John Cabot University

Via della Lungara, 233 Rome, 00165 Italy

About John Cabot University

Year Founded: 1972

John Cabot University is an accredited American university in the heart of Rome, Italy with an enrollment of 1000 students from over 60 countries that has been welcoming study abroad students for 40 years.

JCU also offers B.A degrees in Business Administration, International Business, International Affairs, Political Science, Communications, Art History, Marketing, Economics and Finance, English Literature, History, Italian Studies, Classical Studies, and Humanistic Studies.

John Cabot students benefit from small classes, academic mentoring by dedicated professors, internships, and study opportunities in the USA. Graduates continue their education at prestigious institutions such as the London School of Economics, Oxford, Columbia, and Bocconi.

Discover Programs

John Cabot University Welcomes Students from the US

Italy : Roma (Rome)

Give yourself a true education abroad experience in Rome, Italy at John Cabot University (JCU) and enhance your international awareness! Students who come have the challenge...

Study at John Cabot University in Rome this Summer!

Italy : Roma (Rome)

Prepare yourself for the global marketplace by spending five weeks studying at John Cabot experiencing a solid academic study among an international setting in one of the...

The John Cabot University Institute for Entrepreneurship

Italy : Roma (Rome)

We are pleased to announce the John Cabot University Institute for Entrepreneurship, established to promote best practices in entrepreneurship and to assist would-be entrepreneurs...

Institute in International Communication at John Cabot!

Italy : Roma (Rome)

Each Summer II session the Institute brings together students and faculty from around the world to study communication in the home of Cicero! Supported by leading scholars...

John Cabot University Welcomes Transfer Students from the US and All over the World!

Italy : Roma (Rome)

Bring your college experience to John Cabot University and complete your degree among JCU's international setting. We have many transfer students who have decided it's time...


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Staff Interviews

  • Michel Rosuelo - Study Abroad Admissions Counselor

    Michel Rosuelo - Study Abroad Admissions Counselor

    Though she was born and raised in the Philippines, earning her first degree in Education at the University of Batangas, Michel was a Communications student at John Cabot University before becoming the university’s Study Abroad Admissions Counselor. Michel believes that she represents John Cabot’s diversity and global citizenship as a Filipino citizen working in an American University in the heart of Rome, Italy with international students from different parts of the world. She is motivated to help students study abroad, because becoming an international student was an important factor in shaping her personal and professional outlook on life.

    The skyline in Rome, Italy
    Rome skyline

    Prior to becoming John Cabot University’s Study Abroad Admissions Counselor, you were a student there. What inspired you to get involved with the university’s international education program after graduation?

    John Cabot University is an institution that represents diversity and global citizenship. When I was a student, I learned many things from the values and culture of my international classmates and professors. After graduation, I was encouraged to be part of this institution to also share my own values and culture to my international colleagues. It helped me grow as an individual in a foreign country far from my own.

    In your home country, the Philippines, you studied and earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Batangas. What made you decide to move to Italy and study at John Cabot? How did studying at John Cabot affect your educational goals?

    My husband was working here so I decided to move here and stay with him. Having the privilege to study at John Cabot University is a rare opportunity. I grabbed that opportunity and proved to the world that age does not and should not be considered a hindrance to anyone’s educational goals.

    Coffee is part of Italian culture much like Kapeng Barako is part of your culture in Batangas. What sets student life in Italy apart from student life in the Philippines in your opinion?

    Students here are more independent than students in the Philippines. Students from countries all over the world who attend John Cabot University, either as visiting students or degree- seeking students, are on their own away from their parents. They learn how to cope with Italy’s cultures and challenges.

    Studying abroad takes student learning beyond the classroom, what feature of the University’s study abroad programs help ensure this happens best?

    Visiting historical places here in Rome, arranging day trips to different parts of Italy, and having a wine class or Italian cooking class definitely make learning possible beyond the four corners of a classroom.

    Study abroad experiences often change a participant’s view of the world. How do you make sure students who apply to John Cabot are ready for these life-changing experiences?

    Aside from having conversations with the students, I also have very close contact with all the counselors from our partner universities. We talk about the students’ needs and expectations. We try to accommodate these needs but we also make them aware that Italy is different from their countries and studying here entails discipline and being responsible.

    In your role as a Study Abroad Admissions Counselor, how do you help students prepare for the experience of studying abroad?

    Reaching out to students, exchanging emails with them, and having conversations are just some of the things I do as a counselor to make them feel that studying at John Cabot University will surely be a very memorable experience and will be a great part of their lives.

