Ciao! My name is Kristin, and I studied abroad at John Cabot University in the spring of 2018. I’d always enjoyed traveling and seeing new places, so studying abroad was always a dream of mine. I had never been to Europe before, but I had friends and family who had gone for visits in the past and had amazing stories to tell.
During my freshman year of college, I started studying Italian. This drove my interest in studying abroad, specifically in Italy. When looking into the different programs available, John Cabot University stood out to me because of its beautiful campus, having classes in English and also some in Italian, and the location in the heart of Rome.
Academics and Student Life at JCU
At JCU, I took a course on the history where you actually got to go out into the city with the professor to explore different areas and learn about their significance. I also took a sociology course and an Italian language course. My favorite though was a research course where we learned about how Rome was transformed into the city it is today. We got to conduct a research project within the Italian community on an area of our interest. My study was done on the different ways that Italian men approach women compared to how American men approach women. I actually got so close with my research professor that she wrote one of my graduate school reference letters!
I lived in the Trastevere apartments with one other girl in my program and five girls from other colleges around the United States who were also studying abroad at JCU. I loved living there! We got to meet other students but also interact with Italian residents, which was a good balance for me. I made friends with some students who lived in the Gianicolo Residence. It was nice to meet up with friends between classes. Many students at JCU are studying abroad, so it was really easy to meet new people, and there was also a decent number of Italian students at JCU to meet and befriend.
JCU holds a number of events for students to attend to get to know each other throughout the semester. I attended a few of these social gatherings, as well as joining the volleyball team. JCU has a number of different athletics offerings for students studying abroad to participate in, which was really fun and provided an easy way to meet new people and travel a bit around the area to play and stay in shape to balance out all of the pasta and gelato I was eating.
Exploring the World
I loved living abroad because traveling was so easy and so many amazing places became accessible. Some of my favorite memories include skydiving in Switzerland, drinking wine under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, visiting Budapest’s thermal baths, and seeing the Colosseum in Rome. While traveling was so much fun, I always loved coming back to Rome after a weekend away. The pasta, pizza, and gelato will have my heart forever.
Studying at JCU allowed me to meet so many people that I might never have met outside of Rome. I found that, after my study abroad experience, I was more invested in learning about the cultures and backgrounds of new people. I feel like I gained confidence in speaking Italian but also just in my social skills of talking to new people and navigating unfamiliar places. Studying abroad really puts you out of your comfort zone in the best way possible.
Overall, my one piece of advice I would give to a future student considering studying abroad at JCU would be to try new food, get to know your professors, and enjoy the beautiful city of Rome!
Social Work and Italian Major, Educational Policy Minor
University of Wisconsin – Study Abroad Spring 2018
Hometown: Green Bay, Wisconsin