My name is Cristian Tracci and I come from a small town near Milan. This is my last semester at John Cabot University, and I will be graduating with a degree in International Affairs with a minor in Philosophy.
One of the main reasons I decided to study at John Cabot was because I had the ability to combine these two concentrations, as the American system is much more flexible than the Italian system. I was also looking for a place that could give me a lot of opportunities. I wanted a college that would open up different paths and give me the ability to be able to choose what fit me. JCU never let me down on this.
Since my first year I have continuously been very involved in school activities. During my first semester at JCU, I joined the Model UN Club, of which I later become president for one year. I co-founded Think! Club, meant to foster philosophical discussions among students. I was also part of the Interfaith Initiative for two years and have been an orientation leader and team leader of the orientation team for the past three years. I concluded my time at JCU as the intern at the Guarini Institute for Public Affairs.
During my time at JCU I also took advantage of the opportunity to study abroad. Studying abroad changes you deeply as a person. In 2014, I decided to study abroad in Tokyo, at Temple University Japan. I had never been to Asia before, so everything was extremely astonishing for me. Japan is the most different country I have ever visited. However, I didn’t experience a strong culture shock – perhaps because I felt that I fit very much in with some of the cultural aspects of Japan.
What’s next for me? I have been accepted to a two-year Master’s in International Affairs at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University. Specifically, I will be focusing on Humanitarian Policy and UN studies, two areas that I studied continuously and in-depth during the past year.
The application process was quite long and complex. I suggest to all who are interested in applying for a Master’s degree to start very early. Besides the GRE, regular and quantitative resume, letters of recommendations, two motivational essays with different focuses, and a policy essay, for the first time SIPA introduced a one-minute video requirement – a real challenge! Thankfully all of my hard work paid off. My biggest dream became a reality. Sometimes I still cannot believe it. I started thinking about graduate schools very early on, trying to collect as much information as I could. At the end, I decided to apply only to the one school that I really wanted and that fit with who I am.
My advice for incoming JCU students is to take advantage of all of the opportunities that JCU offers, from lectures to clubs and extracurricular activities. The person sitting next to you will always have incredible and interesting stories and experiences to enjoy and to learn from. Make yourself a part of this constantly evolving and growing community by living in this unique place in the world.