us did walk a couple of times, past the Colliseum and the Forum. It was a very long walk.

(After a while places like the Colliseum and the Forum lose their significance and just become landmarks on the way to school).


This is a picture in the cloister at the Angelicum. Cloisters are much more popular in Italy than they are in America. They make a very pleasant place to walk and think and study and it would be nice if America had more of them.

That's all for the description of what the Angelicum is like. Now you can go on to some other things around town, in Rome and Vatican City.
Or, you can go back to the Italy page and go somewhere else from there.

The Angelicum has a web site at http://www.pust.it

You can write to me at

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