Living in Rome and attending John Cabot University for a semester was a dream come true for me. Not only is John Cabot perfectly located in the heart of Trastevere, one of Rome’s most beautiful and lively neighborhoods, but JCU also allows students to directly enroll in classes.
Being a Public Relations major, I valued the opportunity to learn about communication skills from a global perspective. I had classmates from all over the world including other study abroad students, local Italians, and even other international students who relocated to Rome to earn their bachelor’s at JCU.
One of my most memorable classes was Digital Media Culture with Professor Donatella Della Ratta. Our class discussions were particularly fascinating for me because we had students from Italy, Ukraine, Argentina, Russia, and the US. Another favorite class of mine was Advanced Graphic Design with Professor Sabrina Schmidt. As a project, I designed bookmarks for JCU’s Frohring Library that ended up winning a design contest.
I felt very lucky to share my experience abroad with four amazing roommates. We quickly became friends, exploring the streets of Rome and traveling around Europe together. Since JCU only has classes four days a week, we had plenty of time to plan trips. Over the semester, I had the chance to travel all over Italy by bus and train, visiting the Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre, Florence, Verona, Venice, and Milan. Each time I traveled, I was always so excited to come back to Rome.
Living in Rome felt like an adventure every day. Walking to class, I would be surrounded by cobblestones and pass by zooming vespas. Grabbing coffee to go had been a usual part of my life in the US, but I quickly learned in Rome that Italians drink their coffee at the café, never taking coffee to go. Italian food had surpassed my expectations. I fell in love with a Roman classic, spaghetti cacio e pepe. I even became friends with a few Italians I met while exploring the city. I learned so much about both other cultures and about myself during my time in Rome. By submerging myself in Italian culture, I gained a new world perspective. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the Italian lifestyle and being a part of it for the semester.
My time abroad re-awakened my curiosity to constantly see more and learn more about the world. I also gained a sense of empowerment. Moving to a new country alone, without any friends, terrified me at first. But by the end of my semester, I was truly sad to leave. Studying abroad at JCU was a life-changing experience. JCU’s semester abroad program provides the opportunity to experience life in Rome, meet life-long friends and grow as an individual. To this day, almost three years since studying abroad, Rome remains close to my heart.
Public Relations major
American University in Washington, DC
Study Abroad – Fall 2017