It had always been a dream of mine to study abroad ever since I began college. With my being a chemistry major, it would have been difficult to spend an entire semester abroad, so I decided the best option would be to enroll in a summer program. I knew I wanted to study abroad in Italy because of all the gorgeous sites, rich history, art, and food. While browsing through different opportunities, I stumbled upon John Cabot University in Rome. Immediately, I knew this was the perfect fit for me!
I had never taken Italian before, so I loved that John Cabot was an American university and that the classes were in English. In addition, I chose to take a course called “Renaissance Rome and Its Monuments.” What I loved about this class was that it didn’t take place in your average classroom. The city of Rome and its many churches were my classroom! I got to learn so much about the city and its art and even share what I was learning with my roommates as we explored Rome together.
The JCU Experience
My experience at John Cabot University was more than I had anticipated while studying abroad. My professor amazed me in every lecture with his knowledge and love for his subject. I learned much more about artwork than I would have in a classroom setting looking at PowerPoints!
My favorite part about studying abroad was the people I met and the memories we made together. It is something I am never going to get to experience again. I was nervous before beginning my journey about fitting into the Italian culture, but it was one of the best experiences of my life. My roommates and I got to know local neighbors and went to the same pizza shop so often that they would recognize us when we came in. The woman and her husband would ask us how we were doing and how our classes were going. The neighborhood and people in Trastevere were so welcoming, it was hard to not feel at home there. In fact, whenever we traveled away from Rome, we couldn’t wait to return.
Traveling the World
While studying abroad, I had the opportunity to travel to Hungary and Greece as well as other cities in Italy like Sorrento, Capri, and Florence. I loved climbing to the top of the Duomo and visiting the Blue Grotto. Those are memories I will hold onto forever! Traveling to all those different places taught me how to be an independent traveler and taught me that I loved to be spontaneous.
As I am currently stuck in my home in St. Louis due to the global pandemic, all I can think about is my time abroad last summer. My heart goes out to all those whose programs got canceled or cut short. My advice to anyone who is thinking about studying abroad is: DO IT. You are never going to regret traveling, immersing yourself into a different culture, making friends, making memories, trying new food, learning, and so much more. There is something so unique about Rome. I took for granted walking around a city that was also filled with ancient Roman ruins. I miss my walks back to my apartment when I would pass the Colosseum. I am so incredibly thankful for my opportunity to study abroad, and I wish everyone could have the same experience as me. John Cabot University in Rome will not disappoint you. You will have an amazing experience that you are sure to never forget!
University of Mississippi – Study Abroad Summer I 2019
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri