Quite a lot of people from around the world dream of attaining an American university degree, and many believe that it can be acquired only in the United States of America. Studying in the US does in fact open up a lot of opportunities because it is one of the most economically stabilized countries and it offers one of the best education systems worldwide.
However, based on my current experience with American education in Rome, Italy, I can say that there’s a huge added value in acquiring an American education in a European setting, while sharing your classrooms and living spaces with students from all over the world.
My name is Ngonidzashe Taruvinga and I’m from Zimbabwe. I had always dreamed of studying toward an American degree in the US, but until I learned about John Cabot University, it had never crossed my mind that I could get the same quality and type of education while in a different country. I had certainly never thought I could get an American degree while studying in beautiful Rome, Italy! This extremely diverse university is located in the Trastevere area, not far from Vatican City, just ten minutes away from Pope Francis’ residence and a 15-minute bus ride from the ancient Colosseum.
I will admit that when I first decided to apply and was accepted to JCU, I had a few preconceptions about the university. However, I discovered within the first month of attending classes at the university that most of those preconceptions were incorrect. For example, I initially thought I was one of just a few international students in the institution. I then questioned myself after noticing the small country flags hanging in JCU’s Tiber Cafe. The horizontal layout of the flags on the wall is a symbol of the university’s multicultural environment; each flag represents a student (or students) from that country who actually attends John Cabot. The university even has different Facebook pages or groups in different languages like Spanish, Italian, and Russian to cater to students (and their parents) whose native language is not English.
I used to think I had gained enough multicultural experience from the different African countries I had visited over the years, but early on in my time at JCU, I had a sudden realization that this was just the beginning of a new and overwhelming experience. The 2016 graduating class alone consisted of 146 students representing 26 countries worldwide.
Since I have been at John Cabot University, I have learned that one of the best ways to discover more about the world is not just by learning about it in class, reading books and articles, or watching TV and movies, but by actually interacting firsthand with people from different countries and multicultural backgrounds.
Within just my first year at John Cabot University, I have learned a lot about American lifestyles, Japanese cooking, Ghanaian traditions, and Italian communication skills – to name just a few! Experiencing such an extraordinary multifaceted cultural environment encompassed in one institution is a wonderful way to understand what “a globalized world” really means.
Class of 2017
Hometown: Harare, Zimbabwe