My name is Cassady Fulbright. I am from Toccoa, Georgia, and I attend the University of North Georgia where I major in Studio Art with a concentration in painting. This summer, I decided to study abroad in Italy at John Cabot University. My decision to study abroad was on a whim, and I only had a couple months to prepare myself as much as I knew how to before heading to Rome.
When I saw that John Cabot University had the option to directly enroll into classes, I knew that was what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go. JCU provided a wide array of classes to choose from–even during the Summer Sessions–so I chose the classes “Digital Photography” and “Ancient Rome and its Monuments.” Living in JCU Housing, my six unbelievably wonderful roommates quickly became my absolute best friends. At one point in the semester, we all took off on trips, and six of us were in four different countries at the same time!
Our excitement to be abroad never ceased. We were always finding new gelato shops or taking morning runs to the Colosseum. Since classes were only four days a week, I was able to travel on the weekends and ended up seeing Milan, Venice, Florence, the Amalfi Coast, and Capri in Italy as well as Poland and Switzerland. I spent five short weeks constantly uncertain of what would happen next. Everything was an adventure, from navigating public transportation and currency conversions, to misunderstanding unfamiliar languages and cultural cues.
The most important part of my time abroad wasn’t necessarily the touristy things I got to do, but it was gaining valuable knowledge about another culture. How people interact, drive, and eat, what their daily routines are and what their grocery stores look like: these are the things that impacted me the most. Continually having to make an effort to communicate and fit in put into perspective for me what it feels like to be a foreigner. Fortunately, both of my professors and all six of my roommates made it exceptionally easy to compare and contrast experiences so that I didn’t feel alone while learning a new way of life.
Studying abroad gave me a new desire for life and has inspired me, not only in my art but in how I appreciate the everyday simplicities of life in my home country. My life is forever changed, and I will always treasure that child-like curiosity that I discovered in myself by studying abroad.
Studio Art major
Study Abroad Summer 2019
University of North Georgia