UNIV 56th Annual International University Congress

March 31 – April 10, 2023
For high school seniors and college students

What is UNIV?

The annual UNIV Congress brings together thousands of students from around the world for Holy Week in Rome.  UNIV offers participants a variety of academic, cultural, and spiritual activities as well as the chance to see the sites in Rome.  Through lectures, discussions, and visits to historical sites, students are exposed to the lives and ideas of the great men and women who have lived in Rome, past and present.

Application and Payment Information

  • Application deadline: February 1, 2023.
  • Conference submission deadline: February 26, 2023.
  • Cost: $1,100 (covers lodging, meals, and transportation while in Rome). The cost does not cover airfare or pocket spending money.
  • Deposit: A $200 deposit is due at the time of application.
  • Payment deadline: The full balance for the trip is due by March 6, 2023.
  • Making payments: To make a payment, click on the “Payment” tab above and follow the instructions.

Questions: For more information about the UNIV trip, contact Justin Reckart at jreckart@ysi.org.

For more information about the UNIV Congress: See en.univforum.org.

UNIV 2023: “Searching for Happiness”

A highlight of the week is the academic conference that gathers students from over 40 countries to discuss fundamental issues facing humanity today.  It offers a unique academic and cultural experience for those who wish to reflect on significant world issues in an international setting.

The main sessions of the conference take place on Tuesday, April 4 at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.  The theme for this year’s conference is “Searching for Happiness.”  For more information, visit en.univforum.org.

Participation in the UNIV Conference

In addition to attending the presentations of the conference, all students are encouraged to participate more formally in the conference by submitting a paper, a video, or a work of art or participating in one of a number of competitions.  Partial scholarships are awarded to students whose submissions are accepted by the conference.  All submissions must be made by February 26, 2023.  In addition to submitting your work directly to the UNIV Forum, please also send it to univ@ysi.org to be considered for the scholarship.  Students will be notified of submission acceptance and will be awarded the accompanying scholarship in March.

Ways to participate in the UNIV Conference

  • Research Paper: Submit and present a research paper. More details, including a list of possible paper topics, a helpful bibliography, and paper guidelines, are available here.
  • UNIVTube: Submit a 5-10 minute video reflecting the theme of the UNIV conference.  More details available here.
  • Arts:  Submit a work of art to the art exhibition.  More details available here.
  • Social Initiatives:  Submit a short video about a social initiative to compete for a grant.  More details available here.
  • Debates:  Participate in a team debate competition.  More details available here.
  • Case Competition:  Compete in a business case competition.  More details available here.

Seeing Rome

The U.S. group will leave for Rome on Friday, March 31 and return on Monday, April 10.  A number of days will be spent seeing the historical and cultural sites of Rome.  The group will also participate in many of the Holy Week services and activities taking place in Rome during those days.  Traditionally, the group attends an audience with Pope Francis and a get-together with the Prelate of Opus Dei, Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz.

Some of the sites to be visited:

  • Roman Forum
  • Colosseum
  • St. Peter’s Basilica (and other major basilicas)
  • Vatican Museum
  • Piazza Navona
  • Piazza del Popolo
  • Piazza di Spagna
  • Scavi tour (subject to ticket availability)
  • Pantheon
  • Major churches in Rome

UNIV Sponsors

UNIV is sponsored by the Institute for University Cooperation (Instituto per la Cooperazione Universitaria – ICU).  Founded in 1966 to foster cultural, scientific, and educational exchanges world-wide, ICU annually brings together university students, educators, and leading professionals to discuss important issues of the day.  The U.S. trip to UNIV is organized and sponsored by YSI.