Living the Italian Dream!

Ciao! My name is Gabriella Policella, and I am a
junior at the University of Pittsburgh. I am majoring in marketing with a minor
in political science. On campus, I am a brother of Alpha Kappa Psi professional
business fraternity, a sister of Delta Zeta, and a former e-board member of the
Fashion Business Association. Professionally, I am specializing in social media
marketing as well as search engine optimization. I was born and raised in
Pittsburgh, so I was very excited to study abroad during my collegiate career.

This semester, I am living, studying, and interning in Florence, Italy! I chose the
Global Business Institute in Florence for several reasons: both personal and
professional. Growing up in an Italian American family, I have always wanted to
visit Italy and learn more about my culture. Additionally, I was drawn to the
GBI program because they offer international internship placement.

During this program, I hope to prioritize developing
my global competency, discovering more about myself, and learning as much as I
can about the marketing industry to further my professional aspirations.

So far, I am really enjoying my classes here. All
my professors are very friendly and seem to care about the students. I enjoy
that the program is much smaller than Pitt Business at home because I can get
to know my fellow classmates and professors well. The classes all have a
hands-on learning approach that I find very engaging. Several of my classes
include field trips around the city! This week I visited the Ferragamo museum
with my international marketing class. As someone with a passion for fashion
and retail, I loved getting to learn about the brand and see the collections in

I am living in the Santa Croce neighborhood of
Florence. I love the location of our apartment because we are a ten-minute walk
from the school and there are so many places to eat and shop nearby. The famous
Duomo is a fifteen-minute walk from our apartment as well! I share an apartment
with four other girls from the University of Pittsburgh. Even though I didn’t know
some of them before the program, we have become close friends. We enjoy
exploring the city, cooking, traveling across Italy, and practicing our Italian
speaking skills together! The decision to study abroad was easily one of the
best of my life, but it comes with a unique set of challenges. I have found it
really comforting to have roommates I think of as a support system. It’s like
having a little slice of home here with me! I can’t wait to continue learning more
about Italian life, language, and culture throughout the semester.