We never know what seemingly minor events will shape our lives and our view of the world – and even influence our decision on what university to attend! I was six years old when I saw a Discovery Channel documentary about Joann Fletcher, a British Egyptologist, and her search for the mummy of Queen Nefertiti. It was then that I realized two truths about myself, even though I was so young. The first one is that I wanted to see the world and admire all the wonders it could offer me and, especially, learn from those experiences; and the second one is that I wanted my own Discovery Channel show.
But since these two goals were so closely connected, I had to figure out – before anything else – how I would reach other cultures and people from the comfort of my home. It didn’t take long for me to realize that it wasn’t possible: I couldn’t gain the world experience I was longing for by staying at home. And that was when I began searching for a university outside of my home country of Brazil: a university that would offer me both the experience of getting to know another country, and the experience of living with people from a different cultural backgrounds.
When I found John Cabot University, it was easy to see that I’d found the exact environment I was looking for; what wasn’t so easy was the decision to abandon the familiar, the life I have now, to face the unknown. For almost two years, I put off the idea of leaving my country. Maybe I could adapt to a university here, maybe Brazil could offer me what I wanted. But it didn’t work. The child in me wanted to bring her dreams to life, and it got to the point where I couldn’t ignore her anymore.
So twelve years after my original realization that I wanted to see the world, I went back to that plan. I borrowed the courage of my childhood self, young Giulia, and I sent in my application to John Cabot University.
It was a single shot in the dark; I applied to John Cabot University only. Even when others advised me to apply to some other universities too, just in case, I was sure John Cabot’s environment was the only one that offered all the elements I was looking for. After all, it’s not very common to find a university in the heart of western civilization that is basically an open-air museum and archaeological site; in a country where you’re a citizen (I have Italian heritage); with classes given in a language you’re proficient in; and with professors and students from all over the world willing to share their knowledge, which is what I want most. And the best part: JCU offers a major in International Affairs. Studying International Affairs will mean I can mix my lifelong passion for history with something I recently discovered I’m passionate about, politics.
Ever since I received my acceptance letter from John Cabot, it feels like time has slowed down. I am anxiously awaiting the moment when I get on that plane and take the first step into my future. Yet at the same time, it seems that time is flying, and that in just two months, my whole life will be turned upside down and I’ll have to start a new chapter of my life.
No matter how slowly or quickly time seems to pass, it does indeed pass, and with each second, I am a little closer to living my original dream: seeing the world, learning from it, and putting myself in other people’s shoes. I owe all of that to the unconditional support my parents gave me: believing in my childhood dreams, pushing me to never stop challenging myself, and now giving me the opportunity to write my own future, even if that means a distance of 5,948 miles and more than 10 hours of traveling.
And who knows? Maybe in the future I can really have my own Discovery Channel show.
International Affairs major
Class of 2021
Hometown: São Paulo, Brazil