I finished my study abroad program in Florence over one week ago. I can easily say it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I had the opportunity to meet so many new people, do new things, be adventurous and venture out of my comfort zone, and grow in so many ways. My roommates were awesome and so supporting on the journey we had together!
One of the most important things I learned was to be comfortable in stepping outside of my comfort zone. It was scary living so far away from home with people I didn’t know, but it was so exciting to meet new people and pave my own path in my time in Florence. I learned that I am independent, and I am capable of doing anything that I want as long as I am willing to put in the effort to achieve my goals. Additionally, I have learned so much about the Florentine culture and Italian culture. I was able to participate in local activities and interact with locals to get a real sense of another culture, and I feel that has really changed my perspective on the world. My classes exposed me to valuable knowledge about global, economical, and political issues that have made me a more well-rounded individual academically and personally. I realized how important visual learning is with the site visits I did in class. It was truly amazing to learn about art and history in my classes and then be able to go to the site we learned about and see it. I learned how valuable communication skills are to be able to understand other people and their ideas. I was able to improve my communication skills through my classes and interactions I had with locals, and I will be able to use this back at Pitt.
It surprised me how adaptable I really am. I have always thought of myself as struggling with change because I can be indecisive at times, but with wanting to study abroad, I never second guessed myself about going. Studying abroad was something I knew I always wanted to do to be able to learn more about the world. In my time in Florence, I realized how adaptable and open to change I really am. I have learned how important it is to take risks and put yourself out there. I also feel I have become less indecisive, and I am more aware of my own ideas and opinions. My confidence in myself has grown, enabling me to realize the value of my ideas and my independence. I will be able to bring my confidence and adaptability home with me and apply it to my academic life at Pitt Business, as well as bring these characteristics to my professional life as I start applying for internships. I loved my study abroad experience on the GBI: Florence program, and I am so excited to be back at Pitt for the fall semester soon!