Student Spotlight: Chiedza Mashonganyika, Class of 2021

No gift will ever exceed that of education, because the gift of education never stops giving. It stays with you the rest of your life. Being a John Cabot University Global Explorer is unlike anything else; the Global Explorer scholarship sets itself apart from other scholarships not only by the extent of its generosity, but by providing the opportunity for an education beyond the academic, and by honoring three students with the scholarship, which creates a small but important support system. When given the gift of education at such a prestigious institution, one cannot simply say “thank you”.

“Thank you” is a good starting point, however, and this is what I said to the friend who’d originally called and told me about John Cabot. She was ecstatic about the possibility of receiving such a marvelous education in one of the greatest cities in the world. Her excitement was contagious, and I was awestruck as I went online and read more and more about the school. I had two dreams: to receive a liberal arts university education and to see the world, and John Cabot united these two dreams into one school.

As a 13-year-old girl, I was taught that Rome had been the heart of an empire, the cultural hub of the Renaissance, and the heart of Christianity. At 16, my interest was further piqued when I began to study Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, which began my fascination with this important figure and once again seemed to call my heart to Rome. It is common for Zimbabwean students seeking higher education to go overseas, but the idea of studying in Italy required me to walk a road less traveled, because it falls outside of the typical countries where Zimbabwean students tend to study.  I will admit that choosing such an out-of-the-ordinary option did give me pause, but as “Arundel School’s Most Courageous Student of 2016” I knew I wanted to do what was not typical, especially if it meant acquiring a unique educational and cultural experience.

Through social media, our world has become a global village; however, it is rare to experience such an international community outside of cyberspace. After beginning to get to know my fellow future classmates through the accepted students Facebook and chat groups, I began to realize that JCU is one such place where the world meets. In my class alone, there are students from almost every continent. I have always been curious about cultures and languages that were different from my own. The title of JCU Global Explorer is thus very true, and I take this unique opportunity seriously. I can’t wait to get to know countries all over the world by what defines them most: their people.

I must say, though, that above all else I am most excited to learn in the great city that is Rome, and do so in small classes within a welcoming community. The idea of massive lectures always made me hesitant about higher education; I like to be an individual, not a number. The practical, hands-on American education style was another draw for me because there is a great difference between one who knows of something and one who knows how to do something. I believe that attending JCU will shape “future me”, because I will be among those who know how, not only in an academic context but also in a cultural one.

John Cabot University student Chiedza Mashonganyika
Chiedza Mashonganyika, Global Explorer
Class of 2021
Major: Communications
Hometown: Harare, Zimbabwe

Student Spotlight