Study Abroad Spotlight: Eleena Volk, Spring 2018

Eleena Volk

Some girls grow up imagining their dream job or future family, but I grew up imagining all of the places I would go. My parents always instilled a love of travel in my sister and I, and from a young age, we traveled all over Europe, exploring different cities and cultures. Italy always had a special place in my heart. The food, the people, the language… I loved everything about it. I always knew one day I would live in Italy, so, when the time came to choose where to study abroad, there was no question where I’d go.

I decided to study abroad at John Cabot University because of its wide array of classes. As a Finance student at Rutgers University, it wasn’t easy to find an acclaimed program that offered both business classes for my major and liberal arts classes for my soul. What struck me the most about my professors was their passion for their fields. You could tell how much they cared about the subject matters as well as their students–and that made us students so much more excited to learn!

John Cabot is perfectly situated in Trastevere, a bustling neighborhood well accustomed to students. I lived in the Gianicolo Residence, one of JCU’s housing options, which were very close to campus, came furnished with all the amenities, and even included a fitness center with fun classes every day.

I immediately felt at home, quickly adjusting to bringing bags with me to get groceries, learning to order cappuccinos at local cafes like Café Lungara and Meccanismo, and navigating through the cobblestone streets. By the way, the food is exactly as you’d expect: incredible. Whether you’re cooking at home or eating out, the quality of the ingredients provides unparalleled flavor. There is nothing better than walking down the Tiber River or lounging in Campo de Fiori with a slice of pizza in one hand and a gelato in the other.

Eleena Volk

The biggest impact of my study abroad experience was by far the people I met. My roommate in the Gianicolo Residence quickly became my best friend, and I still consider her as such. We talk every day, visit each other multiple times per year (I’m in New Jersey, and she’s in Massachusetts), and I genuinely cannot imagine life without her. I made so many incredible friends in student housing and in my classes. Some weekends, we traveled to places like the Amalfi Coast, Tuscany, Croatia, London, Budapest, and so on. Other times, we picnicked at Circus Maximus, walked through the Roman Forum and Colosseum, and soaked up every aspect of our beautiful city. I met Italians who I still keep in touch with, who were so friendly, full of life, and instantly accepted us as their own.

I am so grateful to JCU for my study abroad experience. I learned more about myself than I thought possible, met wonderful people, tried amazing food, discovered incredible places, and found a new home. Every day I think back to the time I spent in Rome, and I cannot wait to go back. Thank you, John Cabot, for giving me the best experience a girl could ever ask for. It definitely met and exceeded my wildest dreams.

Eleena Volk

Eleena Volk
Finance Major
Rutgers University – Study Abroad Spring 2018
Hometown: Marlboro, New Jersey

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