Cheers from London!

Me, for reference, if you were wondering

Cheers! My name is Hannah Vance, and I am a junior studying marketing, studio arts, and earning a certificate in Leadership and Ethics. I am from Downingtown, Pennsylvania, and proudly part of the “just outside of Philly” population. At Pitt I am involved with Pitt Pathfinders and the Fashion Business Association, and outside of school you will find me working on my art business, thrifting, or heading to the gym.

I never expected to go abroad, but here I am, a month into the London GBI program. I was always a homebody growing up, and had no desire to travel anywhere farther than 20 minutes from my house. I loved my routine, I loved not branching out past my immediate friends, and I loved the safe little bubble of Downingtown. It was a miracle I ended up as far from home as Pitt in the first place, but taking that leap resulted in a domino effect of pushing myself to grow more and more.

For a little bit last semester, things just were not going my way. I had a crazy thought of, “what if I just moved to the other side of the world?”, and, while completely sarcastic, the idea hit me that I actually could if I wanted to. Some of my best friends were already planning on this trip so I thought, if there is ever going to be a time to feel the most comfortable going abroad, it is now.

I am heading into my 4th week of classes, and they have been so different from what I am used to at Pitt. The commute alone to and from class on public transit, “The Tube”, takes me about an hour each way to class. Class itself meets once a week per course, lasting 3.5 hours. Needless to say, I definitely will not feel the need to look at the clock during the 1.25 hour classes when I get back home. The professors are very engaging but rely more on speaking than slides, with multiple professors not using any form of technology at all.

As far as where I live, I could not be happier. I live in a 4 person flat in Whitechapel, and while I was nervous to hear that this was where Jack the Ripper was notorious, the place is gorgeous. I live with 2 other lovely Pitt Business students, Ellen Fabian and Miya Bound, and Mia Nitekman, a Dietrich student. While I was nervous to go back to having a room mate again, particularly ones I hadn’t lived with before, my friends have made it a very easy transition and have been amazing to live with (fingers crossed they say the same about me)! It also helps to have so many Pitt students in my building, making it feel like a home away from home. The Pitt pride stretches across the pond for sure, and Ellen and I sang “Sweet Caroline” at a karaoke night with twenty Pitt students in the crowd chanting “Let’s Go Pitt”! So, that is all for now, cheers! XX