Hello all, my name is Hannah Tucci, and I am a senior at the University of Pittsburgh studying Finance, French and Economics as well as pursuing a certificate in International Business. In addition, I plan to pursue Law School once I have graduated. I am a passionate member of Phi Beta Lambda, also known as Pitt Business Leaders, where I recently served as VP of Public Relations. As a senior, my college career is slowly coming to an end, and what better way to finish my final fall semester than in Marseille, France! Being a French minor, it was not a hard decision to choose France to study abroad. Although, where in France certainly made things a bit harder, ultimately, I couldn’t turn down an offer to stay oceanside by the Mediterranean. My program Kedge Business School is not the typical Pitt run program, instead it is a separate exchange program. This was immediately appealing to me because it would allow more independence in my studies as well as in adjusting to the real and natural environment of France. It held a promise of allowing me to fulfill many of the goals I had when deciding to come here. Certainly, the biggest goal of mine when coming here was to become more fluent in the French language, but also in the lifestyle. I tend to be a very structured and impatient person, and stereotypically this is not the common way of life in France, which for me was interesting. Many of my goals surround this development of character in hopes to adjust into someone who enjoys spontaneity, rather than plans all their time away. Another goal of mine is to develop a better understanding of business in foreign countries. I have always been interested in cross-cultural business, which had initially prompted me to pursue my international business certificate. I am looking forward to being able to experience these cultural differences and new learning experiences through my program here at Kedge.
Where my weekends in Pittsburgh may have been spent at events for my business fraternity PBL, or on the floors of Hillman studying for my LSAT. I now spend them walking through local flea markets or the muraled walls of Cours Julien and scanning flight apps for cheap trips all throughout Europe. Suffice to say the two atmospheres are quite opposite of one another. But, with these differences, there are also similarities with the structure of classes and the evident importance of being present during them. I think a general assumption is that study abroad programs are a walk in the park, that a very low level of required work must be put forth in them. But as someone who has always been an active student and a participant in class, I don’t believe this to be true. I have found the program here to be equally as challenging in the sense that education is strongly valued, and your attendance is always required. Something that for me has made this transition far more simple.
Locationally, I could not complain if I wanted to! I live in a gorgeous apartment with 3 other roommates, two of whom are fellow classmates and one of whom is from France herself. I am a 10-minute walk to the Vieux-Port, which is an insanely gorgeous area in Marseille that makes you feel as if you are in some sort of sailor’s paradise. There are beaches less than 20 minutes away and thrift stores lining most blocks. I think my adaptation to my living situation has been quite simple, if you exclude the first two weeks of sweltering heat and lack of air-conditioning (but alas, it is France – Air-conditioning does not exist here). I am surrounded by culture, something that is very welcoming to experience. As of this moment, I am living quite a wonderful life and am very excited for more to come!