- The Premier Italian American Newspaper Since 1931 -
Micayla Mirabella: graduating Class of 2020, John Cabot University. Rome, Italy; hometown, Fanwood, New Jersey.

Micayla Mirabella’s Unique Experience in Rome, the Eternal City

Ciao! My name is Micayla Mirabella and I am pursuing my degree in communications at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy. I had previously lived in New Jersey for my entire life and never expected to be attending college so far from home. Applying to college was exciting, but stressful. I had no idea what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. It wasn’t until I met a representative at a college fair that I knew I had to apply to JCU.

Fast forward to almost a year later. It is now my second semester at JCU and I’ve learned so much already. My professors are fantastic and are truly interested in my success. I like being in smaller classrooms and enjoy getting to know my professors. It makes a tremendous difference. You do not feel like just a number here. Not only do I enjoy the challenge of my courses, I find myself constantly learning outside the classroom, as well.

Studying in Rome has always been one of my dreams and I still cannot believe that I have the opportunity to study in the Eternal City for four years. I have gotten lost in the streets of Rome my fair share of times, but I always seem to get lost in the right direction and around each and every corner is something amazing.

I have met so many wonderful people, as well. The cool thing about having friends from all over the world is having friends from all over the world! Being immersed in such a diverse university gives me the opportunity to learn about other cultures, and in turn, I have learned more about myself. I now have friends from six out of the seven continents.

This unique college experience would not be possible if it were not for my support system at home. My parents have supported me since day one and I am so thankful for that. They have given me the wings to fly and my wings have brought me to Rome – my favorite city in the world! I always tell people, “I wouldn’t be so confident about living on my own, 4,000 miles away from home, if my family and friends didn’t have confidence in me, as well!”

In my opinion, the toughest part about going to school abroad is the distance. I cannot hop in the car to come home for the weekend and the six-hour time difference can make keeping in touch with people back home difficult. But it is not impossible and each month that goes by, it gets easier. I’ve learned to make time for loved ones and to also make time for myself.

Self-discovery and self-sufficiency are things that I try to focus on. College is a time to be a little selfish. I go to class for me. When I do my assignments, they are for me, rather than for my professors. If I stay up all night studying and writing papers, it is for my benefit, not for my parents and I do not need to prove anything to anyone else. I am at JCU to prove to myself that I can be better and do better every single day. I want to see the world and grow as a person. John Cabot University is giving me the opportunity to do this.

When I made my decision to go to the University, many people asked, “Why are you going to school so far from home?” I think I’ve finally found a way to explain it: “I am meant to be somewhere else. I don’t know where that is yet, but how will I ever know if I stay right here?”

But maybe “somewhere else” isn’t just one place. It’s New Jersey and its Rome and perhaps a thousand other places. This is my chance to see as much of the world as I possibly can and that’s exactly what I plan to do.