It is time to say goodbye to city that I called home for six weeks. During my stay I have learned and experienced more than I can describe in a single post. I have seen strides of growth in myself personally, academically and professionally. From an academic prospective, I have not only increased my language and reading skills in Italian, but also learned a lot about the history of banking. Before I departed for Genoa, I only heard the name and knew nothing about the city, it’s culture or history. One of the most interesting things I discovered about this amazing city is the fact that it was home to one of the first modern banks. I find this fascinating and would love to research the topic further in my spare time. In addition, the professors did an amazing job keeping the classes in Italian and limiting the English we could use in the classroom.
In my opinion, there is no better way to improve yourself personally and professionally than studying abroad. Being emerged in a foreign environment where you do not fully understand the language, culture or people forces you to be mindful of your actions and think through situations in a unique way than back at home. When I first arrived, I did not ask the locals questions or for help because I wanted to blend in and I did not know certain vocabulary that I needed in that situation. However, I later learned that the people were more than willing to help and were very appreciative that I asked questions in Italian and showed respect toward their culture, even though I may not have known the correct way to ask. Having to struggle to find the right words and communicate with someone who spoke no English has helped with my interpersonal and communication skills. This strengthened skill will be invaluable to my further studies at Pitt Business and in my graduate classes. Another area that I have seen improvement is in my team building skills. There were only five of us from Pitt and we all had different strengths and weaknesses. When we were together we would work as a group to handle situations such finding our way through a new city we visited, making reservations at a restaurant or figuring out how to handle a strike at the train station. Being abroad, even for six weeks, has facilitated improvement in myself that I believe I can take into the business world and apply to my studies.
I would like to thank the donors that have made this experience possible, I could not have done it without them.