Freshman Study Abroad: Travel Writing in Rome (English 281)

Be bold, step out of your comfort zone, and connect with new UW students while traveling and learning about a new culture and earning writing credit!

The Rome Trip now Full. We have closed the waitlist and further applications. Thank you for your interest in the program.

  • General Information

    Record what your camera or a social media post can’t capture! While facts, statistics and dates are quickly forgotten, vivid written images are not. Your job as a traveling writer and student is to collect and record images in your writing.

    In this course, we’ll explore strategies for travel writing and documenting the imagery and narrative of travel experiences. You’ll read travel-related literature and writing produced by students abroad.

    On your program, you will

    • Make new friends before school starts.
    • Understand the difference between high school and college writing.
    • Earn 5 required credits - English 281 (will be on the autumn quarter schedule). English Composition is a required course for every major on campus!
    • Meet as a class in autumn 2019 to continue the writing and learning process.
    • Explore Rome with faculty member, Professor Shawn Wong, while experiencing the art history and culture of the region.  


    Dates: September 2-16, 2019 + class meetings in autumn quarter

    Cost: $3,100 (includes instruction, housing, and program activities) - scholarships available! Visit the Financial Aid and Scholarships section for more info. 

    Additional Cost: $450 Study Abroad Fee, $23 UW Student Abroad Insurance, flight and incidentals

    This trip is separate from the Advising and Orientation (A&O) session. You will need to sign up separately for your A&O session

  • Instructor Information

    Shawn Wong, Professor in English  

    Bio: Shawn Wong is the author of two novels and six other books. "Americanese," the film version of his novel, "American Knees," was released in 2013. He teaches creative writing and has led UW study abroad classes in Rome, Berlin and Istanbul. Check out his "Advice for First-Year Students" Video.

    At the UW: I teach future novelists, screenwriters, and short story writers and I sometimes take student writers to Rome or Berlin or Istanbul.

    Love About Teaching: I love learning as much as my students love learning. Even though I teach the same classes, I never teach them the same way twice. I love bringing in my own research and discoveries into the classroom.

    Lauren Easterling, Associate Director Study Abroad  

    Bio: Lauren Easterling is the Associate Director of UW Study Abroad. She has worked in international education for 15 years, both in administration and in the field, having co-led three study abroad programs to Rome, Italy. She has an academic background in Art History and participated in three study abroad programs as an undergraduate and graduate student to Rome and Japan.

    At the UW: I work with faculty and staff from across the University to run study abroad programs all over the world. Sometimes I get to take students to Rome!

    Love About Working at UW: I find it energizing to work in an environment that is centered around experiencing new things. Creating opportunities for both students and faculty to become better humans by engaging with the world, keeps me coming back to work day after day.

  • Payment Information
    Estimated Total Program Fee: $3,550 - Included in the program fee:
    • $450 Study Abroad Fee
    • Instruction
    • Housing
    • Program activities and program travel
    Not included in the program fee:
    • Airfare (average price subject to when and where your buy your ticket - $1,200)
    • Food (about $15/day)
    • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.64/day)
    • Other health expenses/immunizations
    • Personal spending money

    Payment Due Date: October 11, 2019

    Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

    Scholarships available! Visit the Financial Aid & Scholarships section for more information. 

  • Apply for the Program - Waitlist

    We will only accept 20 new huskies for the Freshman Study Abroad: Travel Writing in Rome. Don't wait to apply! 

    Apply Now - Waitlist Only 

    Priority deadline: May 15th

    If you have questions please email

  • Financial Aid & Scholarships

    Financial Aid

    A large percentage of UW students utilize financial aid to study abroad. Most types of financial aid can be applied to study abroad fees.

    You can submit a revision request to increase the amount of aid for the quarter you are studying abroad. These additional funds are usually awarded in the form of loans. To apply, fill out a revision request form, attach a budget sheet (request the budget sheet from Lauren Easterling at at UW Study Abroad) and submit these documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid. For more information about this process, consult the Financial Aid section of the UW Study Abroad website.

    Consult the Financial Aid section of our website for more information on applying for financial aid, special considerations for early fall programs, and budgeting and fundraising tips.


    Pell eligible Washington State residents will automatically receive a $2,500 scholarship if you are accepted to the program. Email Lauren Easterling at if you have questions about this award. 

    Budgeting Tools

    We understand that figuring out your finances for study abroad can be complicated and we are here to help. Visit the Finances section of the UW Study Abroad website to explore some ways to find additional support.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I pay for the program? 

    If you are accepted to the program, UW Study Abroad will send you a payment contract. You are only financially obligated to pay program fees once you have submitted the payment contract. UW Study Abroad will charge your tuition account for the program fees and they will be due at the same time as autumn quarter tution (10/11/19). We use this date so that you can utilize any financial aid you may be already receiving. 

    What happens if I sign up and then can't go? How late is too late to cancel?

    $350 of the total program fee and the $450 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable once you have been accepted and submitted a contract. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy will be included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the business day a withdrawal application is received by UW Study Abroad. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

    1. Provide notice in writing to the program director that you will no longer be participating in the program.

    2. Submit a withdrawal application to UW Study Abroad.

    Visit the Withdrawals section of the UW Study Abroad website for more information.

    Do I still need to go to an Advising and Orientation session during the summer?

    Yes! All new students must go through an A&O session to become better acquainted with the University and to be able to register for classes.

    How will I get to Rome?

    You will make your own flight accommodations to travel to and from Rome. Once we have established a list of participants, we will connect you so you could potentially make travel arrangements together if desired.

    Can I fly to/from Rome, Italy early or stay after the program?

    Yes. However, these plans will not be coordinated by the program. Please note you will need to be back in Seattle by September 19th to participate in Move-In and Dawg Daze Welcome Week programming.

    Where will I sleep?

    Housing will be provided for the entire trip in apartments with fellow students. Program staff will live nearby.

    Will there be vegetarian meal options?

    Yes there will be vegetarian options at every meal. Other dietary restrictions will need to be communicated with program staff.

    How do my credits count?

    The credits will be applied to your autumn quarter schedule. Students will have to finish the class during Autumn Quarter, but will not have to attend a regular class schedule, but they will have several writing projects to finish during the quarter based on their time in Rome. There will be a few small group meetings. A full class load is 12-18 credits. A student can take up to 18 credits in the fall and then add on the 5 credits without a tuition penalty. For example, a student could have a lighter load and take two 5 credit classes (10 credits) in fall adding plus the 5 credit English which will result in 15 credits earned for the quarter, or they can take three 5 credit classes and then add on the English for 20 credits earned fall quarter. 

    What if I want to rush a sorority? 

    This study abroad conflicts with sorority rush. However, women can participate in Continuous Open Bidding (COB) throughout the academic year if they are unable or do not prefer to participate in Primary Recruitment in September.  COB is open to any chapter who is below Panhellenic total, set to median chapter size, and they are able to recruit up to that number.  This means that space is limited and not all chapters will be participating each quarter but is still a great way to join the Panhellenic community.  Women who are interested are able to indicate their interest on the COB list on the Panhellenic website, This goes out to the chapter to let them know that women are interested in being contacted.  Women are also able in COB to contact the chapters directly.  The contact information for participating chapters will also appear on the Panhellenic website.