The Tulane University Spring Scholars program gives some students the opportunity to spend their fall semester studying at John Cabot University in Rome, before transferring directly into Tulane University in the spring semester of their freshman year. We will be featuring several blog posts by students who have participated in the Spring Scholars program.
If someone had told me a year ago that I’d be living in Rome as a freshman in college, I would have told them they’re crazy. Ever since I started high school, I was ready for the “typical American college freshman experience.” To me, that meant moving into a dorm, representing my school colors on game day, and taking a short flight home for the holidays. I had no idea what was really in store for me….
When I was accepted to Tulane University’s Spring Scholars program, my plans started to change. I looked at the options they gave us for Fall semester, and decided to attend John Cabot University in Rome. Prior to my arrival, I honestly didn’t know what to expect from John Cabot. But as I walked into my first day of class, I was pleasantly surprised by the approachable, knowledgeable professors and intimate class sizes. Not only did I get to know other Tulane students, but I made friends from Italy and the rest of the world!
Although I was scared and unsure at first, I quickly adapted to life at JCU, and grew to love the cozy campus located right in the heart of Rome. Late night study sessions aren’t so bad when you get to have them on the Secchia terrace with amazing views of Rome, or in the homey Frohring library on the Guarini campus. I will miss that, along with the treasures I would pass on a simple walk to class. The Tiber River, the historic churches, the Pantheon, and the Vatican are only a few of the city’s gems that have become my everyday sites.
When you decide to study at John Cabot, learning doesn’t end when you leave the classroom. In a city like Rome, you quickly realize that education goes far beyond the walls of the university. Living here has taught me the true meaning of responsibility and independence. I have gained a new perspective of the world by experiencing different cultures firsthand. I have discovered a newfound appreciation for art and history, and because of that I have grown so much. I have explored a completely new lifestyle, tried foods I never thought I would have, and I have traveled to nine different countries and 16 cities!
A memory that truly stands out to me is one from my first week in Rome. My friends and I were on our way to dinner when we stumbled across a live musician singing in the local piazza. Without hesitation, we stopped what we were doing and sat on the steps to listen and soak in the sights and sounds of our new home. Within ten minutes, locals and tourists from different countries and of different ages joined in to sing along. I even jumped up to dance, pulling one of my friends with me. I was simply in awe that this was real, and that this would be my life for the next three and a half months–it truly felt like a scene from an Italian movie. Right then and there, I knew that I had made the right decision to come to Rome and study at JCU. I couldn’t stop smiling, and I wished that the moment could have lasted forever.
Getting the chance to study abroad at John Cabot was the best thing that has ever happened to me. I have met the most extraordinary people, eaten meals that have tasted too good to be true, and seen more of the world in the past three months than I had in my first 18 years. If you choose to make the move to Italy, be sure to take advantage of every moment. In the blink of an eye you will be saying goodbye to this chapter and moving on to the next one. I would encourage anyone to follow this path, and take a chance on life in Rome. The friendships and memories I have made will stay with me forever.
Ciao for now, Roma! I will be back.
Communications major, Political Science minor
Study Abroad Fall 2018