Since leaving Rome, I have been living in Barcelona for the last 2.5 years studying and working in Photography, Videography and Graphic Design. At the moment I am working as the Media Manager for a Dj Booking and Management Agency representing some of the biggest Techno Djs in the world. I am also working directly under the techno Dj, Dubfire, on his creative team conceptualizing events, graphics, and doing video and photography work.
At the end of the month I will be a featured artist at the Apple Store in Barcelona, giving a presentation on my development as a professional in Media Design, using a timeline of projects, equipment, and world travels in that pursuit.
I chose John Cabot because it offered the widest amount of courses for my major and its location in Italy, and within Rome itself (Trastevere). My ancestors and surname is Italian, and I was on a quest for what it really meant to be ‘Italian,’ and explored that in great depths during my time at JCU, even taking a trip with my father to the village where my family came from.
JCU was special to me because it offered me a chance to explore Rome and myself as an artist for the four months I was there. I was able to maintain aspects of things that were familiar (English language, American student body etc.) but at any given moment could immerse myself in a completely foreign atmosphere and get lost in all of these new found beauties I was discovering on a daily basis (culture, language, gastronomy).
The professors at JCU were the most open minded I had ever experienced in my life to that point, and we could openly talk about certain philosophies, politics, and emotions that could never ever be touched upon in the USA. The professors truly enjoyed their jobs, and clearly had fulfilling lives outside of the classroom, and were there in Italy/Europe for clearly defined reasons.
I made friends at JCU from all over the world, but a couple of the best ones were from places in the US that I had lived, but the connection couldn’t be formed until we were displaced from that setting. The laws of attraction working so far from home created such a stronger bond between us.
It was at John Cabot where I discovered photography in a much greater depth, and where I developed my artistic style, but more a place where all the thoughts and philosophies I had of life were accepted and appreciated. I will never cease to give homage to Rome, JCU, and Italy as a whole, because it put me on a path to a place that were so far away in my dreams it almost appeared unfathomable, but I’m living it now, just three years later.
The advice I would give to students considering JCU is to leave everything you know at home, for a moment in your life take a step aside and engage in the deepest form of introspection you have ever done. Use the people around you in this process, give to them and take from them, and develop this relationship with as many people as possible, especially with people outside of your home country. You are in Italy, speak to the people from there, no matter how ridiculous you may sound, you will be glad you got to practice in a real life situation, and can appreciate things of the culture that could not be appreciated otherwise. And lastly, and perhaps the most obvious, Italy is an amazing jumping off point to the rest of Europe, and although I don’t live there anymore, it was during that time I took a trip to Barcelona, my home, a place I love so deeply..and the best part..it is only an hour flight to Rome.
What do I miss the most about Rome..the food!! I can close my eyes and I am in the middle of Trastevere at my favorite restaurant, La Scaletta, and I send people there from all over the world to say Hi on my behalf, making me feel like my presence still exists in Rome. And Rome, especially Trastevere, is the most romantic place in the whole world in my opinion, and not the traditional use of the word, but the energy and history, the way the light shines, the coexistence of the urban and ancient, the language floating into your ears like music; eternal sensations and memories at your disposal… if you are so keen to create them, the canvas is there.
JCU Study Abroad Fall 2009
Coastal Carolina University
Communications / Journalism Minor