As I begin to acclimate to classes and Roman culture, life at John Cabot University is becoming less unfamiliar each and every day. Living in the Eternal city so far has opened a multitude of doors for me and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Although the language barrier was difficult at first, I have learned to embrace my Italian roots and enjoy the challenge of deciphering dialects and conversations. It is extremely invigorating being able to walk down the street and hear conversations not in your native tongue and see people and styles so different from what you conceive as normal. Life here is unlike America and I can’t get enough of it.
On paper John Cabot University highlights its Roman atmosphere and thirteen Bachelor of Arts degrees, however as I have now spent nearly a month attending the university I’d like to share my first impressions.
John Cabot University is not only a liberal arts university, but also a home to some of the most welcoming and interesting students and professors. I find myself constantly meeting people of various cultures and backgrounds, each having a unique story and reason for choosing JCU. It is particularly eye opening to be part of such a diverse population composed of both full-time and study abroad students from all over the world. I enjoy engaging with others in my classes and developing my skills as a global citizen. Admissions and staff at John Cabot have been nothing but respectful, informative, and kind to me throughout my early transitional period into Roman life. As for the atmosphere in Rome, I am quite impressed with how the native Romans walk about the cobblestones without tripping or falling like myself. One of the largest differences John Cabot has to a typical American university is not only the old cobblestone streets but the sheer proximity the university has to some of the grandest architecture in the world. Rome is literally the campus here at JCU and nothing could make me smile more.
In addition to classes and students is the local residence I have moved in to during my first semester. The Gianicolo residence is one of the options for housing here at JCU. It’s newly renovated apartment style dorms are spacious and inviting. Fortunately I am situated in an apartment with two girls and we share our own full kitchen, full bathroom, and large common area. Living in Gianicolo allows for an easy walk to both the Tiber and Guarini campuses. Its close proximity to the Ponte Sisto Bridge and local tram makes for endless possibilities during free time over the weekend and after class. Although my roommates and I have yet to run into a hot water problem, it has been slightly difficult adjusting to not having a proper dryer. Nonetheless, I enjoy living in Gianicolo tremendously and I know that the housing office will always be there if and when an issue does occur.
If you want the blatant truth about John Cabot University or simply an Americans perspective on life in Rome, here it is. It’s an expensive, culturally enriching, wildly spontaneous adventure absolutely worth experiencing. Yes, living conditions are different, people actually hang dry clothes here. Yes, it becomes hard to manage money surrounded by the most delicious restaurants. Yes, time becomes hard to grasp with the constant movement and liveliness of the city. However, it is the person you become who recognizes the differences and appreciates the beauty of differing people and backgrounds that makes living in the Eternal City so memorable. Americans thrive off the concept of comfort. It is those who step outside of their comfort zone that truly see the world and enjoy the experiences it has to offer.
JCU Class of 2018