Student Spotlight: Federica Travaglio-Romeo, Class of 2020

“La vita è imprevedibile.”

This Italian quote meaning “life is unpredictable” is the best way to describe how I ended up in Rome, Italy, to pursue my undergraduate degree. Growing up, I always knew I wanted to leave my little city of Worcester, Massachusetts, and do something great with my life. This meant possibly moving to the nearby city of Boston or somewhere else in the US, but leaving to go to another country was unimaginable.

Life is unpredictable. During the college application process, I was looking into schools across the United States. After not getting into my top school, I was devastated. The saying “one door closes and another one opens” pushed me to look into all of my other options and carefully decide where I was going to spend the next four years of my life. I ended up choosing one of my safety schools, Suffolk University in Boston, but with a ‘Spanish’ twist. I attended Suffolk Madrid campus in Spain for a year with plans to go back to Boston to finish my degree. Most called me crazy for spending my first year of college abroad, and some doubted my decision, but I was happy to go to a foreign country, especially because two of my very good friends were also going.

That year consisted of many firsts for me: the first time I had left my family for such a long time; the first time I visited Africa; the first time I actually had to cook on my own; and most importantly, it was the first time I knew what it meant to be responsible. At the end of my freshman year, my two friends went back to the States, but I wanted to stay in Europe. With a simple Google search, I found John Cabot University. Life is unpredictable.

After all was said and done, I chose JCU to become my next “first” of many to come: the first time in a city with absolutely no one I knew. I spent that summer in Italy with my family. A week before moving into my apartment in Rome, I was nervous, yet excited, about this new journey. I came to Rome with no friends. By week two, I had already established my group of friends that I am now fortunate enough to live with today. Surrounding yourself with people who empower you to become better is an essential tool to any experience. The John Cabot University community empowers me to this day to become better. Every day I am left in awe at how filled with culture and knowledge this community really is.

My first semester, I was intimidated by how intellectual my peers were. I was shy and afraid to raise my hand in class. By the second semester, I was the annoying girl who asked a million questions. One of my favorite professors really pushed me to my limits and beyond. She often told me, “Federica, you really are smarter than you believe.” By the end of year one, I was absolutely stunned at how much I had learned in just one year. For me, it was not only the teachers who taught me, but the whole community. My peers all offer interesting life stories, and I always offer a listening ear. Getting to know and becoming part of such a cultured community shaped my life in infinite ways.

Yes, life is unpredictable. I did not get into my dream school and ended up going to my safety school, but if that had not happened, then I wouldn’t be where I am today. Every decision I have made shaped me to become the person I am today. Choosing John Cabot University was one of the best decisions I made in my entire life. I know this is a broad statement, but it’s a true one!

Learn more about studying International Affairs at John Cabot University!


Federica Travaglio-Romeo
International Affairs Major
JCU Class of 2020
Hometown: Worcester, Massachusetts

Student Spotlight

Menu