My name is Alexa Borkowski, and I am a recent graduate from Sacred Heart University. I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Health Science with a minor in global health on May 10th, 2020. During my Fall 2018 semester, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy at John Cabot University.
I have a strong passion for traveling and learning about different cultures, so studying abroad was always the right decision for me. It wasn’t difficult for me to choose to study at JCU, as I had always wanted to visit Rome.
As I embarked on my study abroad journey, I didn’t know anyone. This was the first time I was traveling solo, which was part of the new and exciting adventure for me. Shortly after orientation, I was dropped off at my new apartment, where I met my roommates. Our apartment was very nice, and living in it made me feel like a local, which was what I wanted to feel coming into this experience. The best part about our apartment was that it was directly above a gelato shop!
Getting to school was super easy once I learned my way around the city. My roommates and I had the option to take the tram or to walk to campus. Personally, I preferred to walk. It only took half an hour, and this time allowed me to admire the streets of Trastevere.
During my time at JCU I took four classes. I had three classes on Mondays and Wednesdays and one on Tuesday that was an on-site class called “Cities, Towns, and Villas” with Professor Sophy Downes, which I really enjoyed. This course allowed me to walk around the streets of Rome, discover many museums and churches, as well as take a trip to Pompeii and Ostia. Professor Downes was extremely passionate about the course, and that made it even more enjoyable.
Living in Italy was like no other experience I ever had before. It allowed me to experience new foods, explore the most beautiful places, meet the most incredible people, and make lifelong friends. When I think back on my experience, I had many great takeaways from my time in Rome, but the one message that stands out to me the most is that, Italy is a reminder of what is means to be human. I was told this by a local, and to this day, I truly understand what he meant when he said that. I relate many things to my time abroad and wish I could do it all over again because it truly was the best four and a half months of my life.
A piece of advice I’d like to share to any future study abroad students is to not be afraid of new adventures. Take every possible opportunity and make them memorable. Traveling abroad is the best experience you can have to grow as a person.
Health Science Major, Global Health Minor
Sacred Heart University – Study Abroad Fall 2018
Hometown: Bayonne, New Jersey