The GoGlobal Blog

May The J-Force Be With You

May The J-Force Be With You

Wow hi all !!  (or whomever happened to stumble across this page… STAY !! I’ll try to make it interesting)

My name is Arianna Georgette Vranas and I’m a sophomore currently studying abroad at Loyola’s John Felice Rome Center AKA J-Force. I am an Advertising and Public Relations major with a double minor in Marketing and Visual Communications SOOO I may be decently creative (sometimes) BUT – I am by no means a Journalism major and I basically write like how I would talk… So I apologize in advance if you have decided to check out my blog and can’t follow it… Just try and picture a short-haired girl sitting cross legged in front of you with an oversized t-shirt on and is talking a mile a minute (probably stumbling upon her words) with her hands doing most of the talking because well I am 100% Greek.

ANYWAYS —  exactly 14 days ago, I said goodbye to my mom as I entered security at O’Hare and flew across the pond to join a group of 219 strangers in a country that I had only studied their language for a semester.

— BACKSTORY : I  transferred to Loyola for the Fall 2016 semester, meaning that when I went on my transfer student orientation at the beginning of the Summer of 2016 and heard all about the study abroad opportunities that Loyola offered, I literally went home, hopped on the computer, and applied to JFRC for kicks genuinely not expecting to get in right away. A week later my family just so happened to be going to Europe for our family summer vacation and amidst the Alps in Switzerland and visiting family in Greece we had decided to plop Rome in the middle. And, of course,  the day before we left for Europe, I found out that I had been accepted into JFRC for the Spring of 2017. ( crazy how amazing and quickly things can happen if you just go for it ! ) BUT , why did I tell you this? What freaking relevance does this have with me being abroad now ? This has SO much relevance becauseee it shows how amazing Loyola University Chicago is in SO many ways… but I’ll only name a few so maybe you’ll actually read this whole post —

1 — I am a TRANSFER STUDENT studying abroad. For most people that transfer schools life is a mess and credits are a mess, the thought of studying abroad can’t even cross their stressed out minds because they are too focused on the fact that they may have to graduate a year later than they thought they would. But for so many people (and I would confidently guess all students) that transfer to Loyola, it’s not a question of possibility but rather a question of when. ALSO, not only am I a transfer student but I changed my major as I transferred. And not even like a switch within the same school, I didn’t switch from Communications Studies to AD/PR… Instead I switched from Non-Profit Entrepreneurship (which is a Business major at my old school) to AD/PR (a Communications major at Loyola). The possibilities that Loyola gave to me even before I started school in Chicago were endless. Amazing.


2– I applied, got accepted, committed, and left for JFRC without knowing a soul out of my 219 new peers in Rome. (( okay this is a small fib… I came in knowing 3 familiar faces that I could put a name to, my friends back home had tried to introduce me to all their friends that were going BUT I wasn’t friends with anyone )) Which for most people is a SUPER scary thought. We like to be comfortable and I totally 100% understand where you come from! Especially if you’ve been at Loyola for a full year or two, you have your people back in Chicago so why would you leave them and be surrounded by strangers for a semester or a summer? But truly, these people will only be able to be strangers to you for so long. Just 14 days in and I am going to Berlin this coming weekend with a girl I became friends with just a couple days into getting here. How the heck does this happen? It simply happens by coming here. The community that Loyola has set up here is so incredibly inclusive to everyone. You may come into a program at JFRC not knowing anyone but I PROMISE you, you will not leave without becoming friends with handfuls of others that you have shared amazing experiences with.


3– The way I look at college is more flexible. At JFRC, since the whole campus is one building (yes you read that right, one building), this means that you live in the same building as all of your classes, the gym, the library, the dining hall (mensa), the coffee shop (rinaldo’s), and literally everything that you need… it for sure feels like school sometimes. You still have to go to class (STUDY abroad), you have dining hall swipes, you pay for your laundry, etc. etc. etc. BUT at the same time classes are formatted differently (some of them are onsite or literally just once a week), classes are only Monday through Thursday, you can participate in study trips with your professors or SLA’s ( who are kind of like RA’s buttt don’t tell them that, because they do a heck of a ton more than that ), oh yeeah and you are in freaking ROME! What?!? Literally, walk 5 minutes outside of the gates and hop on a bus and you can get to the Colosseum, Vatican City, and some dang good gelato. If you thought that going to school in Chicago would help you mature faster, imagine going to school across the pond in Rome. Right? What better way?! ANYWAYS — Loyola has made the idea of college more attractive to a person like me who doesn’t really get fired up about fraternity parties, attending sporting events, or trying to find a spot at the pack IC. And how do they do that? Through study abroad opportunities like J-Force! Heck, I’m highly considering studying abroad again next year and last year I had a ‘what’s the point of all of this’ mentality! Shoutout to Loyola am I right?!


ANYWHOOO this is just a simple introduction to my study abroad experience here at J-Force… I will try my hardest to keep this as updated as possible with all that is going on as I attempt to do as the Romans do!!

Until next time !! May the J-Force be with you !!

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