T minus 22 Days

IMG_2362Hi Everyone! My name is Deandra, and I am a junior at Pitt double-majoring in Human Resources and Business Information Systems with a Certificate in Data Analytics. A little bit about me: I’m from “outside of Philly”, I love being involved on campus, and I’m kind of a foodie.

I am so thrilled to be studying abroad in London this spring! When I decided that I wanted to study abroad, I knew instantly that London was the choice for me. The city’s combination of rich history, diversity, and business opportunity provides the ideal environment for me to learn and grow personally and professionally.

The history of the city is what initially piqued my interest in London. In high school, my favorite subject was European History because I loved the vast array of interesting stories. It felt it would be personally satisfying to live and study in a place steeped in history, and have easy access to incredible landmarks like the Roman Amphitheater. I would also find it fascinating to discover the stories that were missing from my high school history books.

I am also drawn to London because of the city’s incredible diversity. I was amazed to learn that over 3 million of the city’s 8 million residents were born outside of the U.K. As a person of color who has spent most of their life being the “only one” in homogeneous spaces, the prospect of living in a place with such a large variety of culture excites me. Living in London would help me to gain a much more meaningful perspective on diversity through the various people I meet in the city as well as cultural celebrations in the community.

I hope that by completing this study abroad program I will learn to be more independent, improve my networking skills, and gain a better understanding of my own culture.

At this point in my life I feel that I am ready a major challenge, and I think that studying abroad in London is exactly what I need. Through this program, I will be studying, working, and living in a completely unfamiliar place. London is a massive city that dwarfs Pittsburgh in size and population, and will require me to sharpen my navigation, budgeting, and problem-solving skills in order to thrive. I hope that through this experience I learn how to become more self-reliant and comfortable with unfamiliarity.

One of the best parts of traveling is being able to meet new people. This program will give me access to so many different types of people; students from the University of London, professors, professionals, and more. I hope to form to strengthen my networking skills and create meaningful connections with the people I meet during this program. The individuals I meet during this program have the potential to impact my life in the future as I apply for jobs or fellowship programs, and I hope to have the potential to positively impact theirs.

I cannot wait to see what London has in store for me! 3 weeks to go!