We caught up with degree-seeking student Torsa Mukhter to ask her about her independent study abroad experience in Bangladesh. Read what she had to say!
How did you choose to study at JCU? What do you study and why?
After I graduated from an international high school in Rome, I was planning to continue my studies, but I did not want to leave Italy because I was not ready to go live in another country, nor was I ready to leave my friends and family. I also wanted to continue my studies in English.
In October 2015, I was walking through the streets of Trastevere and I saw the John Cabot University sign at the entrance of the Guarini Campus. After walking by the campus, I ended up at JCU’s Admissions Office, where they gave me information about the university and the application process. I decided to apply and after being admitted, I found out that I was given a Presidential Scholarship, which increased my enthusiasm and interest to study here.
Studying at JCU has given me the chance to experience and study at an American university in the heart of Rome, Italy. Since both of my parents are from Bangladesh, studying at JCU has allowed me to properly identify the similarities and differences of Italian, American, and Bangladeshi cultures. I believe that studying in an international environment such as JCU truly enhances one’s educational experience. I love sitting in class with students and professors from all over the world.
In Spring 2016, I began my academic journey as a degree-seeking student majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Marketing. My lifelong dream is to be able to open my own company one day. Even though I am unsure of what type of business it will be, I want to eventually create a platform to engage with people from all over the world in a corporate setting.
You did an independent study abroad—where did you go? How did this experience enhance your studies?
For my independent study abroad experience, I went to the Independent University in Bangladesh to experience the educational system of my mother and father’s home country. Contrary to my parents, I was born and raised in Italy, but my origins are Bangladeshi. Before my study abroad experience, I had never stayed there for more than two months, which is why I decided to enroll in the Spring and Summer 2019 study abroad programs there.
If it was not for this study abroad experience, I would not have developed such a profound appreciation of Bangladeshi culture. During my time there, I was able to celebrate traditional Bangladeshi holidays and participate in festivities. Most importantly, I got to spend quality time with my relatives who live there.
Studying in Bangladesh was beneficial for me as a young academic because I was able to expand my own knowledge and learn more about what I want to do in the future for a career. I took some marketing courses there that helped me to see the marketing strategy of some Bangladeshi companies. This experience also helped me to see the differences between studying in Italy at JCU and in Bangladesh. For example, while the classes at JCU are fairly small, in Bangladesh, I took classes with 40 to 45 students. This was my first time taking a course with so many students.
In the end, I truly loved studying abroad as I was able to experience education in a different setting. I was able to experience a different style of education, and spend seven months in the country where my parents grew up.
Why should other JCU students consider spending one semester/year abroad?
JCU students should definitely take advantage of the special chance to study abroad because it will expose them to new cultures, teach them new languages, and create a greater understanding of the world. The best part of it all is the friends and fond memories that they will make along the way, just as I did when studying in Bangladesh.
Studying abroad is an experience that all students should do during their academic journey. My advice to any student who is considering an independent study abroad program is, just do it! You will see that this opportunity will not just enrich your education but also you as a person.
Business Administration major, Marketing minor
Class of 2020
Hometown: Rome, Italy