As an American university located in the heart of Rome, John Cabot University’s study abroad program is part of a long and mutually rewarding relationship between the United States and Italy. Students come to John Cabot University from all over North America to explore Italian life and culture, broaden their horizons, and experience exciting new adventures in one of Europe’s most breathtaking cities.
If you’re considering coming to study abroad in Rome, you might be interested in learning more about the rich history of Italians in America, and about our namesake, John Cabot, who opened new channels for European explorers travelling to America, forging a link between the two nations that has lasted for over five hundred years.
John Cabot Explored the Coast of North America in 1497
John Cabot – also known as Giovanni Caboto in Italian, or Zuan Chabotto in Venetian – was an Italian explorer of the 15th century. He was likely born sometime around 1450, and at some point went to live in Venice, now the capital city of Italy’s northern Veneto region. While there, he became a citizen, working for a Venetian mercantile firm, travelling to the eastern shores of the Mediterranean and becoming skilled in navigation. He then moved to Valencia, Spain, before making his way to England in 1494 or 1495.
It was in England that John Cabot was selected by King Henry VII to lead an expedition across the Atlantic in 1497. Four and a half weeks after setting off from the port of Bristol, on June 24, Cabot sighted land at what is now Newfoundland, Canada, becoming the earliest explorer of coastal North America since visits from the Norse in the 11th Century. Arriving back in England, he was welcomed as a hero, having established a new route between Europe and North America.
A Strong Relationship Between Italy and America
John Cabot’s voyage to the eastern coast of North America was the beginning of a long relationship between Italy and North America. In the years following Cabot’s voyage, a number of other Italians played influential roles in early America, including Giovanni de Verrazzano, the first European to map the Atlantic coast, and Pietro Cesare Alberti, the first Italian to settle in America, in New York City in 1635. Between 1820 and 2004, an estimated 5.5 million Italians immigrated to the United States, forming a significant and influential element of the country’s population, with around 18 million Americans now claiming Italian ancestry. If you’re interested in exploring your own Italian heritage, a study abroad program in Rome can be the ideal way to reconnect.
Scholarships Are Available for Students Looking to Connect with their Italian Roots
In recognition of the important ties that connect Italy and America, first established by John Cabot during his voyage to North America, a number of study abroad scholarships are available for students hoping to make their own voyage to Italy to study abroad.
These include scholarships from the Secchia Family Foundation’s Secchia Scholars program, such as the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) Norman R. Peter Scholarship, which offers two $5000 scholarships each year to Italian-American students from the Midwest, and the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America (OSIA) Pietro Secchia Scholarship, which awards $5000 every semester to Italian-American study abroad students who want to further their knowledge of their Italian heritage.
Are you ready for your voyage to Italy?
Contact John Cabot University to learn how you could study abroad in Rome.