The Catholic University of America

Living in Rome

Students in Rome may live on campus or with university-selected Roman families.

See the general facilities description and regulations here.

Dorm living

Students living on campus benefit from:

  • Newly renovated dorm rooms with heating and air conditioning.
  • A smoke-free building, including dorm rooms, and smoke-free grounds.
  • Rooms combinations: quadruple, triple, double.
  • A limited number of single rooms are availble for an extra charge.
  • Bathrooms and showers are shared and located in the corridors.
  • Students live in single-sex wings of the dorm, where possible.
  • Meals: A partial meal plan is provided, with simple, Italian breakfasts and family-style dinners. Meals are not served during official breaks and holidays.
  • Dorm students have access to washers and dryers. 

Host family living

Students living with host families benefit from:

  • A room in the home of a Roman family.
  • Family compositions differ: a man and woman with children; a elderly widow; a young couple, etc.
  • Two students may elect to share a room with the same family.
  • An inside perspective on a typical Roman neighborhood.
  • CUA's host families are located throughout the city of Rome, in interesting residential districts.
  • Some breakfasts and some dinners are provided with the host family. 
  • A family in Rome and the independence to come and go.
  • Students with no or little Italian language will take a more intensive Italian course.

See the host family information page.

Dorm description and regulations

Students are placed in double, triple, or quadruple rooms, and occasionally in single rooms when available (single rooms may be booked in advance for an extra fee). Males and females, as a rule, are housed on different floors of the building. Toilets and showers, which are shared, are located in the hallway. A few rooms have private baths; students in these rooms may be of a different gender to those on the rest of the floor.



Time: 8am to 9am

Breakfast consists of: Coffee, tea, milk, sweet rolls (cornetti), bread, butter, jam, hazelnut spread, honey, yogurt, cornflakes


Time: 7:30 pm

  • Dinners are community-style meals featuring local dishes and seasonal vegetables. They consist of (a) a pasta dish, (b) a meat, fish, egg-based dish, or substantial vegetable dish, and (c) a selection of cooked and raw vegetables, served with some sort of vegetable protein, like beans. The vegetable selection is meat-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, and nut free. Those who have food allergies or prefer to eat vegetarian can always find a nutritious meal in the vegetable selection.
  • Fruit is served for dessert, and water accompanies the meal. Students are welcome to bring their own wine to drink with dinner.
  • It is essential that each person clean up after themselves in the dining room, placing dirty dishes in the designated spot, putting trash and organic waste in the correct bins, and wiping the table clean.

Other food

In the morning, left over coffee, tea, and cornetti are available while supplies last to residents and non-residents. Throughout the day, there are instant coffee, tea bags, and a hot water boiler available. There are also vending machines on the ground floor.

Snacks brought in from outside may be consumed in the dining hall, on the ground floor, in the garden, and in the student rooms. No food should be brought into the classroom or study spaces. Residents should always clean up after themselves. Dishes in the dining room may only be used there and should only be used for meals. Biodegradable paper products are available at other times.


All rooms have a bed (which may be a bunk bed), a wardrobe, a desk, a desk lamp, and a trash can for each student. Furniture provided by the University is not to be removed, dismantled, or otherwise altered. Residents will be billed for any missing and/or damaged furniture. At check-In a “Room Condition Report” will record any damage that existed prior to a resident’s arrival. At the end of each semester, Residence Staff will assess the condition of the residential facilities. The cost of repairs or replacements will be charged to the responsible student.


All residents are provided with 1 top sheet, 1 bottom sheet, 1 wool blanket, 1 towel, and 1 pillowcase upon arrival. Linen may be exchanged every 5 weeks at the linen exchange time. Washing in between these times is the responsibility of the student. These items must be returned in good condition at the end of the program in Rome.


