By Elena Dini
ROME — Joseph Tulloch is a student of philosophy and Italian at Oxford University. The university requires all students to spend the third year of their undergraduate studies abroad, and Tulloch decided to study in Italy.
“I taught English for three months in Brescia, and that really improved my Italian,” he said. “Now I’m here (at The Lay Centre) and I will do an internship at ‘The Tablet,’ a Catholic magazine, and at the Democratic Party. At the end of February, I will go to Siena for a semester as an Erasmus student.”
While Rome offers many possibilities for accommodations, Tulloch chose to stay at The Lay Centre.
“My dad was a Carmelite monk for a while and he lived in Rome for three years. He still has friends in Rome and one of them recommended The Lay Centre,” he said. “I went on the website and it has lots of stories, information about community events, and I thought this would be a really cool place to stay, offering a community feeling, not like a hotel.”
Being in Rome has given Tulloch the chance to discover more about the Catholic Church in Italy.
“People say that Rome is amazing and if you are Roman Catholic there is so much to do. I feel I only scratched the surface of what is available,” he said after one week in Rome.
“I’m so excited to get an insight about the life of the Church in Rome and at the Vatican. I understand it’s a unique place in the world,” he said.
Rome also attracts people from all over the world and Tulloch’s short time at The Lay Centre has allowed him to experience this international presence up close.
“I have been really amazed by the community aspect here at The Lay Centre. I love that there are people from all different nationalities,” he said.
“On Wednesday at the community prayer, we heard the Our Father in Arabic and Ukrainian, and reading in Ancient Greek because someone in the community is studying it,” he continued. “People are not only from different places in the world but also of different traditions: there are many Catholics but also Orthodox and some Hindus.”
At the end of this academic year, Tulloch will return to Oxford to complete his degree. He has clear ideas about his future.
“I want to be a philosopher, although I know that the job market is really challenging,” he said.