During my sophomore year of university, one of my roommates talked about how she had applied to study abroad at John Cabot University for a summer session. The thought of studying abroad had never even crossed my mind until she told me about JCU, and I instantly became interested in the opportunity.
My friend and I applied, and a few weeks later, we were notified by JCU of our acceptance. We were thrilled! By the end of May 2018, I had temporarily moved to the Eternal City. When I first saw Rome, I was astonished by the beauty of its every corner.
On-site Classes at John Cabot
I knew John Cabot would be the perfect fit for me, and I felt comfortable knowing that a lot of Michigan State University students from my home university would be on this journey with me, so I wouldn’t get homesick.
I decided to take an Italian course, which seemed fitting because I only knew how to say “hello” in Italian. We did all sorts of cool things, such as cooking Italian foods and interacting with the local Italian community.
I also took an Art History course called Ancient Rome and its Monuments. The professors blew me away with their knowledge and involvement in the subject. We also had to learn how to use transportation to get to the monuments we were studying in class. We visited cathedrals, churches, landmarks, museums, and other cultural and historical landmarks.
Living in the Eternal City
During my time abroad, I lived with six other girls, all whom I still talk to. The bonds we made were ones that will last a lifetime. Whether it was traveling on 17-hour bus rides to other countries or riding mopeds in Tuscany, we did everything together. We even had a JCU reunion trip in New York City in December of 2019.
My biggest takeaway from studying abroad is that it’s so much more than a material learning experience. Studying at JCU gave me the opportunity to learn both in and out of the classroom.
Traveling Around Italy and Beyond
Studying abroad taught me about the rich culture of Italy. My love for the country grew so strong that I ended up convincing my family to travel to Europe the following summer with me. We went back to Rome because there is no other place like it, and I wanted to share my love for this city with my family.
My advice to someone who is interested in studying abroad is to be open-minded and let every experience sink in because it will be over before you know it. Also, make sure you save up money once you graduate because you’ll want to go back for more!
Study Abroad Summer I 2018
Major in Kinesiology and Minor in Health Promotion
Michigan State University