Combining your Passions: Student Federico Esposito

Born and raised in Rome, JCU student Federico Esposito is a senior majoring in International Affairs and minoring in Legal Studies. Federico is currently participating in JCU’s Direct Exchange Program and is studying abroad at California State Long Beach.  

What brought you to JCU? 
I studied in Barcelona between the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 for the Erasmus+ project with my former university. It was one of the most life-changing experiences because it made me realize I wanted to pursue an international career. I decided to transfer to John Cabot because it is an American University in my hometown. The Erasmus+ program, studying at John Cabot, and participating in the Direct Exchange Program in the United States have given me unrivaled opportunities to hone my skills, and enhance my academic career and working experience.  

Federico Esposito
Federico Esposito

Why did you decide to major in International Affairs? 
I started studying International Affairs to combine my passion for law, politics, economics, and journalism with foreign languages, especially English and Spanish. In high school, I had several passions and could not choose a precise path. With International Affairs, I feel I can pursue several interests all combined in a unique academic path.  

What made you decide to participate in JCU’s Direct Exchange Program and study abroad at California State Long Beach? 
John Cabot has great Direct Exchange Programs with colleges in the United States as well as Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. I had the opportunity to live the American college experience. California State University is the largest university system in the United States and is globally recognized for its academic programs. California State Long Beach’s political science and social affairs departments have strengthened my previous knowledge and study skills. 

What is the best part of studying abroad?  
Living in California has been both a cultural shock and a dream come true. Living on campus was new for me, but I gradually found friends and classmates who helped me feel comfortable. I have enjoyed new adventures and learned how to live on my own.  

How does your experience in the classroom compare to your experience at JCU? 
Both John Cabot and California State University are American universities, so the grading systems and the class experiences are similar so transferring credits is simple. Some of the classes are challenging, such as the U.S. and California Politics class I am taking, and engaging with my peers has been instructive.   

So far, what has been the most challenging and most rewarding part of your experience?  
Moving across the world, on my own, to a place I have never been, has been the most frightening thing I have ever done, but it has enriched me in many ways. One example of how studying abroad has enriched me is my increased adaptability skills. Beyond studying and attending classes, I am living the classic “college life” that movies talk about. This is an extraordinary experience, but it is not always easy to share a bedroom or to engage with people when sometimes all you need is your privacy. Another example is the “culture shock,” in America. Currency, food, and lifestyles are completely different from Italy. Even California and the West Coast in general, is different from the East Coast of the United States. Living here as a student is very different from visiting as a tourist, and it made me realize that each country has its pros and cons. Living so far from home teaches you to appreciate the richness in diversity among countries, compared to your hometown or to other cities where you have studied and lived.  

What advice would you give to JCU students considering studying abroad at a partner university? 
John Cabot offers unique study abroad opportunities. I would strongly recommend taking the chance to live and study in a new country. The experience will help you grow and improve your academic skills.  

What are your plans for the future? 
Although I only have one semester left at JCU, I can’t decide on a precise career path yet. I have learned from my past that I need to take life step by step to avoid feeling overwhelmed and instead focus on and enjoy what brings me happiness. However, I am sure that I will continue my studies and earn a master’s degree, possibly abroad, because I aspire to be a professional, regardless of whether I will pursue a diplomatic or academic career. In the near future, I see myself studying and working abroad for my professional and personal growth.