An Experience of a Lifetime: Studying Abroad in Rome

December 11, 2023
Students smiling together as they study abroad in Rome
Elizabeth Calvin
Written By
Elizabeth Calvin

I started school at American University in Washington D.C. in 2020 just after the Covid-19 pandemic struck. My high school career ended a few months earlier than it was supposed to, which meant no formal goodbye to my high school years. It was a difficult time for everyone, and it felt particularly scary not knowing how Covid would impact my college years.


My home university was remote for the first 7 months of my freshman year. Throughout this time, I wondered if things would ever go back to normal, a worry I found to be common amongst my peers. One of the main reasons I chose to study at AU was because of the incredible abroad programs they offered. At AU, there are endless opportunities to travel all over the world. I was terrified that the pandemic had stolen this opportunity away.


Then came my third year at AU and finally, everything felt normal again and it was time to choose where I wanted to study abroad. For me, Rome was a no brainer. I had only been to Europe once on a school trip to Paris and since then I knew I had to return. I loved the idea of it, but the thought of getting on a flight and living in a foreign country for a semester terrified me.


Studying Abroad at JCU for Fall 2023

August 2023, I packed my two ridiculously oversized suitcases and said goodbye to my friends and family in DC. I flew to Rome not knowing what to expect as I didn’t know my roommates, where I would be living, or if I would arrive and cry to my parents to come home. My decision to study abroad in Rome was the best decision I ever made. I signed up not knowing who I would be living with, but through the random roommate placement, I met the girls who I know will be my lifelong friends and created memories I will cherish forever.


Cut to the first of December 2023, I have just two weeks left here at JCU and I would love nothing more than to go back and do it all over again. In the last three months I have traveled to seven other countries, met people from all different backgrounds, learned the basics of multiple languages, tried tons of new foods, and grown exponentially, personally, and academically. When I first arrived, I could have never imaged just how magical the future semester would be.



Studying abroad at JCU makes it possible to travel around Europe and explore new cultures


Orientation and Resources at JCU

Through all the anxieties and uncertainty, JCU was there to ease the stress by providing a wonderful orientation process within the first five days of being in Rome. The different meetings and lectures helped me to meet new people and inform me of the resources and services available to me. Not only does JCU have amazing counseling and tutoring services, but the university also has pre-planned trips to participate in as another way to explore Italy and meet new friends. With hiking and sailing excursions, as well as tours around the city, it is nearly impossible to avoid the benefits of studying abroad.


Many students including myself were worried they would struggle to get into a stable routine, but with free workout classes offered throughout the week, a gym on campus, a library with a silent floor, and an on-campus café with coffee anytime of the day, it was easy to maintain a stable routine that allowed me to focus on my school work while enjoying the beautiful campus and city.



Through JCU, students create lifelong friendships and explore Italy


Take Advantage of Study Abroad Opportunities

From the start of my college years beginning during a global pandemic, I promised myself that I would always take advantage of opportunities that I may never get again. The thought of the pandemic lasting all 4 years of college was the scariest scenario to imagine as a new high school graduate, and since my first day in Rome I spend my days thanking the universe for giving me such a wonderful opportunity. It has opened my eyes to new perspectives and given me incredible new cultural experiences. I cannot wait to finish out my fall semester in Rome at one of the best universities in Italy.


Are you interested in studying abroad in Rome?

Contact John Cabot University for more information!

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