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Helping John Afford Living in Another Country!
$10 raised
0% of $3k goal
1 contributor
4 Years running
My name is John Cahill, and I'm a college student. I've always had financial troubles, and as a student striving to get by, it can sometimes get in the way of my studies. After my mother died, it left my family in a tough financial situation, ...

My name is John Cahill, and I'm a college student at SUNY New Paltz. I am an English Major with a double minor in Asian Studies and Creative Writing. I've always had financial troubles, ever since I can remember, and as a dedicated student striving to get by, it can sometimes get in the way of my studies and education. After my mother passed away from lung cancer in Januray of 2010, it left my family in a very tough financial situation. My mother was always so supportive of my education, buying me any book I wanted when I was little, despite any sort of financial troubles we had. She's the one who read to me before I went to bed, and she's the one who told me that I could be anything I wanted to be, to follow my dreams. She cultivated my love of literature. She wanted me to go on to college, because she never had the chance, and went on to regret it for the rest of her life. 

My tattoo in memory of my mother, Kathleen Cahill.

College always costs a lot, no matter how you spin it, and it's even harder with a single parent. My father supports me in every way, but a single job only goes so far. In trying to get the best grades possible, I have very little time for a job of my own, other than a few odd jobs here and there. So far, I've been slowly skimping by through the skin of my teeth.

I'm also currently in the middle of my second ever editing job, the memoir Free Pizza for Life by Chris Clavin of the punk rock band Ghost Mice. While an amazing opportunity, it leaves me with even less free time. As an English Major, a Creative Writing Minor, an aspiring novelist and a future editor, this experience is vital to bettering myself and as a scholar of the English language. The first book I've edited, Tour Sucks, is due out on Plan-It-X records very soon. Check them out at!!

My first editing job.

Which leads me to the future, moving onward.

I've recently been accepted to study abroad at L'Universita Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy for the spring semester of my junior year. While it's doable, it's definitely a financial pit, and more money will always lighten the burden and soften the stress of my living situation.

Studying abroad has always been something I've wanted to do, but I never thought I had the chance to go through with it because of my financial situation. While right now most of the intrinsic costs are covered, such as tuition, there are costs for traveling, for food, for bath and home products, etc. The less I have to worry about these, the easier I can live hundreds of miles away from my home, the only place I've known for most of my life.

I set up this fund just for some small donations, in any sort of increment. Anybody can donate any amount they want! Only five dollars could lead to a day's worth of meals. If several people chip in, it becomes groceries for a month. 

The biggest reason I want to leave my home country for five months is for the simple fact that I never have left, besides on vacation to a resort in the Carribean—hardly a representation of the rest of the world. To know that there's a whole world out there which I've never experienced, to read and write about the history and culture of so many places, yet to never have set foot on their soil, to look upon them with my own eyes, is honestly heartbreaking. I went to college to broaden my horizons; to become a more informed person, to better myself in every aspect. To learn, to flourish. When I'm in Europe, I plan to travel as much as I can. To backpack around on my spare time. To truly see the world for the first time, not through postcards or instagrams, but with the full extent of my very own body and will. It's a chance I may never have again. Some places I plan to visit are:

  • Paris, France. 
  • Rome, Venice, and Florence, Italy.
  • Athens, Greece. 
  • Prague, Czech Republic.
  • London, England. 
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands. 
  • And any other places I can possibly visit while I'm there. 

The benefits of studying abroad hardly need to be mentioned. It leads to networking, to meeting lifelong friends, to becoming fluent in a language (for me, Italian), getting a more rounded world view through experience, and furthering one's education by moving to a foreign place.

My final goal in studying abroad is to finish a rough draft of my first novel. By withdrawing from the life I've always known, I hope to find new inspiration and strength, introducing a vigor into my writing I've never quite had. While I can't divulge too much information right now, I can tell you that it's a novel about my home, the place I was born: Long Island, New York. It deals with divorce, marriage, and what it truly means to be in love, to sacrifice a part of yourself for happiness. I hope my experience of studying abroad will bring clarity to my writing, informing the issues I am writing about in a whole new perspective. 

I appreciate any sort of donation to my find, and even just sharing this campaign with your friends and family helps immensely!

I don't expect to hit the goal, but if I did, that would be amazing. Three-thousand is the estimate I usually hear for a semester of studying abroad. Of course, like I've said, the littlest bit would make a difference. 

Thank you so much for reading. It means the world to me. 

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