Discover Fall in Firenze! with GBI Florence

Hi everyone, and welcome to my first blog post! My name is Lynn Dang, and I am majoring in Finance with a concentration in Data Analytics. I am a 5th year at Pitt, graduating this December 2022 as soon as I arrive back in the states. Spending my last undergraduate semester abroad is definitely out of my comfort zone, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have always dreamed of studying abroad, and I am grateful to finally get the opportunity to do so with PittBusiness! After I graduate, I am working within the investment management industry in Dallas, Texas.

As a participant of the the Global Business Institute program, I am enrolled in courses at a global education network named CAPA. I chose this particular program because of CAPA’s focus on providing both classroom and experiential education in the many global programs that it offers.

I have had a lot of time to define my goals for this program because I have had 4 years on Pitt”s campus to think about it! I am excited to balance the exploration of new places and the beautiful act of deeply immersing myself into one culture. I hope this program will teach me to appreciate and deeply connect to Italian culture. My classes include Beginner Figurative Sculpture and Renaissance Art History, so I plan to learn as much as I can! I also aim to gain confidence in my independence. Studying abroad is a great way to challenge myself to take charge of my own daily life and activities I do, because there are so many possibilities and history right outside my window.

The culture of Florence is simultaneously busy and relaxed. Florence has very narrow sidewalks and roads, and it is normal for everyone to walk in the middle of the road. I love that the city seems to be made for people and not for cars. It is still tourist season right now, and many new students have just moved in, so there is activity everywhere. I live a few minutes away from the Duomo, and there is noise from the morning to night. However, all of this activity does not mean that Florence feels busy. In fact, it feels somewhat slowed down; I find myself stuck behind “slow” walkers every day. Additionally, people often meet up at coffee shops (called “bars”) and have a shot of expresso for breakfast.

Pitt has an excellent partnership with CAPA, providing an on-site Pitt professor to teach at CAPA. No other universities here have that! Both Pitt Business and CAPA feel very friendly, walkable, and oriented towards experiential-learning. I love the sense of community. Since I am taking humanities classes instead of business classes, I am still adjusting to lecture styles. I am really excited about being a CAPA student!

I am so fortunate to live in the city’s center. I can see the Duomo from my front door, and I am literally a few steps away from many restaurants, coffeeshops, and stores. I live in a 2 bedroom apartment with 3 other roommates, all who are university students at CAPA. It is an apartment complex with Italian families, so we have some cool cultural features such as a bidet, no clothes dryer, and windows that open in a way that I have never seen before. I am also a short walk from the famous Ponte Vecchio. Taking a stroll at night along this river has exposed me to wedding receptions, live violinists, and beautiful views. I look forward to sharing more of my experiences this semester!