A Non-American in an American University

I should start with: how do you do?

It’s a running introductory joke that is applied to me when whomever I meet recognises that I am in fact British. Yes, hello. I am well, thank you. Pip-pip, cheerio! Honestly, the humour and excitement is something new to me and well appreciated. I’d say it’s my conversation starter. Here at John Cabot University we are a very diverse group of students, representing and admitting students from over 70 countries, and I feel pretty proud to stand with the proverbial British flag stamped on my forehead. I’m not the only non-American / non-Italian who feels this way, and it’s not a bad way, honestly.

You numeric minority, you.

We are proud representatives of our countries as well as our hometowns, wherever in the world that may be! Coming to JCU really gives you the chance to show off your nationality and heritage: here, we value the diversity. By coming to John Cabot, I now have friends and connections worldwide. It can be a little daunting sometimes, and even a little scary coming here by yourself. I was privy to many group pages upon my acceptance into the university, and tons of people discussed where they were from and joining flights with others from their cities across the world. My lonely little comment only got likes, but no affirmation that I would be meeting any Brits here.

jcu students, john cabot university, rome, trastevere, british students in RomeSo I came knowingly and unknowingly alone, the single Brit representing my tea-loving land . . . but I was wrong. I met three other British students already at John Cabot, doing the same thing I was. And before long, although there was novelty of my accent and still is, I became excited rather than nervous. See, despite there being a majority of American students, all that come to JCU are looking for something special. As a community, we are all the same. Brave. Adventurous. Independent. It was why I fit in so well here. I was nervous, yes, but never scared.

JCU offers something special to students from all across the globe, and by studying abroad or being a degree-seeker here, there is never a dull moment and you are certainly not lacking in expanding your knowledge of cultures. We are cosmopolitanism personified. Enriched and stronger for it, I can go anywhere in the world and have a friend I can visit. Yes, leaving my home country was hard, and yes, it was a challenge and still is a challenge in many areas – but being a part of this crazy reality is something we thrive on. Our experiences in our lives demand the space the world offers. Besides, something I have learned while studying abroad in Rome is that the world is pretty small anyway when it comes to people. The space is vast, but people? People always remain closer than you think.

So, dear the future, brave students of JCU: you’re not alone.

Oh, and, how do you do?

BethanyBethany Anne Miller

Class of 2019

Classical Studies Major

Shrewsbury, England

Student Spotlight