Student Spotlight: Alicia Purcell, Study Abroad Summer 2012

This summer, I had the amazing opportunity to spend six weeks studying abroad in Rome, Italy. I learned so much and saw so many cool places that it will take me a series of articles to even begin to describe my experience.

As much as I enjoyed making new friends, seeing the sites and going on weekend trips, this wasn’t an extremely long vacation, it was a study abroad trip. The school that I chose to study at was John Cabot University, and it is about as different from UT as it could be.

According to their website, “John Cabot University, founded in 1972, is an independent, four-year liberal arts university offering undergraduate degrees and study abroad programs to English-speaking students from all over the world.” Their main campus is directly next to the Italian National Academy of Sciences and contains the Frohring Library, which is one of Italy’s largest English libraries.

Essentially, John Cabot is a very small private college, with most of the students being American (and other native English speakers) study abroad students. I did happen to meet a few students from all over Europe including Italy, Georgia and Germany.

The biggest difference between JCU and UT that came as a shock to me was the size. John Cabot has all of two buildings, and class sizes average out around 15 students. This semester at UT I have “those four BA classes” with about 600 people in AMB. I honestly enjoyed the change of pace that came with smaller classes. We got to know our professors really well.

My International Economics professor at John Cabot also happened to be their dean. How many students at UT even know the names of our deans? My International Marketing professor had worked all over the world for years and always kicked off class with a cool story.

The classes turned out to be surprisingly more challenging than business classes at UT, which was a nice wake up call.

The whole university was a lot more close-knit and personal. The student services office even hosted field trips around the country and to exclusive culture events like a night at the opera. But, there was one thing that the European students said they envy about my school – our huge football stadium.

I absolutely recommend studying abroad to anyone who is even slightly interested. You get to see and do incredible things while gaining the life experience of being thousands of miles from home.

To view Alicia’s original blog entry on her school newspaper, please click here.

Alicia Purcell
University of Tennessee
Business Major
Study Abroad Summer 2012

Student Spotlight