Student Spotlight: Reed McCalib, Study Abroad Fall 2012

A Slice of Home in Rome

True to its name, the Eternal City will be engrained eternally in my mind; the memories I have made (and am still making) in Rome will follow me my entire life. I will never forget the colossal monuments left behind from an ancient civilization. I will never forget the remarkable diversity of people, united in their uniquely Italian lifestyle. I will never forget the mighty Tiber, the seven hills or the breathtaking vista from the top of Giancolo. I will never forget the corner cafés and unmarked pizzerias that have become my comfort zone, the clubs and pubs that greet me on the weekends.

And, as a central part of my experience, I will never forget my time at John Cabot University. It is a remarkable little place, a slice of home in a foreign metropolis. Situated in arguably the best neighborhood in Rome, the wonderfully quaint Trastevere, on the banks of the Tiber River, JCU has it all. The welcoming environment of a university, the comfort of my native tongue, and the rare intellectual product of the meeting of international minds are all found within the school’s walls. It is small enough to receive individual attention from professors and faculty, yet big enough to see a new face everyday. An American university in the heart of Rome: John Cabot University is everything one would imagine.

Although there are a limited number of options, the classes are amazing. I especially enjoyed my on-site lectures, travelling to the most awesome parts of Rome and learning about the history and culture. As a Classics major, it was perfect for me. I will always remember taking notes seated upon the ruins of Nero’s Golden Palace, or going over our midterms underneath the entrance of the Pantheon. It is almost surreal – I laughed thinking about my friends’ reaction when I told them about class inside the Coliseum. The class sizes are small, enough to develop a personal relationship with the professor, and the students are eager to learn.

Typical campus facilities are all there: library, gym, cafeteria, computer lab. They are small, proportional to the size of the university, but they are clean and welcoming. The food in the cafeteria is good, the coffee is even better. The library has everything a student would need, including a quiet place to study. John Cabot students seem to really enjoy spending time on campus, for a good reason; there are always Italian and American undergraduates around. It is a place to study, socialize, eat, and learn.

I could not have asked for a better place to spend a year. The beautiful neighborhood, the diverse students, the great professors and overall campus environment leave little to be desired. While everyday in Rome brought something new, different, and exciting, John Cabot University was always a comfortable place to return to. I will remember it forever.

jcu picture
Reed McCalib
Gustavus Adolphus College
Study Abroad Fall 2012

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