Ciao! My name is Maura Bartell and I am a junior studying Economics and Supply Chain Management. I grew up in Syracuse, NY and my adventurous, ambitious nature drew me to city campuses far from home, which is how I ended up at Pitt. On campus, I am involved in Strong Women Strong Girls and Delta Sigma Pi. I also TA for the Economics Department and worked for Day Owl, a sustainable backpack company. This summer, I will be interning with EY as a business consultant in the Pittsburgh office.
Although I love staying busy and involved in Pittsburgh, studying abroad was the #1 thing I wanted to do while in college. My plans to study abroad freshman and sophomore year were cancelled, but I am grateful for the “bonus time” I was able to spend with friends and family instead. When Pitt Business announced they were running GBI programs for this Spring, I immediately started my application and am so excited for the opportunity to spend this semester in Florence!
I selected Florence because I felt the program provided the best personal growth opportunities and exposed me to a level of cultural differences I had never experienced prior. My goals for the program are to improve my language skills, enhance my problem solving abilities, and to gain a greater appreciation for and understanding of culture.
I am really enjoying my classes here in Florence. I am taking Italian, which is helping me connect better with the locals. For anyone who is considering going abroad in the future, I highly encourage you to take a course in the local language the semester before you go. I am also in urban studies, psychology and art classes that all focus on Italian history and culture.
At the CAPA Center, professors are accessible and knowledgeable- just like at Pitt! I have found that the professors here prefer to use the city as the classroom and engage with the community more so than we do at Pitt. Also, most classes are held once a week for three hours, which is not typical for many classes offered at home.
I live in Santa Croce, which is where the CAPA Center is located. My apartment is in a lively area within walking distance of all major attractions. I am enjoying living with my roommates who all go to Pitt and meeting people from other schools as well. I am so grateful for this opportunity to study abroad and can’t wait to share more of my experience!