Study Abroad Spotlight: Jolaade Okanlawon, Spring 2018

Hi everyone! My name is Jade and for the Spring 2018 semester, I decided to study abroad at John Cabot University. Prior to arriving at JCU, I’d always dreamed of coming to Italy someday. My reason for this stems from the rigorous study of Italian I undertook throughout my entire high school career. The work, while quite challenging at times, kept me engaged every minute of the day. For me, conjugating Italian verbs, reading Italian short stories, and watching Italian media felt more like a hobby and less like homework as I advanced in my studies. In fact, my passion for this language became the impetus behind why I wanted to be a Linguistics and Psychology major in the first place. As a Linguistics major I have the opportunity to learn many new languages at once, while as a Psychology major I get to see the study behind the process of language acquisition. Therefore, I’m grateful for the Northeastern Global Experience Office for giving me the opportunity to study abroad in a country where I am able to practice my Italian skills as well as transfer my course credit.

In addition, I chose to study abroad at John Cabot University because I indeed wanted to be in the “heart” of Rome. Surrounded by locals, vendors and Italian grocery stores, coming here was all I could ever ask for as a study abroad student. Living in the Viale Trastevere Apartments, I truly enjoy taking a look at the breathtaking view of the neighborhood outside my window. Not only is Trastevere a charming medieval area, but it is also a wonderful place to explore if you love to wander. In Trastevere, you’ll end up finding so many staircases going up toward a big hill called Gianicolo (that’s where I snapped the photo below!). In truth, after living here for just a couple of weeks I’ve realized there is so much life beyond the Tiber River that is waiting to be explored in the Trastevere neighborhood.

Moreover, while studying abroad at John Cabot, I’ve been able to travel more extensively than in my home country, the United States. For instance, this weekend I took a day trip to Tivoli in order to visit various villas such as the Villa d’Este. Pictured above is me sitting by a gorgeous fountain situated in the middle of the villa. I’m glad I was able to capture this moment because I knew this was one I never wanted to forget. In terms of transportation, living on JCU’s campus apartments made it quite easy to get there within an hour. My friends and I took the H bus from the Belli stop all the way to Roma Termini, the main railway station in Rome, Italy. In fact, since we booked our tickets online it was easy for us to locate our train on the “Arrivi/Partenze” screen in the middle of the station without any trouble. Even though our train was 10 minutes late, we were still able to get out of Rome and into the gates of Tivoli in a matter of 45 minutes. Based on just my first weekend here, I’m sure my experience in Rome will be a gateway to adventure, immersion, and more independence. As the days continue to pass by, I can’t wait to see what else this semester abroad holds for me!

Jolaade (Jade) Okanlawon
Linguistics and Psychology Major
Northeastern University – Study Abroad, Spring 2018
Hometown: Bronx, New York

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