Reflecting on an Amazing Study Abroad Experience

I had the best study abroad experience in London. Countless memories were made here and I plan on staying close with the friends I’ve made here. We visited so many places both inside and outside of London that were unlike any place I have been to before. In London, some of my favorite places were Portobello Road Market and Holland Park with the Kyoto Garden(s). Portobello Road Market was always teeming with numerous tourists and vendors. It was really cool to get an experience at a market that took up the entire length of a road because, in my town, there aren’t events like that—not even weekly events. What I liked so much about Kyoto Gardens was all the flowers and the giant koi pond. The first day I went there it was raining so, there weren’t a lot of people in Holland Park. Graham and I explored the park and stumbled upon a beautiful flower section. It had designs of tulips throughout the section that were all organized by color. The last day of the program, two of my best friends, Graham and Yash (pictured below), and I went to Holland Park and had a picnic. It was truly the perfect ending to the best experience of my life so far. I would definitely recommend going there if you are traveling to London. Being abroad has also made me more aware of myself and how important it is to keep your calm when something doesn’t go as planned. I think personally I’ve grown by becoming more independent in the sense that I that I can now say I’ve planned and navigated an international trip without the help of my mom or another adult. When my friends and I went to Naples we had probably the worst experience getting there because of flight cancellations and then subsequent train cancellations. It was really important to not freak out in a situation like this because that would have just made it worse and nobody would have been able to concentrate on what needed to be done. If this had happened to me a couple years ago I think I definitely would have been a wreck. Small things such as tube delays, I would say have kind of prepared me for when something doesn’t go the way you expect it to. You have to deal with it and keep moving forward. You can’t let one thing hinder the rest of your day or in our case the rest of our spring break trip. It was such an eye-opening experience and I’m glad we all made it and had a blast in Italy. I will take this skill home with me and use it in my everyday life from Pitt Business to hanging out with my friends. It is such an important skill to own that it will allow you to be versatile in any situation you’re put into. Working at the RIX Centre has really helped my soft skills such as working in an environment with people who come from a different background than mine. At work I was tasked with working with a boy who has severe learning and physical disabilities. I had never worked with someone who is learning disabled before and I was kind of nervous I wouldn’t get it right. After the first few visits, I became more and more comfortable working with him and we are now good friends. My communication skills have become stronger from working with people (not just the boy but my co-workers too) from different backgrounds, this will help me in my future as I hope to work internationally. I plan to bring this back to Pitt Business and utilize it when I’m tasked with working in groups. It is important to be able to work with people who are different than you or who have different views than you in order to achieve a common goal. If I could give advice for any college student it would be: if you have the chance to study abroad, take the opportunity. This has been a once in a lifetime experience and I wouldn’t want any of it to change. This has shaped me into the person I am today.i046WN6ST6yOfXKXVhFWNg.jpg