Ciao! My name is Maya Tolerico and I am studying abroad in Florence Italy for 6 weeks. I am a rising senior in the College of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh studying Global Management, Supply Chain Management, and Business Information Systems.
I am currently enrolled in the 6 week Global Business Institute: Florence program through Pitt Business. I chose this program mostly to go outside of my comfort zone. Since I had never been outside of the United States I definitely had to push myself to travel and live in a foreign country where english is not the native language. Italy specifically has always been an interest for me due to my families Italian roots, and Florence is an incredible Italian city which facilitated the birth of the renaissance. During my program I am taking classes on Interculture and Migration, as well as Urban Studies. Both classes so far have allowed me to take a much closer look at the Florentine people and gain a further respect for the rich history Florence has. While this specific program does not have an internship included, I am extremely grateful I get to spend all my time either in class or exploring all Italy has to offer.
There were and are many goals I continue to work towards during my stay in Florence. Personally, as I said previously this is my first time traveling internationally which comes with many obstacles I need to face. Initially flying internationally for the first time, especially due to my connecting flights in New York and then Paris, was stressful and challenging. This was the first goal I achieved. The personal goal I consistently am working towards is getting to know Florence as a Florentine and not as a tourist. My professor for my Urban Studies class is from Italy and has taught us that we can only get to know the Florentine people if we become them and look through the eyes of them, instead of having the mindset of a tourist. Academically, I am looking to learn more about the history of Florence and its place in all of Italys as well as the worlds history. I am already learning more and more about how important Florences rule was in so many periods of time. By learning these things I will be able to return home and inform my family, friends, and peers about the importance of Florence. Professionally, we have been learning about how important it is to learn to communicate and work effectively with people from different cultures. I am hoping this program will further my ability to work with members of different countries and teach me the skills I need to embrace our differences and use them to our advantage in my future career.