Tara Fenner talks about her experience with the John Carroll University Vatican City Program and how it brought her a future in Italy.


“Mi sono trovata,” I read while enjoying a novel and granita (an icy Italian treat) down in Southern Sicily. I broke down the grammar. The writer was talking about the person’s state of being in the past tense; about herself specifically.  In this instant I knew that I had finally allowed the Italian language into my life. And for the first time, since my decision to leave everything stable and everyone I love for an uncertain future in Italy, I knew I was on the right path, and in that moment, just like the author, I found myself.

The bond I shared with my Italian grandfather was what originally brought me to study abroad in Italy; however, my innate curiosity was the motivation. It was during my experience in Rome with the John Carroll Vatican City Program (2007) that I realized I was following in the footsteps of many others: from travelling students and guiding professors to famous artists and accredited writers all in search of something.  As far as my future was concerned, humanistic studies were never a possibility as I anticipated following my proclivity involving a combination of business plans and budgets. Conversely, my time in Rome unknowingly lead me in a different direction as I was no longer studying but became a part of my studies in the intriguing way Italian Literature, Art, History, Religion and Language intertwines. I was inspired to learn and taught to reason in ways I hadn’t before through the richness of these courses. Continue reading