My study abroad trip has come to an end. Looking back, I have no regrets going to Berlin and the trip was so amazing that I plan to study abroad again next summer.
What surprised me most about studying abroad was how cheap travel was once you reach Europe from the US. I wish I had known this because I could have planned ahead to possibly visit some other countries after the program ended or before it started. The advice that I would give to others studying abroad is to come prepared with a set amount of spending money and stick to a budget each week that you live in the foreign country. It makes for one less aspect to worry about.
Studying abroad opened my eyes to the opportunities to explore Europe. Even without fully knowing the language of the country, it is still possible to visit without issue. Knowing this opens up my options to many other countries that may not be primarily English speaking.
The thing I will miss most about studying abroad is the people I’ve met and the amount of sightseeing that there was to be done. I explored as much as I could before I left and am satisfied with how much I’ve seen, but it was always easy while in Berlin to leave the hotel and go find something remarkable.
The program itself was interesting in how it showed me the beginning steps of starting a business. Working on problems that existing startups had was a good hands-on approach to applying what we learned. I worked on solving logistical and profitability issues with a team for a new company that developed a prosthetic socket that could reduce the time it took to install a new prosthetic for a patient. The first 2 weeks of classes taught me how to develop a business model and work through the issues at hand. Overall, it was a great supplement to my current studies and will help me in future classes at Pitt.
The amount of time I spent in Berlin was perfect because it gave me enough time to develop lasting friendships with other and explore the city around me. 3 weeks was an adequate minimum for studying abroad and I would even consider a semester abroad, if possible.