Student Spotlight: Eleonora Biondo, John Cabot University Class of 2016

Italian universities are different from American colleges. You need to decide what you want to do with your life before you enroll in university, because then you will be spending the next three or five years working on the main subject you picked, and you will not get the chance to drift away from that.

This might all sound very nice, because you actually get to specialize on the subject of your choice. The problem for me, however, was that I did not have the slightest idea of what I wanted to do with my life! I was, and I still am, interested in different fields: I wanted to study Law, but also Foreign Languages, Psychology, and also maybe Education. The range of my choices was too wide, and I was afraid that if I picked the wrong one I would have wasted my time doing something I did not enjoy.

Then, on a rainy morning in November 2012 I went to a school fair that I actually hadn’t even wanted to attend. I discovered it was the right choice though because it was there that I found out that a university like John Cabot exists. The Communications Department especially caught my eye.

Now, if you study Communications in an Italian university, they call you the student of the “Snack Science”, translating directly from the Italian “Scienza delle Merendine”, which is not exactly the nicest title one would aspire to get landed with. If you tell your Italian friends that you are studying Communications at an American University you will likely get two different reactions: some will think you get to party all night and basically do nothing – “Uh, American University. I see. Uh, you only go to school until Thursday, I see… So essentially you never study!” -, others will instead look at you like you are the coolest human being ever – “Do you actually get to have a Thanksgiving dinner?! That’s amazing!”

But besides what the rest of the world believes we do at John Cabot, there are some things that I know to be true, and it does not matter what outsiders say, and I’ll tell you why.

#1: I have made friends with awesome people not only from all over Italy but from other countries as well, and I have gotten to know them, their stories, and their cultures, sharing at the same time my personal story and my Southern Italian culture.

#2: I had, and I know I will have again, the chance to learn from professors who have the most interesting backgrounds, and who treat me like an intelligent person, deserving of their time and attention, and not only like one more student that they have to grade.

#3: We have a great atmosphere here at JCU. We dance together, we eat together, and we share our free time and help each other whenever we can. It is true, we have to face our troubles, as every community has to do throughout life, but we discuss them together, and in the end we are always able to sort them out.

#4: This University is not perfect, it is very far from perfection, but what University is? JCU has something that makes it special: it is a small, yet growing, community where you, just like me, can find your place, trying on different hats, while experiencing all of the parts of the world that are represented here, and gaining experience in different fields, to only later pick the one you really want to make yours.

 

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Eleonora Biondo
Communications Major
Class of 2016
Palermo, Italy

 

 

 

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