Kathleen & Francis Rooney Family
Residential Learning Center
The Rooney Family Center, or otherwise known as the monastery, was given fantastic reviews from previous students but it wasn’t until I arrived on Monday, January 16 that I realized the amazingness that is the OU in Arezzo monastery. It wasn’t hard to feel at home in the Rooney Family Center. This historic building has been renovated from a monastery into a clean, beautiful, and homey residence hall in the center of the medieval walls of Arezzo. Upon arrival, all the students instantly felt comfortable and excited to live in the monastery. The rooms are much more spacious than I expected, the decorations are appealing to the eye, the furniture is beyond comfortable, the random nooks around the building add to the brilliance of the monastery, the food service is practically gourmet, and the people who I share this amazing home with seem like family.
-Georgia Dyson, Spring 2017
The Living-Learning Facility for OUA Sooners
The history of the 32,000-square-foot Kathleen and Francis Rooney Family Residential Learning Center is closely linked to the history of the town of Arezzo and has been an important part of the architectural matrix of the city for over 800 years.
In 2016, the reconstruction of the Kathleen and Francis Rooney Family Residential Learning Center was completed. That spring, the doors opened to the first group of students. Click here to see how we brought it to the 21st century.
The beautifully painted rooms on the main floor host two classrooms with modern technology and can stream courses taught on the OU Norman campus. Classrooms are large enough for groups of 30 students and there are additional study spaces such as the library and the study loft.
The reconstruction of this old monastery into a residential learning center was made possible by generous gifts from donors across the nation. The Rooney Family Center is a "home away from home" for the OU students who study in Arezzo.
The fully modernized Kathleen and Francis Rooney Family Residential Learning Center is the epicenter of all OU in Arezzo activities: pasta-making classes, movies on the lawn and community outreach activities (concerts, charity events and more).
Accommodations are comprised of single, double, or triple bedrooms, each with a private bathroom. The rooms are bright and spacious with just about everything you need, eliminating some of your packing.
The common spaces at OUA are comfortable and inviting with multiple study areas, a vast outdoor garden space, unique classrooms, a formal library, eating areas and even an espresso bar. These common areas provide students with lots of spaces to study independently, in groups or to hang out with new friends!
Student experiences in the Rooney Family Center are a very important part OUA's programming. Concerts, performances and other events are planned throughout the year as well as more spontaneous activities like game nights, holiday celebrations and other fun!
One of the hardest parts of planning to study abroad is knowing what to pack. You want to pack everything you might need, but you aren't sure what that is! OUA alumni have put together some packing advice and a suggested list of what to bring and what to leave at home.
Every student who comes through the doors of the Rooney Family Center has a home at OU in Arezzo. My favorite part of a new semester is move-in day when students are exhausted from jet-lag and they've just reached Arezzo after a long journey from Florence or Rome and all they want to do is get a shower, brush their teeth, and feel the comfort of their new bed. When we take them to their bedroom, show them the beauty of the garden, and they get to eat dinner in the kitchen for the first time, their moods suddenly change and they forget about their exhaustion because they realize they are truly home in this new world. The Rooney Family Center is the most special residence hall I have ever had the privilege of overseeing. It is more than an academic space, more than a place for meals, a greater place than where students sleep, and the events and daily activities are only part of the whole experience. The Rooney Family Center is a tranquil space where all are welcomed to feel at peace, and most importantly, at home.