Studying abroad at John Cabot University in Italy opens doors for international students in many ways. The experience can help them grow into themselves, realizing their principles and convictions. It can help them decide who they want to be as a person. And it can help them refine their goals in life, both professional and personal.
For many JCU alumni, their experience at JCU was a foundational one that worked as a launchpad for their professional lives. These former students went on to build careers that are exciting, fulfilling, and suited to them as people. Read on to hear about a few alumni, their experiences in Rome, and their professional accomplishments.
Teresa Alessandro’s Study Abroad Experience
Teresa Alessandro was a student from White Plains, New York when she decided to enroll in a study abroad semester at John Cabot University. “My family’s Italian heritage and my dual citizenship made me leap at the opportunity to study abroad in Rome at JCU,” she recalls. “It was the perfect blend of American and Italian culture, a forum of creative and ambitious minds, and most importantly, professors who challenged me.” While enrolled, she enjoyed taking courses in International Economics and Fashion Retailing.
After graduation, Teresa received a BBA in International Business and Italian from Iona College in New York. Now, she works as a licensed real estate broker in Manhattan. In this position, she skillfully assists clients from a broad range of backgrounds to locate residential and commercial properties and negotiates with the sellers. The Italian she learned while immersing herself abroad at JCU continues to help her in her professional life, especially with the Italian clients she works with in New York City.
Teresa has stated that she would have no hesitation in advising students to study abroad at JCU. “Pack your bags and take a leap,” she said. “It’s absolutely revolutionary when you immerse yourself in something unknown. This experience contributed so much to who I am today both as a person and as a professional. I encourage students to enroll in JCU in order to get a taste of Italian culture and give their education a boost.”
Megan Heinzinger, Future Attorney at Law
Megan Heinzinger was attending Marquette University in 2014 when she decided to study abroad at John Cabot University. She attended the university because of her own cultural connection, as her mother’s family is Italian, and she grew up feeling connected to the country. While at JCU, she was intrigued by the religious history courses she registered in, satisfied by the delicious food she got to eat, and excited by the trips around the continent she made with her new friends.
“Every meal was delicious, and every day was full of new and exciting experiences,” she said. “I tried dishes I had never heard of before and quickly became comfortable speaking Italian. Over the weekends, I was able to plan trips around Italy and Europe with my friends. I visited Venice, Munich, Dublin, Lucerne, Barcelona, and Paris.”
After leaving JCU, she gained a BA in Digital Communications and Media/Multimedia, then went on to enroll in the College of Law at the University of Nebraska. She took the bar exam in the summer of 2019 and will soon be able to practice as an attorney. She feels her future is wide open before her, with many possibilities for her professional life. “I specialized in litigation, and I aim to work as a prosecutor or go into private practice as a civil litigator,” she said. “However, I have also enjoyed my previous work in immigration law and tax law. I can see my career going in many different directions at this point.” The choice of where to go is up to her, but she’s sure her future will be bright and fulfilling.
Vanessa Constantinidis, Quadri-lingual Graduate
Vanessa Constantinidis studied at John Cabot University in Rome back in 2011. While working towards an undergraduate degree in English from St. Joseph’s University, she took the plunge and traveled to Italy. “Growing up as a Greek American, I visited Greece very often with my family, so the desire to study abroad in Europe likely came from my childhood,” she said. “Due to its proximity to Greece, I was always incredibly intrigued by Italy.” The prospect of learning Italian was also a significant factor for someone who already spoke three languages. “While I studied Spanish all throughout high school and grew up speaking Greek, when I saw Italian as an option, I couldn’t resist,” she said. “Who wouldn’t want to learn the most beautiful language in the world?”
Immersion in Italy gave her such an appreciation for the language that she ended up taking a second major in Italian during the rest of her studies. After leaving JCU and finishing her undergraduate degree, she went on to take a Master’s in Writing Studies. Today, she is the Associate Director of Enrollment for North America at the American College of Thessaloniki in Greece, which she describes as “like the Greek version of John Cabot University (just a little smaller), so naturally, it seemed like the perfect fit.”
“To say that my time at JCU influenced my career path would be an understatement,” said Vanessa. “I admire John Cabot in every aspect. It is an academically challenging institution located in one of the greatest cities in the world, yet it is small enough that you can really connect with the faculty, staff, and other students. Studying abroad was the most impactful experience of my entire life, not just my career, but obviously, it led me to every single professional opportunity I have since experienced.”
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