Ciao tutti! My name is Dylan Pitts and I am a junior majoring in marketing, with minors in Italian and philosophy, and a certificate in international business. Since I was a kid, it has always been a dream of mine to come to Italy, and now that I am finally here, I can hardly believe it! I grew up in an Italian-American family, and have fond memories of my nonna’s delicious Italian meals at Sunday dinners. For all my life, I have been told about how my great-grandparents came to American from Italy many years ago, and to finally make it back to the place they came from really means a lot to me.
Aside from my personal reasons for choosing this study abroad experience, I also chose this program to gain experience in an international business setting, to improve my Italian language skills, and to develop a more global perspective. I have been learning Italian for roughly 7 years now, starting in my freshman year of highschool, and continuing at Pitt. It is my first time in Italy, so being able to practice the language with native speakers after all this time has been truly amazing! In the future, I plan to work in the marketing division for a multinational company, combining my passion for different languages and cultures with my interest and knowledge in marketing.
Besides exploring Florence and getting in touch with my family’s past, I have also been taking international business courses, and even participating in an internship! For these reasons I think the GBI Florence program is really an amazing fit for me, because I am able to develop extremely valuable business skills, as well as learn more about my family’s past, and grow as a person and all in the same trip. By the end of the program, I can already tell I will be a new person both personally and professionally.
Although I have only been here a little less than a month, I can confidently say Florence is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, and I still have so much to see. I live in an apartment with 6 other students, and every time we leave, we always find something new to admire, whether it is an ancient statue, church, or painting.
It has also been interesting adapting to the lifestyle and culture here. At first, I thought it seemed really similar to the US, but that was only on the surface. One difference is everything is a lot smaller here! The streets, elevators, garbage cans, and even the cars are a lot smaller than what we are used to. The lifestyle is also a lot slower here, which I have really come to appreciate. Italians really seem to take their time enjoying things, which has really given me a new perspective.
All things considered, I am really excited to see what I can learn about myself and the world in the coming months of this amazing experience!