I have always felt closely connected to my Italian roots. Although I grew up in the United States and my Italian language skills were nonexistent for most of my life, I had always dreamed of studying abroad in Italy during my college years.
I never could have imagined how profoundly my semester in Rome would change the course of my life.
My semester abroad allowed me to learn the language that I always associated with the warmth of my grandmother’s kitchen, to finally meet my relatives who remained in my grandparents’ hometown, and to discover how little I actually knew about myself. I returned home to my final semester in college after my four months in Rome, where I tried to return to my original life plan. I started an excellent internship, I finished my thesis, I took the LSAT and began preparing my law school applications. But the future that I had always envisioned for myself became something that I looked upon with dread, and suddenly the only future I could imagine involved the city that had become my new home.
After weighing the pros and cons and applying for as many positions from across the pond as possible, I bit the bullet and bought myself a one-way ticket to Rome. I interviewed with John Cabot University the day I got off the plane, and within two weeks I was starting my new position. A result of fate, sheer luck, or a bit of both, I was fortunate enough not only to begin working at a university with a mission I wholeheartedly support, but also to begin a job that allowed me to help other students have the same experience that changed the course of my life.
Moving to Rome brought out a side of me that I didn’t know existed. My fast-paced life suddenly slowed down, allowing me to stop to enjoy my cappuccino at the bar instead of grabbing a Starbucks latte to go before rushing off to class and internships. I became patient, as my American timeliness often resulted in waiting for my Italian friends and public transportation (who are both infamous for their delayed sense of time). And most importantly, this city has taught me to accept that the plans I always had for my future will absolutely change. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Juliana is one of our Study Abroad Admissions Counselors. A native Bostonian, Juliana works with all of our international and East Coast-based applicants. To learn more about study abroad at John Cabot University, contact [email protected].