My name is Sofia, and I am currently a junior majoring in International Affairs at JCU. As part of the new Student Ambassador team created by the admissions department to connect potential students with current students, I had the honor of participating in the university’s first ever Admitted Students Day.
In April, JCU organized a day devoted entirely to undergraduate students who have been accepted for admission to John Cabot University in the Fall 2019 semester. Thirty-six students and their families traveled from 10 countries and seven U.S. states to Rome for Admitted Students Day to have a firsthand experience of the university, attend info sessions, meet current students and faculty, and get a campus tour – all designed to help prospective students decide whether JCU is the right choice for them.
My job was to talk with the students to answer their questions about what it is like to live and study here in Rome. Although JCU wasn’t yet organizing such events when I applied a few years ago, it was clear to me how important it was to our attendees to see and get a sense of the university for themselves before deciding to make the leap and become a future JCU Gladiator!
Admitted Students Day kicked off with welcome speeches from Arianna Catti De Gasperi, Director of US and International Admissions, and Michèle Favorite, Director of Italian Admissions. I imagine it must have been really exciting for them to finally meet the students they have been working with for so many months, and it was especially exciting for me to meet the next generation of my future JCU classmates! Then the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, Professor Pamela Harris, followed with an overview of John Cabot’s academic success program, which talked about the academic resources JCU offers its students, from advising to the tutoring center to the JCU library.
After the introductory talks, the other Student Ambassadors and I took the students and their families on tours of the JCU campus and housing. Our tour groups – about 15 people each – were like a small glimpse into what life is really like at JCU, with each group being an interesting mix of people from different countries and backgrounds. I particularly enjoyed speaking with a Latin American student planning to attend JCU in the fall. The tours ended with a delicious lunch buffet provided by the Tiber Café and a club fair with 14 of our 23 student clubs and organizations represented, including the Fandom Club, the Queer Alliance, STAND, and Grassroots.
In the afternoon, we had a student services panel with the Dean of Students, the Directors of Housing and Student Services, and the Career Services Center Coordinator. Then we asked the parents to step out so that we Student Ambassadors could have the opportunity to talk alone with the admitted students about JCU, life in Rome, and answer any other questions they had. This was definitely my favorite part of the day! It was fun to share with them my story of the transition from living at home with my family to moving to a different country across the world alone, and learning how to survive and thrive in Rome.
The day ended with a speech by JCU’s President, Franco Pavoncello, who highlighted how John Cabot graduates go on to achieve graduate degrees from prestigious institutions and become tomorrow’s global leaders. He talked about how at John Cabot University, everyone is a “foreigner” in some way – whether to Italy, or to the American academic system – which is why everyone works together to make it their home. After his speech, the aperitivo opened with a fun performance by our JCU cheerleaders.
In the survey following Admitted Students Day, one attendee commented, “Throughout the whole day, people were open to questions, and everyone was very polite and helpful. I left being sure that I wanted to enroll in the school.”
From a current student’s perspective, it was amazing to meet all of these new potential students, talk to them about the amazing possibility they have to earn their bachelor’s degrees in Rome at JCU, and to see them already beginning to connect and make friends with one other. I am happy to know that JCU will continue offering this event to admitted students every year, as I think it is an important way for students to understand if John Cabot is the right fit for them.
International Affairs major
Class of 2020
Hometown: Cali, Colombia