While John Cabot is an American university, the effects of the Italian education system are still felt. State universities cost very little for Italian citizens and most of them commute. At John Cabot, there is much less focus on classroom time compared to the US. Professors expect students to learn the basics outside of the classroom from the texts. During 45 required contact hours, professors work to help students apply concepts with projects. The main bulk of the work is reading, projects, papers, and tests. Very little day-to-day homework is required and is just expected to be done by students who feel they need more practice. Professors here seem more to want students to learn through mistakes than to be outright told what to do. Many of the professors guidelines they provide for assignment are to get a C, and students are expected to go above those to earn an A or B. Initially, for many students, it created confusion on what the expectations of professors were. One thing that professors stress is the expectation for students to know the names of concepts in their original language. This might be Greek and Latin for History of the Catholic Church or Russian, Spanish, or whatever area you are studying for a European history course. Other than those differences, the environment here in the classroom is similar to that at St. Norbert. As a liberal arts college, professors try to make connections between their course and other subject areas. Class sizes are similar to SNC with an average of 16. Also as an American university, classes are about two-thirds American students, with the rest being Italian. It is also definitely a plus to have to have only four days of classes.
Brian Anhalt is studying abroad at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy.