Freshman Program Student Spotlight: Ariana Kim, Fall 2016

JCU student spotlight, john cabot university, study abroad in Rome, colosseum, first semester abroadThe University of Southern California Spring Admit program gives some students the opportunity to spend their fall semester studying at John Cabot University in Rome, before transferring directly into USC in the spring semester of their freshman year. We will be featuring several blog posts by students who have participated in the Spring Admit program.

I remember getting lost in the beautiful roads and corners of Trastevere like it was yesterday. As a 2017 Spring Admit for the University of Southern California (USC) I decided to venture my way from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Rome, Italy. It never really hit me that I was leaving my tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean until I hopped aboard my 20+ hour flight to go 8,021 miles to John Cabot University.

I remember screaming and crying with my parents as I received that glorious box from USC and picking out which study abroad freshman program I wanted to attend during my fall semester. So how did I decide to go to Rome rather than the other options in Paris, London, or Switzerland?  I’d visited Italy before and absolutely fell in love with the country, so it was already on my mind.  Paris had off-campus dorms, Richmond was too far from the city, and Switzerland didn’t seem to offer much – so off to Rome I was!

JCU student spotlight, john cabot university, study abroad in Rome, colosseum, first semester abroad, students travelingMy first semester at John Cabot proved to be immensely beneficial to my life here at USC, where I’ve now started my studies as a second-semester freshman, and finding my place at USC has been easier than ever. After all, how scary can USC really be after moving to a brand new continent/country whose main language isn’t English?  Nothing beats trying to converse with taxi drivers in broken Italian; speaking to your Russian, Polish, Swedish, multilingual classmates from all over the world; and having to constantly break out of your comfort zone.

Now that I think about it, moving so far from home was absolutely crazy and I loved every second of it. I felt so alive during my time in Rome,  whether I was taking a walk across the Tiber River into the historic center; hanging out in my residence just minutes away from the Vatican; or debating with my friends from all over the globe.

JCU student spotlight, john cabot university, study abroad in Rome, colosseum, first semester abroad, students travelingI knew next to nothing about John Cabot when I’d arrived. I left loving the university, the city of Rome, the neighborhood of Trastevere, and the countless amazing people I met along the way. One more thing: being able to travel to a new country every weekend is something I will never forget.

Studying abroad has transformed me into an extroverted and independent global citizen who is now motivated to thrive and succeed at USC. My time in Italy represented, by far, the best months of my life, and I’m so thankful that USC’s Spring Admit program gave me the opportunity to have this incredible experience. Fight on!

Professional Headshot
Ariana Kim
Philosophy, Politics, & Law and Cognitive Science major
University of Southern California Spring Admit
Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii

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