    From your own experience, what is a typical day like for a student at John Cabot University?

    A typical day for a student at John Cabot University starts with a cup of coffee at the bar. There are only 15 students per class so this gives all the students a chance to have a closer relationship with each other and with their professors. Every day is a learning process especially when we have to share our opinion on something. Each has their own opinion and we learn from each other.

    What do you feel is the most exciting part of studying abroad through John Cabot? Having the chance to visit the historical places here in Rome is definitely one of the most exciting parts of our program.

    What is the best advice you can give students who are interested in studying and living in Rome?

    Be carefree. Enjoy the world and enjoy your life. John Cabot University here in Italy has a lot to offer. Grab it and take advantage!

    What is the most fulfilling aspect of your job as Admissions Counselor of a prestigious international university?

    Processing students' applications is just the main part of the job. But the actual conversations, exchange of emails, and phone calls with the students, and seeing them enjoy their experience abroad is just so fulfilling.

  • Franco Pavoncello - University President

    Franco Pavoncello - University President

    Founded in 1972, John Cabot University has been offering undergraduate degrees and study abroad programs to students from all over the world for decades. Located in the heart of Italy, John Cabot provides students with international experiences far beyond academics. Since 1996, Franco Pavoncello has played a key role in the university’s development.

    Franco currently serves as the President of John Cabot University located in the Rome, Italy. He has been a member of the faculty at John Cabot University since 1990, where he served as Dean of Academic Affairs from 1999 to 2005 while continuing to lecture in Political Science. Franco earned his B.A. in International Relations and Chinese and Japanese Studies (summa cum laude) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and obtained a M.A and Ph. d. from the University of Michigan in Political Science.

    A leading analyst of Italian politics, his work has appeared in, among others, the American Political Science Review, the British Journal of Political Science, and Asian Studies. He is also a well-known media commentator on Italian affairs, a contributor to major international newspapers, and appears regularly on radio and television networks.

    The Colosseum in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy.
    The Colosseum in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. 
    Photo by Troy Peden

    You have been part of the University’s administrative body since 1996.  What has been your greatest accomplishment as President?

    It has been an exciting journey to build a growing University. As President I believe that my greatest accomplishments were, in order:

    a. Building a strong academic environment together with my VP of Academic Affairs, Dr. Mary Merva, CFA, enlarging the number of academic majors (BA) to 13 and constantly improving the quality of our academic offerings and the excellence of our Faculty. That is the pillar upon which the success of John Cabot University is built;

    b. Increasing student enrolment, doubling total enrolment in seven years, and tripling DS (degree-seeking) enrolment in five years;

    c. Successfully securing re-accreditation for the University with the Middles States Association of Higher Education;

    d. Expanding the premises of JCU, securing a new magnificent building, the Tiber Campus, on the banks of the Tiber River, offering a Student Center and a Cafeteria that have quickly become the heart of student life, expanding the studio arts facilities and creating a digital media lab, as well as securing two beautiful residences, with 350 beds;

    e. Internationalizing the student body;

    f. Expanding the scholarly activities of the University. In particular we created centers of academic excellence, like the Guarini Institute of Public Affairs, the Institute for Creative Writing and the Summer Institute of International Communications, that have all acquired a globally renowned reputation.

    John Cabot is an American university in the heart of Rome, which aims to provide an exceptional experience based on American traditions while at the same time immersing students in Italian culture. What is one of the strongest ways JCU programs achieve this mission?

    We achieve this in many ways. We are located in Trastevere, in the heart of Rome, and we expose students to the wealth of Italian art, history, language, and culture. We bring students in contact with Italian society and give them an opportunity to immerse themselves in the exceptional wealth of the Eternal City. We also provide many internship opportunities with companies and organizations, both Italian and international, and this is a great opportunity for both foreign and local students.

    How does John Cabot prepare and support first-time participants of your programs and students in general, to ensure they are successful? 

    We offer intensive preparatory English courses to bring students to an adequate academic level as far as language is concerned. We also have many tutoring labs, in Italian, English writing, and Mathematics, allowing students to fill in their learning gaps. We also have a freshman program in place to acclimate new students to the spirit of the school. We have also put in place a wider variety of extra-curricular activities, from sports to student clubs and other initiatives that create a sense of community and belonging for our students.

    What are the advantages of participating in John Cabot’s study abroad programs as opposed to other programs through different universities or providers?

