Study Abroad Spotlight: Hannah Starr, Summer I 2019

Growing up, I had always planned on studying abroad. I have had a love for traveling for as long as I can remember. Attending such a diverse campus at Michigan State University, I was exposed to countless different cultures and backgrounds. It helped me understand how much the world has to offer, and that I need to go out and experience it.

Hannah chose to study abroad in Italy for its central European location

Michigan State is renowned for its study abroad programs. They start engaging with interested students as soon as they begin their university career as freshmen. I chose to study abroad in Italy because it was in central Europe and would allow me to travel to other countries. Also, I was interested in Italian culture, architecture, and food. I chose John Cabot University because it was the most prestigious university that Michigan State partners with.

Living in Rome

John Cabot did a fantastic job of acclimating students to Italian life. In my JCU housing, I was in a room with three other girls from all over the United States. Our room had students from Michigan, California, and Connecticut. I still keep up with all of them on social media to this day.

My courses included Italian language 101 and an on-site class about Roman architecture. I absolutely could not take these courses anywhere else, so I knew I had to seize the opportunity while I could. I learned so much about the history of Rome, and I got to visit all of the major historical sites. I loved being able to walk anywhere I needed to, and I got gelato after almost every meal.

Hannah Starr

Hannah visited all of Rome’s major historical sites in her on-site class

Finding Independence

My biggest takeaway from studying abroad would have to be my newfound sense of independence. I have always been an independent person and liked doing things alone, but after studying abroad, I have come to realize that I can travel alone and I don’t need anyone else to accompany me to experience the world.

Arriving at the airport at the beginning of May for my summer session at JCU was overwhelming. I had no idea what any of the signs said, where to get my luggage, or where to find the John Cabot booth. However, as I left to return home, I noticed how much more relaxed I felt and how confident I was in my ability to navigate unknown territory without worrying. I plan on continuing my love of travel and hopefully returning to Rome at some point to visit all of my favorite spots.

One piece of advice I would give to a future student considering attending John Cabot University would be to experience everything you can. Don’t let the summer heat or feeling nervous hold you back. Attend all of the fun nights the Resident Assistants have planned, go on the trips to the Amalfi Coast or Tuscany. Connect with people in your classes that you don’t know because you only have a few weeks with them, and they feel just as nervous as you do! Experience everything that Rome has to offer you.

Hannah Starr
Hannah Starr
Marketing & Information Technology Major
Michigan State University – Study Abroad Summer I 2019
Hometown: St. Joseph, Michigan

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