Cross-Cultural Immersion in the Heart of Italy

Rebecca Grenham
Master of Arts, ’17
European & Eurasian Studies

Rebecca first learned about Johns Hopkins SAIS while an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University. Growing up in an immigrant household in Brooklyn had inspired her to major in both Sociology and International Studies, though she was unsure of which area to pursue after graduation. After learning about the interdisciplinary nature of a Johns Hopkins SAIS degree, she quickly applied and was admitted through the accelerated BA/MA program, which allows her to receive both a BA and an MA in five years.

As one of the youngest students at SAIS Europe, Rebecca was pleasantly surprised by how friendly and welcoming the community was. She soon got involved in research at the Center for Constitutional Studies & Democratic Development, which piqued her interest in the Balkans region, and built connections with her professors in the European & Eurasian Studies program. Outside the classroom, she worked on improving her Italian by tutoring locals and exploring Bologna.

Rebecca decided to stay in Italy after her first year and learned about food and agriculture issues as an intern at the U.S. Mission to UN Agencies in Rome. Her internship provided an excellent opportunity to not only learn about careers in the federal government but also get acquainted with Rome, which is now her second favorite city after her native New York. Though leaving Italy was challenging, she is enjoying being back in the Mid-Atlantic region and is learning a great deal in her courses.