Fitting In With Locals While Studying at John Cabot University in Rome

August 2, 2021
People walking the streets of Rome

When visiting a new country, most of us make a concerted effort to fit in with the locals and their way of life. Part of the experience of traveling abroad is the chance to learn about and engage with your host country’s culture. If you’re studying abroad at John Cabot University in Rome, you’ll gain valuable exposure to the Italian language, culture, and people. Immersing yourself in a new country can be an incredibly transformative and prosperous experience, and the best way to learn is by observing and immersing yourself in the customs around you. 

Here are some easy ways you can fit in with the locals in Rome and adapt to the Italian way of life during your study abroad experience!  


Dress Like an Italian! 

If you’re attending university in Rome, you’ll quickly learn that fashion is a big part of Italian culture. JCU students quickly discover how much Italians take pride in the way that they dress, and their style is usually well-tailored to the setting, occasion, and weather. If you are trying to fit in with the local dress code while attending JCU, there are a few things to note. It’s important to remember that no matter how hot or cold it is, Italians dress for the season rather than the weather. Even if the sun is shining on a January day, it’s a good idea to bring another layer with you in case the weather takes a turn. A good indicator of a tourist is someone who is unaware of the country’s climate and dresses as such. 

If you’re visiting one of Rome’s many museums and churches, it’s important to dress modestly, with your knees and shoulders covered. When sight-seeing Rome's beautiful and historic sights, you will want to show respect, especially as a visitor to the country. In the case of churches, it’s often mandatory to cover certain body parts, and you may be denied entry if you are inappropriately dressed. 


Fashionable students reading notes in the streets of Rome

JCU students should pay attention to the local Italian fashion 


Learn Common Italian Phrases

While it’s a good idea to try and look, act, and eat like an Italian, there’s a much simpler way of fitting in with the locals: speaking Italian. Italians are very personable, and you will notice that locals love to chat with passersby. If you want to make the most of your study abroad experience in Italy at John Cabot University, you should take the opportunity to engage in conversations with native Italians. Of course, as a foreign visitor, no one is going to expect you to be entirely fluent in the language. However, knowing some common Italian phrases will go a long way in your travels. 

You’ll be able to engage in some casual conversation, and at the same time demonstrate your interest in and respect for the local culture. Not to mention, you’re more likely to get an authentic insight into the Italian way of life by communicating with locals. You’re likely to make some Italian friends while studying at JCU. Rather than expecting them to speak English, try forcing yourself out of your comfort zone and testing out some of your Italian vocabulary. 


Students chatting by the fountain at Piazza Navona

Spend time practicing your Italian with locals while at university in Rome

Find Some Local Hotspots

Rome is a vibrant city filled with global visitors from many different places. While studying in Italy at JCU, you’ll notice the sheer number of tourists that the country attracts year-round. As a major European capital, Rome has a lot to offer, from architecture to museums, to food, and piazzas. While it’s definitely worth checking out the plethora of world-famous sites during your study abroad opportunity, make an effort to seek out some local hotspots as well, whether they be markets, restaurants, cafes, or boutiques. The best way to do that is by seeing where the locals tend to gather, or simply speaking to some native Romans. By experiencing all that Rome has to offer, you’ll make the most of your time abroad!



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