My time in Florence was better than I ever could have imagined. Looking back on all of my worries and fears going into it, I feel so much more confident about my capabilities now that I have gone through this experience, and I am so grateful for this. One of the main things that I was not expecting was how close my roommates and I became by the end of the trip. This makes sense looking back considering how we all were in the same position of being out of our comfort zones, however I was not expecting to bond as much as we did. Over the six weeks I became a much better traveller as well. I have always gone on trips with my family, but never had to plan them on my own. My roommates and I had a few hiccups when we first started planning our own trips, but we definitely learned quickly how to go about it better. We travelled to Siena, San Gimignano, Cinque Terre, Positano, Capri, Pompeii, Switzerland, Lake Como, and Croatia. I went super out of my comfort zone and even went skydiving in Switzerland! By the end we were so much better at trip planning and felt much more confident about our abilities. This confidence was needed on my travels heading home. Coming back to the US was a very hectic experience. There were so many delays and almost all of my friends and I had close calls or missed their flight back home. While I did have to sprint to my gate in the Amsterdam airport (and once I got there they told me they gave up my seat because they did not think I would make it on time), I luckily made it home on time without missing any flights (and I got assigned a different seat).
I think the main thing this experience taught me is that confidence is key. It brought me out of my shell in ways I didn’t even realize I needed. Being an American in Europe, I stuck out like a sore thumb and no matter how hard I tried to adjust to their style, I knew they would always know I’m an American. I still tried to make the effort to understand their culture and I think that matters more than anything else. This experience opened my eyes to what it means to be a global citizen, and I will bring this back with me to Pitt Business. I also think this strengthened my confidence in my abilities all around which is very important in the business world. In general as well, it made me a more flexible and adaptable person with an open mind always learning from others. I am so incredibly grateful for this experience and could not recommend it enough to others!