April 05, 2011
Like many new college students, Daniella Tiranno ‘14C had hoped her
first semester would be an adventure. But she never dreamed she
would learn entirely new ways of looking at the world — in two of
the world’s greatest cities.
Daniella made her discoveries through the Freshman
Passport Program at St. John’s University. The unique program
allowed Daniella and 39 classmates to spend the last two weeks of
their Fall, 2010, semester at the University’s beautiful Rome, Italy,
Campus. The rest of the semester was at St. John’s 96.5-acre Queens, NY,
first taste of studying abroad, the freshmen took a special section
New York (DNY). The required class uses New York City as a
living textbook. As taught by
Heidi Upton, D.M.A., Assistant Professor of DNY, students
treated New York and Rome as springboards for comparing the old and
the new — and the layers of meaning within.
“Prof. Upton wanted us to see — to really see — the things that
we take for granted every day,” said the Smithtown, NY, native. “In
New York and Rome, we examined the sites that most people ignore.”
With classmate Katie Greibesland ‘14TCB, Daniella created a
video of their classmates’ experience in Rome.
“I developed the class with a very particular idea in mind,”
said Dr. Upton. “I wanted to get students to try to look at things
with new eyes. If you look at a park bench, sure, it’s a park
bench, but what else could it mean? What is the metaphorical sense
of an object or place?”
Launched in 2009, the Freshman Passport Program embodies St.
John’s commitment to global learning. Study abroad opportunities
are available throughout their undergraduate years. Through the
Office of Global Studies, students can enroll in Discover the
World, allowing them to live, learn and serve in three great cities
in a single semester. Students also may choose among winter, summer
and semester-long options throughout Europe, Asia and Latin