The cleaning service cleans the hallways and common bathrooms. There is no cleaning service in the bedrooms. It is therefore important that students ensure rooms are properly maintained. Residents are expected to keep their rooms clean and neat:

  • Do not leave dirty clothes on the floor; keep them in a designated spot in the wardrobe.
  • Open the windows to circulate air at least once a day.
  • Do not leave open food in the room; either seal it or throw it away.
  • Trash must be taken outside and placed in the dumpsters just outside the front gate. For best hygiene, this should be done every day. There are bins for paper (white), plastic, glass, and metal (blue), organic waste (brown), and non-recyclable waste (black).  
  • Brooms and other cleaning materials are available upon request.

At the end of the semester, students will be charged at least 100 euro for rooms that require additional cleaning and the engagement of the cleaning service.


Quiet hours are between 10pm-9am every day (beginning at midnight on Friday and Saturday), when excessive noise will not be tolerated. Students must be respectful of other students particularly when returning back to the dorm late. To assist with this, students are not to make or receive telephone or Skype calls in the dorm area during quiet hours. Students must use the common areas for this purpose.


Care should be taken to leave the common bathrooms and showers in a clean and orderly state after use, removing any paper from the floor, hair from the drains, and waste products from the toilets. Nothing other than toilet paper and organic waste should be flushed down the toilets.


Laundry machines are available for the use by students on the ground floor. The laundry room is open 24-hours a day. To help maintain the laundry room, students are asked to clean out the lint filter after using the dryer and to turn off the lights in the laundry room when the dryers are not in use.

Refrigerators and Microwaves

Refrigerators and microwaves for student use are located on the ground floor next to the laundry room. Students should follow the instructions listed for proper use and label all food clearly with name and date. Students are expected to keep refrigerators and microwaves clean.

Prohibited Items

Residents are prohibited from using/possessing hot plates, grills, refrigerators, microwaves, and other similar items in their rooms. Due to health and safety reasons, the use of sporting equipment within the building is also prohibited. Residents must not hang any decorations on the walls or the doors within the building. The use of tacks, nails, tape, glue, or tabs to hang items is strictly prohibited. Candles, incense, and other similar items are not allowed anywhere in the building.


Any maintenance issues in the rooms, the bathrooms, or the laundry room should be reported to the Residence Director as soon as possible, telephoning if it is an urgent matter.


Students must get permission from program staff for all guests to the Rome Center. Guests must submit a valid ID. All guests must leave by 7:30pm. Overnight guests are not permitted. 

Residents are welcome to visit one another on different floors between the hours of 9am and 2am. As the CUA code of Student Conduct states, “The University affirms that sexual relationships are designed by God to be expressed solely within a marriage between husband and wife. Sexual acts of any kind outside the confines of marriage are inconsistent with the teachings and moral values of the Catholic Church and are prohibited by the University’s Code of Student Conduct. An overnight visit with a sexual partner is prohibited as this type of behavior is incompatible with the mission of the University as well as with the rights of roommates and community members to live in an appropriate and comfortable environment.”

End of Semester Check-Out Inspections

The day prior to departure from the Rome Center, the Residence Director will conduct a check-out room inspection during which the following will take place:

  • All residents must have all of their belongings packed and ready for departure.
  • The room must be completely cleaned and trash should be disposed of by each individual.
  • Each student must clean out any personal items or food products kept in the refrigerator before departure.
  • All linens must be accounted for and in good condition.
  • The Residence Director will collect the fully completed and signed check-out condition report.
  • A damages agreement form will be signed by each student.

The cost of repairs, replacements, or extraordinary custodial services in individual rooms will be charged to the student accounts of those assigned to those rooms throughout the semester. Rooms that require additional cleaning will be charged at least 100 euro per student for the cleaning service.

Other requests

The Rome Center benefits from feedback from its guests. Please let the staff know of any issues that would improve the smooth functioning of the Center. This includes the following and any other improvement that would be helpful.

  • Repairs
  • Missing items
  • Alternative arrangements, changes in procedure
  • Additional items


Last Revised: 3 February 2017

Student Experience

Thinking about whether or not a homestay is right for you during your semester in Rome? Eva-Maria tells us about her homestay experience and why other students from The Catholic University of America should have this opportunity as well.