Finding your Community: Student Setara Rahimi
Setara Rahimi was born in the province of Ghazni, Afghanistan. She studied at the American University of Afghanistan for three years and after the Taliban took over, she started looking for American universities abroad. Setara transferred to John Cabot University and is now studying Business Administration.
What brought you to JCU?
I lived in Ghazni for eight years and then I moved to Kabul, where I started my degree in Information Technology at the American University of Afghanistan. After the Taliban took over, I had to look for universities to study abroad because it was not possible to continue in Afghanistan anymore. So, I transferred my credits to JCU and I am now studying Business Administration.
Why did you choose Business Administration as your major?
I was studying IT in Afghanistan, which JCU does not have. After I contacted the admissions team, I learned that my credits could transfer to the Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.
What are your plans after graduation? What field would you like to work in?
I am a junior, and I will graduate next Spring. Because I have a background in tech and I am interested in data, I am planning to get my master’s in data science or business analytics in the United States.
What is your general impression of Rome and JCU so far?
It is my first time traveling alone and being on my own because, in Afghanistan, children are very dependent on their parents and families. So, I never had the opportunity to travel and live on my own. When I got a scholarship to JCU, I was so happy and didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know much about Rome and JCU, but I always wanted to travel to Italy. Everything about Rome is beautiful, the people, the environment, and the weather. I love it.
What do you like most about JCU so far?
Diversity is one thing that I love about JCU. At first, I did not know that I would meet people from around the world. For example, I have roommates from Montenegro, Syria, and Ukraine. I also have classmates from many different nationalities. I am getting new perspectives about other cultures and countries that I have never had the opportunity to visit. Sometimes I may have the wrong impression of someone because I am not familiar with their culture, and JCU gives me the opportunity to change that.
Is there any class that has had an impact on you so far?
Last semester I took Business Communications with Professor Michèle Favorite, and I loved that class. Professor Favorite is amazing and a unique person. She inspired me and made quite an impact on me. She would check in on me every day since I was going through so much, and she still does by offering her help.
What do you think of JCU’s student life? Is there any activity that you would like to recommend?
Last semester I participated in many Community Service activities, which I really enjoyed. I was a volunteer at Casa Internazionale delle Donne, where we participated in English conversation groups with Italian locals. It was great because although I have classmates from Italy, getting the chance to communicate with people from the neighborhood is a wonderful experience.
I also really enjoy being a Student Ambassador because I like meeting with prospective students who might want to apply to JCU.
What kind of advice would you give to an international student who is applying to JCU?
Moving to another country is frightening because you do not know the people and the culture. Kabul and Rome are very different, so I experienced some culture shock. I had to adapt to a new environment, and I did not know anyone. So, if someone is planning on applying to JCU, I would tell them to start learning Italian if they have the time. I have been here for eight months, and I still have a lot to learn about Italian culture. Speaking Italian can really help you to get to know the people and the culture.
The students at JCU are all from different countries, so, everyone is a foreigner here. It will take some time, but you are not alone and you will find your community.
Finally, I would say don’t worry, Rome is such a fun city to live in because there’s always something to do. Although I have been here for almost a year, there are still so many places that I have yet to discover.