Embracing A Worldly View: English Literature Senior Giorgio Millesimi
Senior Giorgio Millesimi is an English Literature major from Rieti, Lazio. After having studied abroad in San Diego, CA, working as an Orientation Leader, and making friends from all over while at JCU, Giorgio considers himself a citizen of the world. He plans to continue his studies in English Literature in order to become a college professor.
What brought you to JCU?
I chose to apply to John Cabot because I wanted to study in English and be in an American environment. The transition from Italian high school to JCU was easier than I thought. I believe that the Italian school system provided me with all the critical skills required to study at university level. The only difficulty was learning how to write in proper academic English. Writing at an academic level in a foreign language is something that requires practice and dedication. So my advice to all new incoming students is to not be discouraged if they feel like they are struggling with it at first, it’s perfectly normal!
You studied abroad in San Diego, tell us a bit about your experience there.
I was given the possibility of studying abroad in San Diego during my third semester at JCU. Believe me when I say that studying in San Diego has been the best experience of my life so far. Going abroad taught me a lot about myself, helped me discover strengths of which I was unaware, and allowed me to become more independent. At the same time, studying abroad gave me the possibility of meeting people from all over the world and creating meaningful connections with them. I met some of my best friends in California and this is definitely the best gift that I received from my experience there.
You are part of JCU’s team of Orientation Leaders. What has that experience been like?
I still remember when I first entered John Cabot as a scared freshman who knew very little about the University. The help I was given by the Orientation Leaders during my first week of University was priceless to help me settle in. I like to see my role as an Orientation Leader as a way to give back for all the help I received. Being an OL is a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, hear their stories, and welcome them to JCU.
What class has given you the most in terms of personal enrichment?
I must admit that all of my classes at John Cabot have given me a lot in terms of personal enrichment. The English Department at JCU is amazing and the professors are all extremely smart people who care about their students. If I had to pick a class that has changed the way I look at the world, I would choose EN310 The 2000s, Around the World in Six Novels with Professor Alessandra Grego. For this course, we read six novels of authors from different countries; Japan, China, Nigeria, Chile, Afghanistan, and Italy. I particularly enjoyed the in-class discussions we had. Commenting on a novel written by an Afghan writer with people from the U.S., South Africa, Mexico, and other countries is an experience that really opens up your eyes to the world.
What is the point of studying English Literature today?
I think that studying English Literature today is very useful. Studying literature gives you the tools to analyze the reality that surrounds us in a critical way, and teaches you how to interpret facts using your head – something extremely valuable in today’s era of fake news. Furthermore, literature fosters our ability to be empathetic, connecting us with one another across time and space. As F. Scott Fitzgerald writes, “This is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.”
What are your plans for the future?
I want to pursue a Master’s Degree in Literature in the UK. After that, I will probably apply to a Ph.D. program, since my dream is to become a college professor! Teaching has always been one of my greatest passions. I would like to inspire people and transmit my love for literature to them.
What advice would you give to incoming JCU students?
Enjoy your years here at JCU and make the most out of your college experience! Join clubs, take challenging classes, get out of your comfort zone, and make friends with international students. Now that I’m about to graduate I can definitely tell you that these three years at JCU have been the best of my life, but they wouldn’t have been so if I hadn’t pushed my limits. Don’t be shy, talk to people, ask your professors for help. Nurture your ambitions! JCU is a great starting point to achieve your dreams.