Introduction to Rome

Hey there cardinals! My name is Savannah and I am currently studying abroad in Rome, Italy at John Cabot University. My major is marketing and my minors are computer information systems and international marketing. A fun fact about me is that I also cheer for the university on the all-girl squad!

Here are some facts about my program and why I chose JCU in Rome. First, I wanted to go somewhere that had lots to do and see since I would be there the most in my study abroad but wasn’t extremely touristy like Paris or London. I felt that Rome was a perfect combination between beautiful locations and tourism. Second, I wanted to go to a place that had many English speakers, and thankfully Rome has many English speakers. Next, I wanted to go to an accredited school that would be welcoming to Americans, and John Cabot University was perfect: it’s an American Liberal Arts college based in Rome. Finally, I needed to pick a program that fit the dates I needed: with tryouts for the cheer team being on May 12th and the first week of practices being planned for the last week of June, I needed to find a program that fit between those dates. Luckily, JCU in Rome fit all these requirements perfectly!

How did I get to JCU? I went through SAI study abroad programs. They were more expensive than directly applying to the university, but I wanted to go with a program for a few of the benefits offered. First, it is my first time coming to Europe, so I wanted to have a program that would check in with me every few days to make sure I am safe. Second, programs have multiple services that you may not think of that they include in their price: airport transportation, cell phone service, health insurance, 24-hour emergency service, and my personal favorite: included excursions. While abroad, I wanted to be able to do things I wouldn’t be able to do if I just came on vacation. I of course was taking classes here, but I also am able to go on adventures unavailable to tourists through SAI. Next, An unanticipated benefit of coming in a program that I did not think of until I got here was that there are a group of people you can fall back on and become closer with. All of the SAI students that are here in Rome have become my friends, and even outside of SAI sponsored events we are hanging out and going on adventures. It’s nice to already have friends who worry about your safety on the first day here!

I have only been here for a few days and do not start class until tomorrow morning, but I already have learned so much about Rome! First, carry enough currency with you throughout the day. Many places here in Rome, more than I expected, do not allow cards and only accept Euros. There have been multiple times already where we have had to pass up restaurants or shops because multiple people in the group only have cards and do not carry cash. Do not be that person! Second, walking is essential here in Rome. In three days, I walked a combine total of 33 miles! I knew to pack my nice walking shoes and shoe inserts, but even with those my feet hurt so bad at the end of the day. Get heavy duty shoe inserts at best, and at worst do not plan to walk everywhere in sandals! Every single one of my friends wore sandals the first day, and have blisters so bad that now they can’t even wear shoes without it hurting!

I wanted to just give a brief summary about me for this first post. Thank you for reading, and come back next week to hear about my first week of classes in Rome!

-Savannah T, Class of 2020

Never Bored in Bordeaux

This Spring semester, I studied in Bordeaux, France. It’s in southwest France and is the hub of the wine-growing region in that area. Coming over to Bordeaux one of my luggage didn’t make a connecting flight. Even though, it took a while to receive I had to look at it as if, “it can only get better from here.” The next day at orientation I met some great, friendly Canadians, some nice Finnish girls, and some intelligent German girls; we had our newcomers friend group set.

Kedge Business School located in Talence, France was a very interesting and unique school that I attended. Semesters there are split into 5 or 6 cycles, and each cycle is a month. Each month you can take either 0 or up to 3 classes. For the month of March there are classes offered weekly instead of for the whole month. I took 2 classes in January, two classes in February, and classes the first 2 weeks of March; I was done with school for the semester by St. Patrick’s Day. I already had my return flight set for May 1st, so I could be back for Derby weekend. Since I was done with classes by mid-March, that gave me 6 weeks to just travel the world and try to see as much as possible.

The European (16 y/o-26 y/o) lifestyle is wild. They do not sleep. They survive and somehow thrive off of alcohol, tobacco, and red bull. I knew they like to drink over there, but I was not prepared for how late that stay out and that they can continue to just drink and drink. But I was also kind of envious of the majority European mindset. They live in the “Now”, and they’re not as stressed as us, Americans. They enjoy the time they have and they’re not afraid to learn from their past.

Being able to study abroad as a Senior was a great close to my collegiate career. I got to meet so many wonderful people, hear different sides to history, learn history I had no idea about, see things that just make you say “wow!”, a new appreciation for Nature and the Earth, and so much more.

A Semester in Spain

This past semester in Spain has brought me the most amazing experiences and adventures. I have met so many new friends I will forever remember, and all the countless trips taken throughout Europe have been wonderful.

Madrid is completely different from Louisville so the adjustment was real! Living in a small flat with 6 other roommates sharing a small kitchen and having to air dry your clothes because there is no such thing as a washing machine was definitely unusual, but after some time it becomes natural. I really enjoyed the fact that I was able to just walk everywhere rather than rely solely on driving from place to place. The metro is also just about the greatest thing you need when you’re too lazy to walk. This semester abroad really tested my cooking skills as well, which I had not seriously mastered yet.

