Hola, Hello, Hallo and welcome to my blog. These are the respective greetings of Spain, England, and Germany the countries I will be spending this semester in. But first, let me introduce myself. My name is Hannah Baker and I am a Junior at the University of Pittsburgh graduating Spring 2020. I am currently studying Supply Chain Management and Business Information Systems, two subjects I am very passionate about. The foundation that Pitt Business gives its students to think globally is phenomenal and last semester I joined Salsa Club as well as finished the Outside the Classroom Curriculum course to explore new interests. This semester I decided I would take it to a whole new level, and I encourage you to follow my blog over the coming months as I take it all in.
This fall I will be a Global Scholar studying in Madrid, London, and Berlin as a part of CIEE’s Open Campus program. The program is a semester-long, broken into three 6-week mini-blocks. In each block, I will be taking two courses aimed at furthering my international experience. In Madrid during block 1, I am taking Spanish Film and Comparative European Political Systems. I choose this multi-country program because I was incredibly indecisive about picking only 1 city to spend my study abroad semester in, and thus I tried to maximize the experience by discovering a program that would allow me to visit multiple locations. CIEE’s Open Campus program features 11 different cities across Europe, South America, and Africa that students can choose to take classes in, in an order that suits them. Though I am the first person from Pitt to do this program, I know it will be an incredibly worthwhile experience.
My reason for pursuing a study abroad semester was to capitalize on my college experience. Initially, I thought about the possibility of co-oping for a semester, or even graduating a semester early. However, as I spoke to my support system many of whom had studied or traveled abroad at my age I was deeply encouraged that the benefits of this program would lead to my personal, academic, and professional growth and exploration. On the personal side, while I love traveling to new places, I have concerns that my high school Spanish will not do me much good when communicating with non-English speakers. I am however incredibly excited to begin exploring Madrid a city with over five million inhabitants in the metro area, of course doing a taste test in every neighborhood I stop into. The opportunity to explore three different cultures, two of which English is not the primary language will allow me to have a better understanding of the world, and especially Europe. My reasoning for choosing all three locations in Europe was to observe what local culture is like in all of these cities in case I decide I would like to attend graduate school or possibly work abroad in the future. For now, though, I will be intent on making it through a whirlwind six weeks in Madrid.