Student Spotlight: Elora Hartway, Class of 2021

For me, I think it all began as a pipe dream. I’d stumbled upon John Cabot University by complete chance over the summer, but didn’t immediately consider it a plausible option for me. Just the concept of attending university so incredibly far away from home made the entire thing seem intangible. But I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind. It was there, constantly in the background as I went about my day and even as I began applying to other colleges. Eventually I gave in and stuck a little pin on the globe beside my desk over Rome. Every day as I sat down to work, I just stared at it for a minute or so. Daydreaming. A few weeks after that, I allowed myself to change my phone wallpaper to Trastevere’s cobblestone streets. But I told myself it didn’t mean anything. It was just a pipe dream.

In October, I was trudging through college essay after essay, answering prompts that asked me why I wanted to attend their university. But my responses felt somewhat flat; I cited statistics and demographics and all sorts of numbers, but I realized I was simply writing around in circles without actually answering the question. Why did I want to go there?

It was one night in late October when I finally applied to John Cabot University. I kept coming across articles about study abroad students; there were so many success stories, so many proud parents and smiling faces and bright futures. And then it hit: why not me, too? My family and I had initially dismissed John Cabot simply because it was so far outside our comfort zone, but I eventually came to realize that that was just another reason why I should apply. Traveling beyond the borders of one’s home country is truly beneficial, but receiving a degree abroad multiplies those benefits tenfold.

The thing that really amazes me about John Cabot University is how it’s a catalyst for so many opportunities in so many ways. It’s more than just a university. Already, I have become close friends with some very brilliant, fantastic people through a group chat that the other accepted students organized. Because of this, I no longer fear arriving in a foreign country and feeling completely alone; instead, I look forward to it, knowing I already have a second family waiting for me in Rome. We have a shared travel document of all the wonderful places we want to explore together. I have internships and job opportunities that I’m already looking at. John Cabot is a perfect stepping stone for individuals who dream of being world travelers but are terrified of going it alone at first. It gives you the courage to explore, while simultaneously experiencing an enriching level of education in an environment as lively and colorful as Rome. Last fall when I started thinking about applying to college, I was so uncertain. But now I’m more certain and confident than ever.

To anyone considering applying to John Cabot University— take the leap. It might seem too different or too unlikely, and you might not think a pipe dream like that could ever come true. But if it came true for me, it can for you too. I didn’t realize exactly how perfect this school was for me until I wrote my application essay. Finally, it didn’t feel like a lie to explain why I wanted to attend somewhere. I wrote over five pages of reasons without stopping, and it was all the truth.

My flight itinerary is taped to my bedroom door. There’s a sticky note on the dash of my car counting down the days until I leave. I’m teaching myself Italian in my free time. With every passing week, it’s all becoming more and more real. And I absolutely cannot wait.

John Cabot University student Elora Hartway
Elora Hartway, Global Explorer
English Literature major
Class of 2021
Hometown: Sammamish, Washington, USA


Student Spotlight