The commute to university was much different than I was used to as well. Everyday I would walk 15 minutes to the train station, take a 15 minute train ride, and then walk another 10 minutes to campus. This maybe was the biggest adjustment I had to make early on. But what once seemed so unusual, became an everyday routine and a part of my normal life here in Madrid.

The opportunity to be able to travel almost every single weekend I was able to was incredible. I have always had a passion for traveling and this was a dream come true for me. Going to new places with new friends and staying in hostel after hostel is something I will never forget. A few missed trains and a flight add to the struggles but what previously seemed like the end of the world at the time, I now look back and laugh at the stress such little things can cause, especially being in another country. All the wonderful places I was able to see has created memories that will last me a lifetime and all the pictures taken along the way are great reminders of the fun times I was able to have.

I had the wonderful opportunity to become very close with people all around the world and even some great new friends from the US as well. The instant connections I formed with everybody was amazing and all my new friends will be missed so much, but I do hope one day later on I have the great fortune of seeing some of my new friends again. Countless trips to Retiro Park with friends and going to eat tapas and hang out at bars also become very routine when I was not occupied with school. These little memories will be the ones that I miss the most because of how normal they became to me and how much fun was spent just doing the little things with each other.

I was blessed with a fantastic opportunity to live out my dreams and I have to thank my parents more than anything for this. I also thank the University of Louisville for presenting me with the opportunity to achieve this dream of mine. This whole semester abroad has taught me more about myself than I never thought before. I am grateful for the things that I learned about myself and life in general while studying abroad. While I did study abroad for the purpose of school, this was much more than just that, everything learned during this journey was worth every moment.

Six month life as an exchange student

I think this semester is meaningful and special for me. At the first day of the Welcome meeting in the McEwan Hall, there are more than 1000 students to participate, it represents this semester the university have thousands of exchange students came from different countries around the world to choose University of Edinburgh as place to continue their further education. The number of students made me surprised. After all, University of Edinburgh is a one of the famous university in the world. And I also joined the welcome party from business school, and I met some friends from different countries. When studying in the University of Edinburgh, the style of learning is not same as the United States. For instance, the demand for consciousness is higher here, professor don’t care about your attendance. The lecture no more than 50 students. Also, the assessment information are consists of one group project and only one exam across one semester. Student only can choose three classes to take each semester. In the University of Louisville, we probably have four exams and some quiz as the usual time, but mainly are multiple choices. In addition, most of students only have one class for each course within one week. Therefore, I spent most of the rest time traveling around Europe. When had a group project, most of members spends a lot of efforts to their job. I have to mention that it’s difficult for me to understand thick Scottish accent. Edinburgh as the capital city of Scotland, compare to Louisville, will more lively in city centre and evening. It’s so distinctive to the lifestyle in the Louisville. Besides, most of Edinburgh’s housing and building were built since hundreds year ago, it makes city look historical and cultural. But I need to mention that Edinburgh not well, at least I don’t like it. Windy, rainy and still cold even on May. The winter almost from October to April.

At first, I went to London, a big and bustle city similar to New York City. Others country such as France, the Czech Republic and Brussel. They don’t have too many skyscrapers, instead, lots of tradition decoration buildings with European atmosphere. Quite uniquely different city structure to the US. My favourite country is Switzerland, a beautiful and peaceful place. The snow mountain is particularly beautiful around city. The train never miss the time it shows on the schedule lists. When you living in one of Europe countries, it’s so convenience for you to go to any Europe country. Going to different countries in Europe as we go to every states. When I went to Belgium for four days trip, I also went to Luxembourg, three hours train from Brussel. Train are convenient and main transportation for Europe people as their travel method. That’s why I love Europe, public transportation is developed and convenient. Not like the US, mostly travel by aircraft or self- drive, developed public transportation only in some big cities. Compare to the US, the price will little higher such as food, transportation. But relatively cheap when travel by air. Most of people would love to choose low cost flight such as EasyJet, Ryanair. When I flied from Edinburgh to Copenhagen, it costs me no more than $50. It’s a cheap way for student to travel. Furthermore, I also went to Morocco, North Africa in the spring break (20 days learning day before final exam). If I studied in the Louisville, it’s hard for me to have chance to go to Africa, and it will cost a lot when taking plane and spend more time. I only spend no more than $300 fly from Manchester to Casablanca (more than $1000 to set off in Louisville).

Last but not least, you can always find some new thing everywhere in Europe. I prefer to the Europe’s lifestyle, relaxed and cautious about the thing to do.

After living in the UK and traveling around the Europe, allows me to learn more culture and show me a totally different world.