Most Fabulous Time: Study Abroad Student Rebecca Price
Originally from Brigantine, New Jersey, History major Rebecca Price studied abroad at JCU in the Fall 2023 semester. While at JCU, Rebecca was very active in student life, and she was the protagonist of Puffs, which was performed by the JCU Performing Arts Company.
What brought you to JCU?
I came to JCU as part of a study abroad program at the University of Delaware called World Scholars. We could have gone to Rome, Madrid, Auckland, or Athens, and I was selected for Rome, probably because I am a History major.
Why did you choose to be a history major and what makes you passionate about it? What is your favorite historical period, and what will be your area of concentration if you study it further?
I think what makes me like history the most is that, no matter how far you look back into time, people have always been people. They have always had a passion for music, fashion, art, and their community. I think it’s interesting to see the similarities and differences between historical periods. My favorite historical period is the 20th century. One of my interests has always been the analysis of the progression of culture throughout the 1900s and its respective decades. I think my dream would be to teach about the evolution of music throughout the decades of the 20th century.
What was your favorite class here at JCU?
My favorite class at JCU was my Ancient Roman History class. It was so cool to learn about things that I saw on my daily walks around Rome, especially the history and how the city has survived for so long.
What do you think about student life at JCU? How do you feel it enriches your experience here?
For me, student life at JCU was an outlet where I could do things I love outside of academics and meet people who liked the things I did. I took several trips with JCU. We went to the beach in Anzio, near Rome, which was fabulous. I live in a beach town in the U.S., so it felt a lot like home. I also traveled to Poggio Mirteto, north of Rome, and was shown how pecorino cheese is made. My favorite trip was to Matera, in the south of Italy. I explored caves, and abandoned cities, and walked to the top of mountains. It was probably one of the most beautiful and inspirational trips I’ve ever had. It was really exciting to meet people from all around the world and to see that despite our cultural differences, we all had something in common.
What are some of the advantages/challenges of being in a different country for you? What advice would you give to someone considering studying abroad?
Some of the challenges of being in a different country for me were the language barrier, finding my way around, and navigating public transportation. The advantages were forming relationships with people from all around the world, learning about other cultures and customs, and being able to explore new museums and landmarks every day. I think the biggest takeaway from my experience in Rome was a newfound compassion and confidence when interacting with a country other than my own. The only thing I would tell someone who is considering studying abroad in general is simply, do it. Studying abroad was the most fabulous time of my life. I got to travel, make amazing friends from all over the world, feel a part of a community so far from home, and gain so many cherished memories.
What did you like about living in Rome?
What I liked the most was the city’s walkability. After class, I would sometimes walk for over an hour without even realizing it and I went to new places every day. It felt very freeing to be able to walk wherever I wanted, and it gave me insight into the daily lives of the people who live and work in Rome.
You participated in Puffs as Wayne Hopkins. Tell us more about what the show is about and your previous experiences with stage performance.
Puffs is an off-Broadway Harry Potter spinoff written by Matt Cox in 2015. It follows the story of Wayne Hopkins, a boy from New Mexico who learns he is a wizard. He thinks being a wizard makes him the most special person in the world, but he is quickly outshone by Harry Potter and is sorted into Hogwarts’ seemingly least important house, the Puffs. The play first shows what it’s like to be the background character to someone else’s story but later shows that everyone has an importance.
I took dance for 12 years and competed as well, and I even performed at Carnegie Hall. I was also in a choir through middle and high school and was a part of the All South Jersey Choir. I took acting lessons for about four years and played Pugsley in The Addams Family the Musical during my freshman year of high school. Rehearsals were always a good break from academics and a time to relieve stress and have fun. Puffs was so much fun to put on. I loved working through the performance on stage, doing crazy costume changes, and getting to perform for two separate audiences.
What are your plans for the future?
As of right now, I plan to become a history professor in Europe, specializing in American history.