A Life-Changing Experience in Rome

On November 14, 2016, I had the special opportunity of joining Radio Radicale, a very well-known Italian news network based in Rome, to discuss the recent results of the United States Election. I was joined by three European political experts, one being the President of John Cabot University, Franco Pavoncello, and was able to not only ask questions about the election but also field questions from the host, Francesco De Leo.

It was especially interesting to hear about the election from a non-American point of view, specifically a European point of view, because for my whole life I have heard and learned about American politics and history from the Americans within the United States. I was able to express my opinions regarding the polarization of America and the electoral college, and I even discussed with the experts who I voted for and why. Overall, it was a very memorable experience and one I will never forget. I would like to thank Francesco De Leo, President Pavoncello, John Cabot University, and Radio Radicale for the opportunity.

This experience with Radio Radicale made me think a lot about how far I’ve come in just three grant3short months in Rome. When I arrived at the Rome airport on August 16, I had a general idea of what to expect, but everything has since exceeded my expectations. I had the opportunity of arriving a little bit ahead of the start of the semester so that I could stay with a friend who lives in Fiumicino, the town on the sea where the major Rome airport is located. The interactions that I had with him, his family, and Italians in general really helped me get acclimated to Italian lifestyle and culture. My first days at John Cabot were a big success and I immediately fell in love with all of my classes. Of the four classes that I am currently enrolled in at John Cabot, two in particular stand out to me. The first is my course called Italian Politics and Society. In this class, I have learned not only about the political system in Italy, but also a brief history of the country and an authentic look into Italian society. For me, it is very interesting to juxtapose the society and politics of my home country, the United States, to Italy. I’m always fascinated by both the lectures and guest speakers that the professor organizes for our class.

The other class that I have grown to love is my course in philosophy. I think that studying philosophy in Italy has been especially interesting, because not only does it make me open up my mind when I walk around the city and visit other places, but also in the classroom I am forced to think critically and challenge my own opinions. The readings of Plato and Aristotle have made me think a lot about my life and have helped me understand the world better.

grant1I have had many opportunities to travel because Italy presents its visitors with such ease of access to other European cities and with other parts of the world. I have been to more cities than I can even keep track of this semester, which has really enhanced my world view and made me step out of my comfort zone. I think that even though I have visited all of these cities and countries, Rome and John Cabot will always have a special place in my heart because I feel at home here.

I remember one moment in particular when I had just come back from Dublin, Ireland, and I stepped off the airplane in Fiumicino and I felt like I was where I belonged. The way John Cabot has opened its arms to me and all of its students has been incredible, and with the experiences that I have had – from being on an Italian radio show, discussing philosophy, traveling, trying new foods, and interacting with locals – I have become a better human.

 

Listen to “Ad una settimana dal ciclone Trump” (A week after the Trump cyclone), in Italian.

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