Study Abroad Spotlight: Katherine Sperry, Summer 2019

Katherine Sperry

I’d always known that I wanted to study abroad in college. The idea of living in another country and learning all there was to know about a new culture had always excited me. When the time came for me to apply, I considered studying abroad at different schools all over the world, but when I discovered John Cabot University, I knew that was the place for me.

I wanted to be in Rome. Every new thing I was learning about the city made me fall more in love with it even more before I even got there. The food, the language, the history, the art, and the life of the city all seemed so amazing to me that I couldn’t wait to experience it for myself.

Exploring Rome

My time in Rome started out better than I could have ever imagined it. I had amazing professors that made class time just as exciting as the time I spent exploring the city. I was also eating the best pasta in the world on a daily basis, and my roommates were turning into lifelong friends.

Katherine Sperry

As I was enrolled in statistics and public speaking classes, I wasn’t expecting to learn much about Rome in my classes, but that ended up not being the case! My professors connected everything we were learning back to something about the city.

I started to think about how the ancient Romans engineered such a successful city. The Pantheon became my favorite place to visit, partly because of its beauty but mostly because I was fascinated by how impressive the dome of the Pantheon really is.

Each class gave me a new way of looking at the city. I was able to connect with the people and the places on a whole different level.

The JCU Life

I expected JCU to be a big part of my academic life while studying abroad in Rome, but it ended up being so much more than that. From the moment my plane landed, JCU quickly offered me a support system that ended up being there for me my entire time overseas. Transitioning into a new culture was difficult and scary at times, but it was also one of the most exciting things I ever experienced.

During Orientation, every Resident Assistant led some type of activity for us, from teaching us how to cook Carbonara (my new favorite pasta dish) to leading us to an amazing local bakery. These activities helped me try things that I otherwise wouldn’t have even thought of doing. They also definitely helped me feel like a part of the city.

A lot of my learning about the culture happened when I was out on my own or with my friends. Something as simple as trying to order gelato became a learning experience. One of the employees at my favorite gelato shop started to recognize us and taught us all how to order what we wanted in Italian. It was little moments like these that made my whole experience so memorable.

Say “Yes” to Studying Abroad

My advice to anyone who is thinking about studying abroad is to just keep saying yes: yes to flying across the world to take some classes, yes to a weekend trip that your roommate, yes to going out to grab some pizza. My time abroad flew by much faster than I expected it to, and I am grateful that I was able to fit so many experiences into such a short time. There are so many little moments that are easy to miss, but choosing to go seek them out is what made my time a JCU so amazing.

Katherine Sperry
Study Abroad Summer 2019
Major Mechanical Engineering/Minor Sculpture
Texas Tech University

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