Study Abroad Round 3: Berlin

Hi all! My name is Keya Bartolomeo and I’m currently a junior at the University of Pittsburgh’s Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences. I’m double majoring in History and Political Science, pursuing the Honors degree in History as well as a Related Concentration in European and Eurasian Studies. This summer I will be pursing an 8-week internship in Berlin through the university’s International Internship Program. 

Here’s a bit about myself: I’m from Long Island, New York. Having a multicultural background as well as having grown up with close access to one of the world’s most global and diverse cities, I’ve always had a deep appreciation for cultural and ethnic difference, and am fascinated by how this affects societies. College coursework and extensive travels have reminded me how different states and cultures have unique histories, yet all share common themes: periods of oppression, principles worth fighting for, and a belief that how they overcame past challenges defines in part who they are. This resonates personally as I am aware of the connections between lessons that I’ve learned, how they can influence my current perspective, and how I see my choices.

Travel is a fundamental part of who I am today. I studied abroad through the university twice before: fall semester of 2017 (as a sophomore) in Sydney, Australia, and summer term of 2018 in South Africa. I was able to uncover hidden facets of my personality, while also learning to appreciate my new surroundings. I have come to cherish study abroad as a uniquely maturing experience intended for those who are seeking fulfillment in academic rich areas, and the chance to observe the cultural differences of this beautifully dynamic world. I am grateful to be able to pursue another chance to study abroad, and to continue to expand my horizons and deepen my perspective of difference, and peoples from regions considered foreign from my own. 

By pursuing the International Internship Program in Berlin, I have the unique opportunity to complete a full-time internship, gain career experience related to my fields, further develop my set of professional skills, and engage with the rich history of this city. It also academically integrates into my interest and investment with global education. Synthesizing my experiences, I know there is something compelling and meaningful to me about the intersection of History and Political Science. I am resolved to study these areas deeply and make a contribution to a world more well-informed by the hard-earned wisdom of history, where reasoned policies fairly assess interdependencies and context. Though I’m still uncertain as to the future of my path post-graduation, I hope to have a global career, wherein the interactions of peoples across many places continue to influence how I view life and human progress. 

One of my favorite poets, Walt Whitman, in his famous work O Me! O Life!once wrote “the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.” I am working to contribute my verse, and after all, to know ourselves, to understand each other and make sense of our world, we must rely on awareness and exposure as pathways to growth.