When I strolled through Trastevere for the first time, I was twelve years old. If you had asked me then if I could imagine studying there, I probably would have laughed – this city was like a museum for me, a monument for observing and adoring, not a city to live and study in. On my second trip in Rome, if you had asked me the same question, I would have rolled my eyes. At that time, I was busy applying to several universities in the U.S. and other parts of Europe.
Despite the fact that I was accepted to all of these other universities, I ended up applying to, getting accepted at, and ultimately choosing to enroll at John Cabot University.
For years, I had been intrigued by the thought of living and studying with a group of interesting, diverse people. My love of art, nature, culture, sports, and theater, along with a fascination for far-flung places and people, has always been a part of who I am.
In other words, I was looking for more than valuable knowledge from my time at university; I was looking for a certain kind of life experience. I found what I was looking for in a place where all the roads lead, and where ideas can be freely explored.
My heart beat faster when I read about John Cabot’s Theatre Society, the Model United Nations Society, and the Film, Media, and Communication Society. Even better, when I visited campus, I read some of the notices on bulletin boards across the university, and I was simply amazed. Do you want to work out? Go to the Fitness Center. Want to join an excursion? No problem, JCU organizes trips (for example, sightseeing trips to Tuscany or the Amalfi Coast) and activities like cooking classes or seeing a ballet or opera. Want some experience in your career field? I marveled at the variety of internship opportunities posted. I am certain that as an undergraduate student at John Cabot University, I will be working on the development of not only my mind, but also my soul.
As I stood on the Ponte Sisto and watched the Tiber River flowing below, I felt an incredible spark burning inside of me – I understood that John Cabot University was the place I had been looking for perhaps all my conscious life. I had noticed that there is a kind of breathtaking magic in the seven-hilled city, which I felt but didn’t understand. While visiting the JCU campus, the illumination finally hit me: Rome is not only a place with a great past, but also one with an incredible presence and exciting future – simply think of the thousands upon thousands of people who come to visit the Colosseum each day. It’s a truly international environment – both Rome and John Cabot University – where cultures, ideas, and people meet. I had the chance to talk to such friendly and competent members of the JCU community, both staff and students. They were honest, welcoming, and helpful, which made me immediately feel like a part of the John Cabot family.
I have visited Rome three times in total. And, luckily, each time I tossed a coin into the Trevi fountain to guarantee my return. My next journey to the Eternal City will be this August. However, it will be not a holiday, but a new chapter of my life as a John Cabot University student.
Remember the ending of Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love? (No, I don’t mean the debut of a singing mortician, in the shower, naked.) There is a wonderful glimpse of the Spanish Steps, where the Italian man says: “I stand up here, and I see everything. All people. I see life. In this city, all is a story.” There are many stories. And this is, I believe, the message to me and to all incoming JCU students – now, it’s our chance; our time to create our story. Let’s make the best of it.
Class of 2021
Hometown: Piekary Slaskie, Poland