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Latin Students: Study the Classics this Summer in Florence or Rome!
Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Summer in Italy 2015

Calder Classics invites high school students of Latin interested in Ancient or Art History to join us in Italy this summer. Over the course of a 2-week program limited to 6-8 students, the Classics will come alive daily as we translate Latin works such as Vergil’s Aeneid or Livy’s History of Rome and explore related ancient and art historical sites, all while immersing ourselves in the modern culture of either Florence or Rome.

Master Latin

Each day students & their mentors will read & discuss Latin literature by influential ancient Roman authors in a residential “salon” style environment.

Dive into Italy's Rich Art, Culture and History

Whether visiting Botticelli’s Primavera & Birth of Venus in Florence or the Colosseum & Imperial Fora in Rome, we will discuss the history & broader themes of these cultural treasures as well as their connections to the texts we read.

Live the Italian Life

While staying in a beautiful villa on the Oltrarno in Florence or atop the famous Aventine hill in Rome, students have the chance to experience an Italian lifestyle.

Register online today for our 2015 Summer Programs in Florence & Rome! Any questions call 917-533-3712 or visit calderclassics.com

Getting into College: The Benefits of Latin in High School

Getting into college. It’s something high school students and parents both dread and seek. We know one thing: it’s difficult. In 2014, Harvard accepted just 6.9% of its applicants. Dartmouth, 11.5%. UCLA accepted 20.43% and Boston University accepted 36.22% of applications in 2013. Students looking to get into good schools have their work cut out for them and often end up asking, “what is the secret?”

Spoiler alert: there is no secret. But there are specific things you can pursue to make your application to your dream school as strong as possible. At Calder Classics we suggest challenging yourself to take Latin and ancient Greek in high school. “Isn’t Latin a dead language?” you may ask.  Why yes, and no. In this post on the benefits of taking Latin, we outline three reasons why Latin can help increase your chances for “getting in.”

1. Standing Out

How can a high school student distinguish him/herself from the rest of the crowd? How can you make your application sing? Have Latin on your transcripts. Then, show that you mean it by joining a summer program that proves you take your Classical Studies seriously.

“Because so few students these days master Latin, it can help an applicant,” said William Fitzsimmons, Harvard’s dean of undergraduate admissions and financial aid, in the Bloomberg article cited below.1 “We certainly do take notice,” Fitzsimmons noted, explaining that Latin would have excited an admissions officer 38 years ago when he began his career, and “such a student today would be even a greater rarity, standing out even more,” he said. “It can end up tipping the student into the class.”

Studying Latin can help even if you don’t have top test scores and grades. Andrea Thomas, Assistant Dean of Admission, Hamilton College said, “I was particularly impressed by a student with average test scores and grades who had taken Latin throughout middle and high school. We ended up offering the student admission, and I think it is fair to say that it was his commitment to Latin that tipped the scales.”

Learning Latin requires abstract thinking and hard work. Colleges know this. When asked what he thinks when he sees Latin on a high school transcript, Michael C. Behnke, Vice President for Enrollment at University of Chicago, said, “This student is likely to be disciplined, have a strong basis for further learning, [and] be a little more creative toward intellectual pursuits than most.” You’ve chosen Latin. You’re different.

2. SAT

Did you know that Latin words form the roots of many English words? You should. For example: “He is so perfidious.” Perfidious, one of the 100 most common words to appear on the SAT2, which means treacherous or deceitful, comes from the Latin perfidiosus, for faithless or dishonest. Learning Latin in high school automatically gives you a leg up on your verbal SAT. “Vocabulary and grammar of the English language can be mightily improved through the study of Latin,” reported Kathy Lindsey, Associate Director of Admissions, Middlebury College. Andrea Thomas agrees: “A background in Latin provides students with a stronger English vocabulary. Open any SAT prep book and you will see a crash course in Latin in the vocab section.”

Why spend extra time memorizing mountains of flashcards for the SAT when you can use the language you learn in class to identify roots and score highly.

3. Latin and Roman Culture as a Foundation of Western Civilization

Perhaps most importantly, taking Latin and learning about ancient Roman culture provides you with a strong foundation from which to explore other areas of study. Echoes from ancient Rome continue to be heard in our culture today.   “The study of Roman culture which typically accompanies Latin study informs the study of any Western literature, art, or culture as well. [. . .] If Latin were dead, every Western culture and language would be also bereft of life,” said Matthew Potts, Admissions Counselor at University of Notre Dame. It’s true. The modern Romance Languages? Came from Latin. Our form of government here in the United States? Heavily influenced by that of ancient Rome. Like Shakespeare? Want to study Law? All owe a debt to ancient Rome and Latin.

Where can you learn Latin? Want to add it to your transcript? Want to add a study abroad experience to your resume as well?

At Calder Classics, we offer summer programs for high school students in Florence and Rome that combine the reading of Latin texts with either the artistic treasures of Florence or the ancient historical sites of Rome.

Our 2015 summer programs are almost full! Learn more and reserve your spot .

Sources cited in this blog post:

1. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-24/lingua-latina-introitum-in-vniversitatem-harvard-multo-faciliorem-reddit.html

2. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-adv/eduadv/kaplan/kart_ug_sat100.html

3. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/04/15/education/thechoice-2013-acceptance-rates.html/

4. http://theivycoach.com/2014-ivy-league-admissions-statistics/

5. http://www.admissions.ucla.edu/prospect/adm_fr/Frosh_Prof13.htm