Signing up for study abroad alone is more common than one would think! I know, it is a bit nerve racking to go to a brand new country alone for a whole semester. However, it creates a ton of independence and personal growth. I have made great connections and memories that will last lifetimes. Keeping an open mind and willingness to adapt and learn, have made the transition into my new lifestyle seamless.
The team in Rome for SAI has been extremely helpful and have put a lot of effort into making sure everyone is comfortable and always feels at home. This first month that I have been here has been some of the most memorable moments in my life. The experiences I have gone through thus far would not have been the same if I was not bold enough to come to Rome alone. I had the ability to be someone, who no one has met before, with no previous expectation of how I should act or who I should be. Which, yes, I know can be scary, but it is relieving and truly incredible. I have found the most amazing people. They do not judge, are willing to do anything, want to travel everywhere while we are here, and genuinely look out for my well being. They are people, I know, I will keep in my life forever. And down the road, if we eventually go through phases where we are unable to talk often or see each other, I know the memories will keep us connected.
Being brave is the first step into this once and a lifetime opportunity alone. Second step is trusting in the program and the people who run it. They hand picked each set of roommates, and let me tell you how amazing of a job they did with us. Within the first week of knowing each other, it was as if we had been friends for lifetimes. The first night we arrived, we met the guys in the program with us, who were living in the same building as us, and we all knew that it was going to be a fun group of people to hang out with! Since that night, we eat every meal together, whether it be cooking all together in one of our apartments, meeting up in Tiber cafe (the school cafeteria), or going out to one of the local restaurants. Not only meals, but we also just hang out whenever we have a free moment throughout the week. During the weekends, we travel together and have an outstanding time. Some places we have been to already are Venice, Florence, London and Siena, and we have so much more booked! We make sure to check up on one another as well. Everyone understands each other and I, personally, have never had a better group of friends. To think, if I hadn’t gone abroad, just because I was too terrified to go alone, I would not have any of these kind-hearted people in my life.
So, I am here to say, take the risk and sign up to study abroad in Rome at John Cabot University! It will be worth every second and every dollar spent. I am only one month in and I would not change a single decision or event that has occurred since I applied. Not only will studying abroad give you the opportunity to meet your lifetime friends, it will also give you memories that you will cherish forever.
Written by: Alexandra, Spring 2023 Rome student from University of South Carolina