My name is Andrew Ripple, and I am a junior finance major here at the University of Alabama. During the spring of 2014, I realized that I should take full advantage of every opportunity the Capstone offers and started to look into various study abroad opportunities. I already knew I wanted to study somewhere in Europe because of my interest in both European history and medieval and Renaissance art. And the more I thought about it, I realized my choice was quite obvious: Italy. My relatives emigrated from Italy in the 1930’s and I really wanted to explore my roots while studying abroad. After researching many different options that UA offers, I decided that studying at John Cabot University in Rome would be the perfect fit for me.
I view the chance to study abroad as a fantastic opportunity to not only learn more about the Italian culture but also as a chance to push me outside of my comfort zone. It will not be easy to pack up a single suitcase to last me for four months in an unfamiliar environment. Although I love to cook, I have no idea what type of kitchen I will have in my apartment and what type of ingredients I will be able to find in open-air markets and grocery stores. Additionally, I have never formally studied Italian, and there will be a definite learning curve while going about my daily routine.
I am really looking forward to meeting people from all over the world and learning about Italy and its culture. Although John Cabot University is an American university based in Rome, it attracts top students from around the world to study in a liberal arts environment. I am enrolled in two business classes that will go towards my major, an art history course, a class on the history of the Catholic Church, and Introduction to Italian.