It’s been an incredible six weeks here in the capital of the United Kingdom. I come home knowing more about myself and obtaining lifelong skills than when I left 45 days ago. Residing and studying in a foreign country has been beneficial because of the independence and self-reliance that comes from living in an unfamiliar city. Before embarking on this journey, I knew no other students from Pitt or any other university that were studying at CAPA London. I am thankful for all the new friends I have made from Pitt and across the USA during the program but also for my new local friends. Part of fully immersing myself in the local culture was gaining the perspectives of Londoners who have called the UK their home much longer than me. Every Wednesday evening after class, I would walk to the next town to meet my local friends at Alpha, a community group with dinner and discussion on tough questions people had about faith and spirituality. Through these evenings, I listened to a variety of different viewpoints that differed from my own. I love that I have friends across the pond. Thanks to technology, I will be able to stay in contact with them from thousands of miles away. Academically, I was sad for my two classes, International Accounting and European Politics, to end. My professional network expanded thanks to the site visits in England. I had not given thought to working abroad, but after this program, I see it is a viable option with contacts across London thanks to the International Accounting class. Academically, there could not have been a better time to be in the UK for a European government and politics class. Before this program, I knew minimal information about Brexit or what my stance was on the issue. By having a London professor divulging all sides of the issue over six weeks, I can make an informed decision on Brexit.
So now what? The adventure is over but the experiences I gained will stay with me forever. In the next school year, I have the privilege of serving as a resident assistant for first year business students. Freshman business students vary in their experiences and come from diverse backgrounds. Being in London as a foreigner has showed me how vast and important other peoples’ views are. I want to build a community on my floor where students will feel that their views are respected and can better each other. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in London and believe that every student should make an attempt to study abroad. You will learn more about another culture, step outside your comfort zone and maybe even discover something new about yourself. I can honestly say that I have taken the Pitt Business motto to heart: From the classroom, to the city, and to the world! Thank you for your support and for following my journey.