Social Justice and Community Engagement Apartment

Students who join us for a semester or more will have the chance to live in the Poggeschi apartment. This housing option is an apartment style living learning community (LLC) that has a heavier focus on social justice work and community engagement. By accepting a placement in the Poggeschi apartment, students accept an additional level of responsibility for their semester abroad. More details can be found below.


Apartment 1Apartment 3Apartment 2

Students interested in:

  • Community Living
  • Social Justice Programming
  • Service in the Bologna Community
  • Linguistic and Italian Immersion

Requirements while in Bologna:

  • A Commitment to Supporting Social Justice Activities
  • A Commitment to Living in an Intentional Community

A willingness to:

  • Take part in a weekend planning retreat
  • Bring to the community your passion for justice issues
  • Actively engage in community meetings and activities
  • Partner with your Italian neighbors who are also living in an intentional community

See the FAQ below for a more detailed description of the community.


Here is what a few of our recent students had to say about their experience living in the Poggeschi apartment:

“Living here has allowed me to meet more Italians, I feel like I am living an authentic experience.  I’ve definitely learned more Italian and now know the city really well.”

Taylor ScottApartment
The College of New Jersey

“Having this community has been helpful in my transition to living abroad. In some ways living overseas was more difficult then I had imagined.  I am grateful for the family that this Poggeschi community has given me.”

Lizzy Grosvner
Loyola Marymount University

“I am an introverted person, I tend to keep to myself and living in dorms has not been positive for me.  The community here has really been awesome, especially getting to know the Italians, this has become like family for me.”

Olivia Miller
Spring Hill College


Frequently Asked Questions about the Poggeschi (Jesuit Center) Community Engagement Apartment:


Question: What is this community?  Is the primary goal of this community to be a support group regarding social justice or is the goal to volunteer a few times a week? I guess in other words, is it more discussion or action focused? or both?

Answer: In general, the expectation is that the Poggeschi Jesuit community (you and your 6 or 7 roommates) will help to sponsor two social justice events each semester.  For example, one group hosted a refugee theater group and provided a performance for the broader community.  There are many events that your group can sponsor with the help of Italy center faculty.  Each group is unique.  The hope for this community is that is becomes a support system and to also hold a space for discussion and action through a social justice lens. The projects and actions can be as many or as few as the community sees fit – as can the discussions. The hope is to get different voices into the community, whether it is having a local activist come over for coffee or seeking out a university professor who is especially versed in an issue you all are curious about. Whatever it is I hope the students in the community seek to dig a little deeper see what they find and if they see fit, act on it. We will have discussions and see how this international service experience will fit into your life back at home and you will be guided through this process but the actions and discussions that take places must be the will of those in the community.

Question: Who lives nearby?  I’m a bit confused about the Italian Jesuit community in the apartment you described. Are there Jesuit men that also live in the apartment complex (unrelated to our learning community)?

Answer:  You will be living in an apartment building with 6 or 7 other American students. In the same apartment complex will be four other apartments of Italian students (men and women – University of Bologna students) living in community. You will connect with them over dinners and maybe, as the partnership grows, hold some events together. All of the students that live there are in their 20s. The Italian Jesuit priests own the apartment complex. The Jesuits are involved in running service and faith activities which all are welcome to participate in.  The Jesuits live in another part of the city and are not living near you.

Question: Where do we eat? 

Answer: You have four choices as to where you can eat each day (included in the cost of the program).  The Italy Center has an agreement with a small coffee bar and café that is located one floor below the Poggeschi Jesuit Community Engagement apartment.  The owners enjoy our students, they offer typical Italian breakfast (croissant and coffee) and they also provide a range of pastas for lunch.   The second option is a Pizzeria located in front of your building.  The third option is to eat at the student cafeteria located in the same building that many of your classes are located (Spring Hill Camplus Residence Hall). Finally, you and your roommates are given a credit line to purchase groceries at local supermarket and buy your own food.  The apartment has a fully equipped kitchen.  One of the nice aspects of the Poggeschi Community Engagement project is the fact that you and your roommates often prepare meals together, all a part of creating community.

Question: How do we not isolate ourselves from the larger Italy Center student community? I would hate to miss out on getting to know everyone in the Italy Center program just because I’m living apart from the other students who are living at the Camplus – Spring Hill dormitory.

Answer:  Yes, living in the apartments will mean that you are a bit farther from the dorm (20 minute walk) and that you will not sleep in the same place as the majority of students. That being said you will be taking classes with your fellow students and be engaging in our group travel trips, which are both vital bonding times. What we are seeking is to not create an exclusive group but rather to give the students who are seeking more depth in their experience, in regards to social justice, a space to have it.   We have not encountered a problem of there being two separate communities.  In fact, there tends to be a nice synergy between the apartment community and those in the Camplus – Spring Hill dorm.  

Question: Can I still travel and do my own thing and not upset my roommates who are counting on me for activities and support?

Answer:  Conflicts with weekend trips would depend on what your community has going on. If you are all talking about planning an event and you have a trip already scheduled there would be a discussion about what should be done. Students in the community are welcome to travel but if a student wanted to be traveling every weekend of the semester it would prove difficult for them to be in the community simply because they would not be around to cultivate that community or a life in Bologna.  As a general rule, reasonable amount of travel – that would include our Italy Center group trips – is totally possible without problems.