Sydney Here I Come!

Hello! My name is Christopher Smith. I am a rising Junior at the University of Pittsburgh from West Orange, NJ. I am majoring in Marketing and Finance while also pursuing the Certificate in Leadership and Ethics. I am the current president of the Roberto Clemente Minority Business Association (RCMBA) and am also a member of the club basketball team. Hobbies of mine include watching sports and traveling.

This summer I will have the opportunity to study abroad in Sydney, Australia through the GBI Sydney program. I chose to participate in this program because I have been interested in traveling to Australia since I was a young child. Since traveling to new places is one of my hobbies, when the opportunity presented itself to study abroad there, I jumped at it. Being over almost 10,000 miles away from my home in New Jersey, I decided that the GBI program would be a great way for me to go somewhere new while also gaining valuable academic and professional experience in a foreign country.

Personally, I hope that the GBI Sydney program will allow me to learn more about another culture. I have never spent more than two weeks in another country, so this extended stay can help me to be emerged in the culture. In addition, I am hoping to gain a greater sense of independence on the trip. I have never taken a flight by myself before, or been this far away from home without my parents. This trip will force me to truly be independent and to figure out a solution to any problems I encounter without the help of my parents. I also hope to get to enjoy the many cuisines that make up the food scene of Sydney.

Academically, I am looking forward to being able to take the Sports Marketing class abroad. Being very interested in sports, I feel that this class will be very interesting and relevant to me. Being able to take in in another country will also allow me to experience an academic setting outside of the University of Pittsburgh, something I have not done since high school. I am also looking forward to getting six credits for completing the program to help make sure that I graduate on time. From a professional standpoint, having the experience studying abroad will make me more marketable to potential employers. It will look very good on my resume to have experiencing spending multiple weeks studying in another country. Also, I will be participating at an internship at H&R Block while in Sydney. I will be working with their expat tax team. I am very excited for this opportunity as there is a lot for me to learn. I also look forward to being able to learn more about Australian business culture and to spot the differences the workplace in Australia and the United States.

Overall, I expect to have a great trip in Sydney and cannot wait to go! I hope you enjoyed my first post and I’ll be sure to update throughout my trip!