JohnAnthony DiMaria ’17CPS
Studying in Rome, a New Yorker Feels Right at Home
Seeking to explore the country where his grandparents were born, JohnAnthony DiMaria spent a semester at St. John’s Rome campus, where he not only learned about his heritage, he learned about himself.
“I grew up as part of a traditional Italian family, and I love that culture,” said JohnAnthony, who studied at the Rome campus in the spring of 2017. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communication arts in 2017 and will earn a graduate degree in international communication in 2018. “Spending a semester in Italy seemed like such a natural fit for me.”
JohnAnthony chose the University, in part, because of the Global Studies program. A native of New Hyde Park, NY, he wanted to return to Italy, having visited the country after graduating from high school. “Back then, I was purely a tourist,” he said. “When I studied at the Rome campus, I was able to immerse myself in the city and the culture. I really felt like a local.”
A competitive athlete, JohnAnthony maintained a regular training regimen while abroad, often going on runs throughout the ancient city. “One day, I ran past the Vatican, through St. Peter's Square, and toward the Colosseum,” he recalled. “When I got there, I stopped to take it all in. I had this feeling that I really belonged there.”
While in Rome, JohnAnthony interned with a travel company that focuses on vacations for people of Italian descent around the world. “In essence, I was their target market,” he said. “It was a great opportunity to put what I’ve been learning in the classroom at St. John’s into a real-world setting.”
His semester abroad also opened him up to other countries and traditions. “I really wanted to take advantage of my time abroad and explore new places,” he said. “Over spring break, I was able to travel throughout Europe and experience so many different cultures.” In addition to cities throughout Italy, JohnAnthony visited Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dublin, Interlaken, Lisbon, London, and Paris.
“Society is more globally connected than ever, so I think if a student has the opportunity to study abroad, he or she should do it,” he said. “You’ll have these revelations about yourself, and it's going to change the course of who you are as a person.”