Student Spotlight: Miguel Martinez-Valle, Study Abroad Spring 2014

I decided to study abroad at John Cabot because of the location and the semester dates. You really can’t beat the campus locations of both Tiber and Guarini. Trastevere is beautiful and everything is relatively close. Also the location is pretty easy to find which was very helpful to me as a study abroad. I loved the semester dates because I feel like I get to be in Rome with my program much longer than some of my friends who went to other schools.

What has made this semester abroad so special for me are the people I have met. Obviously Rome is beautiful and the traveling has been life changing but it is the friends I have met (both study abroad and degree seeking) that have made it truly unique and special. I never knew I could get so close to people in such a small amount of time. I really have made some lifelong friends.

Since I am only in Rome for a short time I don’t think I will ever get over the amazement that much of the city inspires. Because of this I cannot say I have one hundred percent been able to see the city from a locals perspective. That being said, making some local friends has opened my eyes to many cool things I would not have been able to see as just a tourist.

One piece of advice I would give my peers and future study abroad students is to break out of the norm and really dive deep into JCU and Italian life. Don’t get me wrong; I love G-Bar and Campo as much as the next study abroad, but I would really suggest joining clubs and befriending the degree-seeking students. I joined STAND while here at JCU and have been able to do some amazing volunteer work at the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center every Friday. Through this experience I have been able to help out while also meeting many amazing and interesting people.

I would like to think that this program has impacted my future in a lot of ways. Personally, I have loved growing through my travels and learning about the Italian culture and the cultures of so many other people around the world. Academically, JCU has some amazing professors; I have been able to learn from people who are actually thriving in the field they are teaching. I would hope that these connections could help me professionally in the future.

Miguel Martinez-Valle
Michigan State University
Study Abroad Spring 2014

Student Spotlight