As the Fall semester picks up and you get into the swing of things, you will start to get more comfortable with your classes, peers, and professors. If you start off with good habits, you will feel ready to take on whatever comes your way. You will quickly learn that one of the best parts about attending John Cabot University is the community atmosphere, where you will truly feel like you can contribute both in and out of the classroom. Because of the small class sizes, you will find your professors to be approachable and relatable, treating you with respect and providing encouragement. You will never be just a number to them.
With that being said, it is important to really take advantage of this kind of academic environment and make the most of what JCU professors have to offer you. It may be tempting to just follow your schedule and go to class when you’re required to, taking a few notes and leaving as soon as the class is over. I have to admit that I often did this, quickly closing my notebook and rushing on to my next activity. But looking back, I can tell you that you shouldn’t just attend class and then rush off… your friends will be able to wait for you a little bit longer. You should take advantage of the professors’ availability after class by asking questions or telling them what you’re having difficulty with. When you get grades, ask them for feedback. Find out how you can improve. If you are struggling in any particular area, arrange to meet with them for help or advice outside of class.
Professors at John Cabot come from all over the world, and that gives them a great understanding for the JCU student body: students of all different backgrounds and cultures, many of whom feel like “global nomads.” Moreover, JCU professors have a wide array of expertise, working in their fields of study, which is exactly what you want in someone who will teach and mentor you.
Professors enjoy taking advantage of the beautiful neighborhood of Trastevere just as much as you do. It will not be uncommon for you to bump into them throughout the day. Instead of just walking by, why not stop and chat, maybe even grab a coffee or a sandwich together and learn more about their career or particular focus of study? Everyone has life experience to share; why not ask for theirs? You may end up with a new mentor!
A relationship formed at JCU is one guaranteed to last a lifetime. This includes academic relationships with professors and faculty. Even after graduation, they enjoy keeping in touch with their students, checking in with them from time to time, and grabbing coffee with them whenever they’re back in Rome. They might even be able to recommend you for future jobs. Having a connection with someone in the same area of work or industry as you is never a bad thing!
Alexa Vujaklija (Shearer)
Class of 2015
Grew up in the United States, Germany, the Republic of Georgia, Russia, and Bulgaria