By: Samuel Babitsky
It has been two weeks since I stepped on that airplane to return home. Two weeks without going to class and traveling on the London Underground. Fourteen days of not seeing the usual double-decker buses, the busy city streets, and the city I had worked and lived in for six long weeks. The time back in America has been a time of reflection, on both how my trip has affected me and how it will direct my path forward in both the University of Pittsburgh and my future career.
I believe six weeks was the perfect amount of time to experience what London had to offer in its summer semester. I felt as if the living experience, my British film class, and my internship concluded with me feeling a sense of acceptance and happiness. In what can seem like such a short amount of time for some or a long duration for others, at the end of the study abroad I could see the professional progress I had developed. The fact that I was in a foreign country on a continent I had not previously visited opened up my communication with other cultures. Experiencing the life and work styles of other cultures is something that enhances your own. Seeing how others would speak, work, and eat with other people made me realize how even though you had lived in one place all of your life that billions of other people are going through the same thing every day. Although there are differences between the Londoner and Northeast American lifestyles, at the same time there are so many similarities.
Another crucial idea that was gained from my London experience was professional communication. I had the chance to speak to employees of dozens of other companies during my internship. This communication through both online and in-person sets up a significant advantage for future jobs and opportunities at Pitt and beyond. Also, my time abroad was the longest time I ever had to share a room with other people. This experience allowed me to learn in new ways communicating and working with others. This aspect of living is something I would have never been able to experience in my college life if I had not studied abroad. A final thing I learned is that no matter where someone is in the world they can continue to make friends. It can be at school, at a job, or in London, but there are always people I can befriend and share my experiences with. My study abroad in London was enhanced by the friends I made during that trip. As I continue to reflect on my time in London, I realize how lucky I am to have experienced a foreign nation while also gaining more of an education.