    This is an important question. When students venture on a study abroad experience they are faced with a fundamental tension. They must create the right context in order to absorb their new environment. By that I mean that if students go to a study abroad program that only has students from a single university they will tend to find themselves in an island program, isolated and removed from the environment around them. If, on the other hand, they go to local universities - with the hurdle of organizational and linguistic obstacles - then they will feel too detached and isolated and will not be able to maximize the potentialities of their experience.

    So, the answer lies in the golden mean, in creating an environment which is foreign while at the same time familiar, with rules and language which are known, but at the same an environment that is deeply rooted in a foreign experience, with faculty, staff and students from all over the world, and a deep understanding of local culture and society.

    The university promotion videos show very happy, satisfied students. How does the university continue to satisfy and please students from all over the world?

    We are a world class liberal arts university, rooted in the American educational tradition and dedicated to the success and well being of our students, wherever they may come from. We are a community with the mission of forming outstanding human beings with great skills and a deep sense of empathy and commitment to the world around them.

    We are transparent in our mission and students sense that. We consistently strive for excellence and the stakeholders are all participating in this exciting journey together. Providing the proper intellectual and human environment to allow the city of Rome and the tradition of American liberal arts to exercise their influence on a young person’s development can be truly exhilarating for all those involved.

    In those same videos, students say that John Cabot professors are very friendly and down to earth. You were once a member of the faculty, what are professor-student relationships like in your opinion?

    At JCU professors and students are partners. They are fellow travelers in a journey of discovery. The quality of our professors is truly impressive and that is transmitted to the students, who feel the personal commitment of each faculty to their success. The students know that if they study hard they will be rewarded in their graduate studies or in their careers, because they are being formed by outstanding teachers. This is very important in creating a strong mutual bond of trust and respect between the faculty and students of JCU.

    Most of JCU’s graduates are either being accepted into the world’s best graduate schools or offered good jobs at international corporations. What type of post-program/degree services does the university offer to foster such significant successes?

    Our Career Services Office has quickly become, under the leadership of Dott. Antonella Salvatore, a truly outstanding asset of JCU. We have 260 companies and organizations that offer internships to our students and our Career Fair is very well attended. Many of our students find jobs right then and there.

    I must also say that the quality of our students and the prestige of our faculty insures that other universities pay great attention to letters of recommendation for our top students and the most prestigious universities in the world are starting to show great interest in admitting our graduates to their postgraduate studies.  (This year, for instance, three of our graduates entered Oxford University).

    One of John Cabot University’s goals is “to provide a campus environment that encourages sensitivity to the diverse ethnic and cultural origins of members of the university community.” What does the university do in order to achieve this goal?

    We have innumerable initiatives in this area. We have many clubs and organizations devoted to helping minorities and focusing on areas of poverty and difficulty worldwide. The student group STAND, for instance, fundraises for many initiatives in Africa. We also promote student activities with social interest organizations assisting immigrants and the less fortunate throughout the local community. We are constantly welcoming initiatives to present the various cultures of our student body with specific ethnic dinners and presentations and the atmosphere at JCU is pervaded by a sense of dialogue and respect that, I would say, is one of the fundamental features of John Cabot University.

    How many international students attend John Cabot University on average?

    Besides US and Italian students, we have roughly 250 students coming from more than 60 countries around the word, with strong contingents from former Soviet Union countries and the Middle East.

    JCU is part of an organization of American universities around the world. What sets John Cabot apart from its counterparts in the Association of American International Colleges and Universities?

    AAICU (American Association of International Colleges and Universities) is a great organization that promotes the study of the American liberal arts abroad. It includes true giants, like the American University of Cairo and the American University of Beirut, together with smaller - albeit equally prestigious - realities, like the American University of Paris and John Cabot University.

    JCU is one of the medium size universities in the organization, and what sets it apart is that we have two strong contingents of study abroad and degree seeking students, while many other schools tend to concentrate upon only one or the other. We believe that this mix is truly one of the dynamic features of the University and an asset in trying to stimulate dialogue among global youth.

    What plans do you have for the university in the next two years? Can we expect any new programs?

    We have quite a few plans. We plan to offer an M.A. in Art History starting in Fall 2015 and to significantly strengthen the visual communications part of our Communications major. We are also negotiating some important partnership with first class U.S. institutions for offering joint programs at JCU.

    John Cabot University is in a very dynamic moment of its history. Students feel this and our enrolment is expanding constantly and consistently. In a way this is just the beginning of an exciting journey of excellence for us, as we strive to establish our beloved school as one of the leading liberal arts universities in the world.