Castellano reflects on semester abroad

Castellano reflects on semester abroad

Sarah Castellano didn't miss much of the non-traditional spring season with her Albion College women's soccer teammates while she studied abroad at John Cabot University in Rome.

"I joined a 5 v 5 soccer team which was a mix of other students studying abroad and degree seekers from Rome," the communications studies major from Northville, Mich., who is a starter for the Britons as a defensive midfielder said. "It was a great way for me to stay in shape and keep up with my touches. The team made it to the finals, I scored more goals than I ever have in America, and my teammates really became a family when I was there.

"The coach tried to speak English to accommodate us who were studying abroad, and even though there was a language barrier the game is still the game."

Following the lead of her brothers who studied abroad while in college, Castellano took advantage of the opportunity to tour through Europe, including Berlin, Paris and Switzerland, in addition to the Italian cities of Florence, Naples, Pisa and Venice.

More important than the sights, however, were the connections she made while volunteering to teach English to an older population in Rome and touring ancient sites as part of a history class.

"Learning in a new environment is a great way to grow because the world is interconnected and to immerse yourself globally is to be well rounded," Castellano said. "I got to appreciate the history of the city as well as becoming open to other people and their ideas.

"I walked to a lot of places without my phone and explored the city," she added. "I learned to embrace independence and walk confidently."

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