Up and Away to Australia


Hi there! My name is Rachel Kuo and I’m finishing up my second year at the University of Pittsburgh.  I am a dual major in Marketing and Human Resources Management in the Pitt Business School.  At Pitt, I am a Resident Assistant for first-year residents living in the Business Living Learning community in Bruce Hall.  I also just concluded my year as Vice President of Marketing for Enactus, a social entrepreneurship organization here at Pitt that I have been involved with since my first semester at school.  In addition to being an RA and involved in campus organizations, I also work part time at a restaurant in Downtown Pittsburgh.  Although this doesn’t leave too much free time, I love to run and spend time with my family, (and our dogs!) when I get the chance.

I am incredibly excited to have the opportunity to live abroad in Sydney, Australia for six weeks.  I grew up traveling, but Australia is a place that I have never been before despite it being quite high on my list of places I wanted to see.  It was high on my list partly for the beautiful landscape and unique animals, but also in large part because of the cultural diversity that is present.  Even though it is an English speaking country, it will be interesting to see the ways in which their culture and traditions differ from ours.  Although I have traveled out of the country before, I have never done so without my family present.  Studying abroad will be a very different experience because I will be living independently in a foreign country.  Having gone to college only 30 minutes away from my hometown, I have never been away from home for a long time.  Although this will be a challenge, it is one that I’m looking forward to embracing.

The Global Business Institute is the perfect program for me because it allows me to take a business course while also interning abroad. I am graduating college in three years, so having the opportunity to take a class during the summer while also enjoying time abroad was the perfect win-win opportunity.  My course, Operations Management, is with a professor I have already had at Pitt.  It’s great going abroad knowing that I will have a friendly face and great professor teaching me.

The internship I will have abroad will not be my first one.  This past fall, I was a marketing intern for a small company in the North Side of Pittsburgh which was a great opportunity to explore what I could do with my marketing major.  This summer in Australia, I will be interning in the Human Resources Department of a Marriott Hotel in Downtown Sydney.  I am beyond excited about this opportunity because it allows me to explore both human resources and the hospitality industry.  I have had a passion for the hospitality industry for years and hope to pursue a career in hotel management, so my internship is a picture perfect fit for me.

I’m counting down the days until we leave, (24!), and cannot wait for my plane to touch down in Sydney.  I’m looking forward to exploring the city, meeting new people, and embracing the fun challenges of studying abroad!