I chose this program largely because it's based in Rome. Studying at John Cabot University through API was a real opportunity to indulge my art historical interests. Rome is a city steeped in history and art. The course offerings at JCU reflect this reality. And when I was doing my research, I got the impression that API is more well-organized and accessible than other programs.
Christopher is a senior at Emmanuel College in Boston majoring in Art History. He has studied overseas in Italy and Ireland.
Why did you choose this program?
What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
I thought API did a great job of maintaining contact throughout the process. Their "final packet" contained loads of information on arriving in Rome, the neighborhood of Trastevere I lived in, and the excursions. I've been in other programs, and little things like this are not always a given.
As far as organizing things on my own, finding scholarships can be difficult but you can definitely ask your Study Abroad advisor about funding opportunities. I ended up getting a scholarship through that avenue.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
I would recommend you consider staying in Italy and not stress too much about jetting off to other countries for a weekend. I thought I would be doing the same when I get to Italy, but I then found myself wanting to spend my weekends entirely in Italy. There's so much to do in Rome alone! Get to know the resident directors, Alessio and Naike, who are fantastic and can recommend cool places to go once they know your interests.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
An average day for me was waking up early in the morning to get ready for my on-site Art History classes. On say, a Monday, I would go to a site in Rome where I would meet my class on Ancient Rome. I would then grab something for lunch and then go to my other class in the afternoon. Classes are from Monday to Thursday, so there is flexibility to travel for the weekends.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
Traveling alone. Beyond the flight over, in the beginning, I traveled in a group with my roommates or went with another friend or roommate. All those experiences were fun, but your interests might not align with everyone else's. With solo travel, I started off small with a day trip, and then I took the plunge in spending four days in Bologna by myself. I loved my time there. It's challenging, but you just have to go for it.
Where should I study abroad in Italy for Art History? Rome or Florence?
One thing that frustrated me when I was researching studying abroad in Italy as an Art History student was coming across articles that mentioned Rome but only in relation to its ancient past. It never seemed to occur to any of the writers that Rome encompasses many periods, not just antiquity. I think Florence is important, but I'm not a big fan of Renaissance art.
In the end, I recommend finding a city that matches your area of interest. For me, Rome felt like a safe best because of its encyclopedic nature and because it's more known for Baroque art, which is more my specialty.