As my four months abroad come to an end, I feel incredibly grateful, fortunate, and FULL! I do not think I could have picked a country that fit as perfectly with my goals, interests, and passions as Florence did. Although it is sad that my time studying in Italy is over, I have so many new memories and friends coming back to the States with me. My last week in Italy consisted of three finals, which thankfully were not as difficult as anticipated. Besides finals, my mom and her friend visited me, which gave me the opportunity to pretend to be a tour guide and show off the city I was lucky enough to call home!
This was my second study abroad experience at Pitt. I first studied abroad in May of 2018, in Ireland. These two experiences have helped me grow in different ways. When people ask me which one I loved more, I am unable to answer because they both carry such sentimental value! There is always an adjusting period after you have traveled for a while and must go home to the U.S. Many people feel as though there is a lot of adjusting when you travel to a foreign country, however I feel the opposite. Traveling to me seems like something natural, necessary, and comfortable. My biggest goal as a study abroad alum is to encourage as many people as possible to study abroad!
My turn around time for traveling is quite short, as I will be interning in Hong Kong in June. As a child, I traveled to Europe every summer to visit family, however I have never been to Asia, so this will be a completely new experience for me! I anticipate it will be a wonderful experience, as both Ireland and Italy have been. I have found that the more I travel, the greater my desire to KEEP traveling is! Study abroad has changed my whole perception on what I imagine my future career will be like. As I enter my senior year at Pitt, it is time for me to start looking for an “adult” job. Because of study abroad, I will be able to apply to positions that I never even considered before living in Europe. I am more open to the idea of a job that entails lots of travel and living abroad (SAO, where do I send my resume???). All in all, I hope everyone has the opportunity to study abroad at least once in their time at Pitt—but I can guarantee if you do it once, you’ll be hooked and will have to go again!