Off To Florence!

Hello everyone!

My name is Charlotte Haas and I am so incredibly excited to have the chance to share my adventures with you over the course of the next semester, during which I will be studying abroad in Florence, Italy!  I am currently a junior at the University of Pittsburgh, double majoring in Finance and Business Information Systems along with pursuing a certificate in Business Analytics.  I was born and raised in central New Jersey, and am proud to call it home.  I chose to attend college at Pitt because I grew up in a town that is considered the epitome of suburbia, and have always admired the fast-paced, high energy environment that cities have to offer.  This same admiration is what led me to my decision to study abroad in the vibrant, historical city of Florence!  After my time abroad, I will be interning at PNC Bank within their Corporate and Institutional Banking Relationship Management division.

I knew that my heart was set on spending a semester abroad after I was lucky enough to be a part of 25 students selected for a two-week, three-credit study abroad program called Plus3 for freshman business and engineering students at Pitt.  We spent two weeks in Costa Rica studying the globalization of the coffee supply chain, and I immediately discovered that I wanted to spend an entire semester studying abroad at some point in my collegiate career.

I chose to study abroad in Florence through a program called AIFS because I had heard so many wonderful things from friends who had previously studied abroad through the agency.  In terms of choosing Florence, I would have to attribute that decision to the incredibly rich culture and history that the city has to offer, along with what I am sure is going to be some of the best food I will ever taste – pizza, pasta, gelato, oh my!  I am counting down the days until I get to personally witness and walk through the historical landmarks, artwork, and museums that I have only read about in textbooks.  I cannot wait to fully immerse myself in the deep and uniqueItalian culture, and spend 4 months living in a brand new city, which will most likely come with a brand new lifestyle.  I’m excited to be able to compare and contrast the typical Italian way of life and business style with the ones that I have become so accustomed to here in the northeastern United States.  I look forward to exploring as much of Europe as I possibly can with the 5 friends that will also be in my program, along with meeting new people and forging new friendships during my time in Florence!  I cannot wait to take classes in a brand new environment, enhance my interpersonal skills, and gain a greater perspective on life.

Over the course of the next month, I will be eagerly preparing and awaiting my departure to the other side of the world.  My program includes stops in London and Rome before we finally touch down in Florence, so stay tuned for a whirlwind of updates come January 19th, when my journey finally begins!