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### Uncovering Innovative Learning Methods in Rome: Johnson’s Discovery

Jan. 24, 2024

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Jordan Johnson is pictured in front of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Embarking on a journey to explore new cultures and traverse the globe had always been a dream for Jordan Johnson, a fourth-year marketing major from Harrison. Little did she know that her decision to participate in a study abroad program at the Rome Center would not only fulfill her wanderlust but also revolutionize her approach to learning.

During the summer semester, Johnson immersed herself in a multitude of courses at the Rome Center, including Global Changemakers and an internship in International Studies. This experience, through the Sam M. Walton College of Business, provided her with a platform to not only discover the world but also acquire new skills that could enrich her academic pursuits.

Recalling the moment she first learned about the Rome Center and the Global Studies program from a friend, Johnson expressed, “It felt like the perfect fit for me.”

The study abroad opportunity granted Johnson access to unique courses exclusively available at the Rome Center. In addition to her marketing curriculum, she delved into subjects like Italian Language and Culture, Global Studies, and The History of Women in Art and Architecture. The experiential learning approach, including classroom excursions, offered her a tangible connection to the academic content.

Beyond personal enrichment, Johnson’s study abroad experience significantly influenced her academic outlook. She emphasized how learning in one of the most culturally and historically significant cities globally had transformed her educational perspective.

“My study abroad encounter has forever altered my approach to learning. The interactive educational environment at the Rome Center encourages students to question and delve deeper into course materials,” she remarked. “I now constantly contemplate how the knowledge acquired in my home country can be applied on a global scale or across diverse cultural landscapes.”

Reflecting on her time abroad, Johnson cherished numerous remarkable moments, with a particular fondness for the Global Changemakers course excursion. This memorable outing offered her the opportunity to visit institutions dedicated to rehabilitation and providing individuals with second chances.

Recounting her experiences, she shared, “Visiting a juvenile prison, a buffalo mozzarella farm, and a co-op supporting disadvantaged individuals in acquiring essential skills was beyond my expectations. It allowed me to immerse myself in facets of Italian culture I never thought I’d encounter. Moreover, I had the privilege of meeting incredible individuals and savoring delectable cuisine.”

In her leisure hours, Johnson traversed Rome and its neighboring regions, exploring 27 cities across six countries, with a significant focus on unraveling Italy’s rich tapestry of culture.

“Exploring Rome’s hidden gems, indulging in gelato, museum visits, and leisurely strolls or public transport rides to admire the city’s beauty were among my favorite pastimes,” she shared. “One of Rome’s landmarks that holds a special place in my heart is Largo di Torre Argentina, a plaza adorned with ancient ruins housing a cat sanctuary amidst the bustling city.”

Concluding her reflections, Johnson highlighted the invaluable experiences and enduring friendships fostered during her study abroad stint. She underscored how this transformative journey had broadened her horizons, allowing her to embrace diverse lifestyles and viewpoints. Rome, she affirmed, would forever occupy a cherished corner in her heart, urging aspiring globetrotters to seize the opportunity to study abroad and expand their worldview.