Now that I’m back home in America, there has been a lot of time for reflection on the GBI program itself as well as it’s impact on myself. Since departing in January, I have without a doubt changed greatly as a person, growing to be more independent and comfortable in my own skin.
Looking back at my classes and the people in my program, I couldn’t be happier. I’ve met tons of nice and funny people who helped make this experience so great. I lucked out with my roommates and my apartment. Every single day I somehow managed to have one of the best meals of my life, whether it was a famous Florentine steak or a five-euro panini. My lifestyle stayed healthy… I got exercise, made sure I got my fruits and veggies at a local market, got my work done, and had a fun social life. People told me that going to college for the first time would change me and make me more independent, and that is true. However, I feel that going abroad was equivalent to taking yet another step forward. It’s one thing to learn how to live on your own while being five hours away from your family by car. It’s a whole separate thing to learn how to do it halfway across the globe.
I didn’t realize this before leaving, but one of the funniest parts of living in a foreign country is anytime you go out, you don’t really know what people around you are saying to each other, so you just kind of tune it out. Because of this, you end up almost in your own little world, unaware of what anybody is talking about… it could even be about you! This is precisely what has helped me grow more comfortable in my own skin, as I never worried about how I was perceived outside.
Lastly, I want to address how I plan on taking this experience and incorporating it into my future at Pitt Business and beyond into my career. As I’ve mentioned, I think my gained sense of independence and confidence is probably the single most important thing gained from this experience going forward into my future. In the business world, it is important to feel comfortable talking to anybody, saying what you feel needs to be said, and adapting to new situations. Thanks to this wonderful experience, I believe I have gained these skills and will continue to nurture them the rest of my life.