Finding my way in Florence

Ciao! Mi chiamo Megan. Currently I am a junior at Pitt spending this semester abroad in Florence, Italy. I am pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing with certificates in Digital Media and Leadership and Ethics. 

My main goal of the program is to grow. It is hard to say that this is a goal though, because it is inevitable for a person exposed to new perspectives with an open mind to not grow. Because of this, I know that this time abroad will help me grow into a more empathetic and globally-minded person. I would also like to become better at speaking Italian, learn a lot about Italian culture and art, and have experiences that are meaningful (fun, educational, inspiring etc). 

I’ve always dreamed of studying abroad.  Being that I was a freshman during the start of the pandemic, I was not sure that I would be able to fulfill this dream during my undergraduate years. However, I was elated to see that I had the opportunity to apply for programs abroad during the Spring 2022 semester. Studying abroad was something I had always envisioned for myself because I knew it would be a way to challenge myself and it would allow me to have some really interesting opportunities. 

I chose Florence, Italy for a variety of reasons. Two obvious reasons would be the food and the views. A large portion of my family is Italian-American, so I wanted to be able to more closely experience my ancestor’s culture. Also, I am really passionate about photography, so the immense exposure to art and inspiration that one finds in Florence was really attractive to me. 

My new academic institution is CAPA. This educational institute hosts around 200 students from a range of American universities this semester. There are around 20 Pitt students, so it is nice to see those familiar faces in my classes. Half of my professors are from Italy; it is really cool to be able to learn about Italy and Italian culture from native Italians. Most of my classes are fairly small (around 20 students in a class), but I appreciate the intimate nature of a small classroom as it helps you get to know your peers and professors more easily. One of my classes, Elementary Italian, is all Pitt students. Our professor, Jenny, is dynamic and enthusiastic. Italian is definitely my favorite class, because it is so fun (also because I desperately want to know Italian). 

I love my new apartment. It’s location is amazing; it is super close to CAPA and many bars and restaurants. I enjoy being close to the bars because they have been a place that makes it easy and natural to meet and get to know Florentines as well as other study abroad students. My apartment is really modern, but it has some cool old features such as big wooden door frames/doors. My roommate that shares the room with me is a fellow Pitt student and a good friend of mine.  Our other roommates are from University of Colorado Boulder and it has been really nice to get to know them as well.