From Krakow With Love

There is nothing quite like having the first flight in a long trip delayed long enough that you reach the next gate one minute before departure, just for that flight to be delayed indefinitely. Easily the worst part of international travel is getting to and from your destination. Even still, it is well worth the stress in order to experience the other side. Now that I have been home for a week, I can truly appreciate my three weeks in Prague, Cesky Krumlov, Budapest, and Krakow beyond just how fun they were.

What would life be without change? Now that I’m home again, it feels like I notice something new everyday: a room has changed colors here, the old back road has been repaved there, buildings have been remodeled everywhere. A study abroad, or even just international travel in general, is a highly concentrated bottle of this, which is why it is both memorable and valuable. After all, experiencing this change is one of the primary ways that we can grow. I am exceptionally grateful that I had the opportunity to be part of this program, as it helped me to learn and grow in many ways.

One of my favorite parts of these cities was the sheer amount of history on display. From all the museums, to the lessons about the nations, to the ways that it runs deeply throughout the attitudes and architecture in the cities, I was able to learn and experience a great amount of a subject I truly enjoy. Thanks to the universality of history, it is helpful in all genres of study. Economics, the focus of this study abroad, functions in a similar manner. While it doesn’t speak to me in the same way that history does, I am able to take my deeper knowledge of both subjects to better explore the focuses of my major.

This exploration all begins with the research paper we are doing for class. As I attended this program at the end of my freshman year, I have not yet written a research paper at Pitt. This will be the longest essay of my academic career and it has already been an exciting challenge. The prompt was to write about a topic of our choice that was deeper than our discussions in class. As a film and marketing student, it was a natural choice for me to look at the film industry and its development in regards to propaganda and privatization before and after the fall of communism. Despite taking a class that would theoretically be unrelated to my current studies, it is helping me to confirm that I have a passion towards them as well as giving me a unique insight to their unique history.

I am incredibly lucky to have been gifted the opportunity to learn in such a fantastic environment with a great group of peers. Beyond the academic sphere, I was able to befriend nearly twenty upperclassmen through our travels. Having a network is invaluable, especially when they are further along in their careers with a variety of experiences and focuses. I wish them all the best and hope that I am able to stay in contact with them in the future.