Take Advantage of Long Weekends

Take Advantage of Long Weekends, study abroad in Rome, JCU student life, long weekends in Rome, study in ItalyOne of the benefits of studying at John Cabot University is that there are no classes on Fridays. For incoming freshmen straight out of high school, this probably seems too good to be true… but it is! As a rule, unless there is a make-up day or a special circumstance, John Cabot runs on a four-day academic schedule.

When I initially arrived at John Cabot, I remember feeling like I had so much free time, especially after my rigorous high school IB curriculum. But once I settled into my first semester and established my daily routines, not attending classes on Fridays started to feel completely normal. Looking back, I could even say that I took those long weekends somewhat for granted, not realizing that I would miss them once I entered the “real world.”

My advice to any John Cabot student at the start of the new semester would be this: take advantage of your long weekends. Whether you are an incoming freshman, a senior, or a study abroad student spending a semester here, your time at JCU will be over before you know it. Make sure to spend your time wisely and enjoy it to the fullest.

Here are 4 great ways to take advantage of JCU’s three-day weekends:

  1. Sightsee
    It may seem obvious, but it’s easy to get wrapped up in your daily routine and forget to take advantage of all the amazing things Rome has to offer. You might think you have plenty of time to see everything, but in reality, Rome has thousands of attractions–monuments, fountains, museums, ruins–and if you don’t prioritize your time, you might not get to see all that you would like. A great way to start off the new semester is to make a list of a few of your personal “must-see” spots in town and then you can use your long weekends to check them off as you go. You would be surprised by how many people study in Rome for four years and never get around to seeing some of the city’s most famous sights, such as the Vatican Museums or the inside of the Colosseum.
  2. Get to know new neighborhoods
    If you’ve already been living in Rome for a while and this is not your first semester at JCU, you have most likely seen a lot of the well-known sights in the city. If this is the case, you should use your three-day weekends to explore some of Rome’s hidden gems. Take a stroll in a new neighborhood beyond Trastevere that you don’t know much about, enjoy a relaxing park, or hunt down an artsy café or thrift store. Don’t stop exploring!
  3. Travel around Italy
    Sometimes you just need a break outside the city. Take a weekend getaway. Delve into some of Italy’s other fascinating and historical cities. There are so many interesting places to visit throughout the country that are a train ride away! Not having classes on Fridays means you can hop on a train, bus, or plane on Thursday night and spend a full weekend getting to know a another side of your adopted country. Take a trip to Sicily, Venice, Florence, Naples, and more!
  4. Study
    Although you may feel inspired to explore the city or travel every weekend, it is also important to take advantage of this extra time to focus on your academics. Having a three-day weekend means one more day that you can study and work on projects and papers; that way you don’t have to cram or pull an all-nighter during the week. Using that extra day to catch up on schoolwork will be a huge stress reliever, especially during crucial times of the semester.


Alexa Vujaklija (Shearer)
Class of 2015
Communications Major
Grew up in The United States, Germany, The Republic of Georgia, Russia, and Bulgaria

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