Refining soft skills abroad

Hi again! We are now on week 10 of the program which is just insane – March has absolutely flown by and it does not feel real! Over the past three weeks, we had our Spring Break, and then I had visitors from Pitt come for their spring break week. March has been absolutely incredible so far.

The past 10 weeks have been a whirlwind of change and growth, that does not come without hardship. I have learned so much about Italy, Florence, and myself (as cliche as it is). Everyone says this will happen when you study abroad, but until you live it, you really do not understand the gravity of this happening to you. I only have 4 weeks left in the program but I truly believe they will be the best 4 weeks as I feel very settled and the weather continues to get nicer every day!

Throughout the duration of my program so far, I have gained and refined countless soft skills. From problem solving to understanding people to cultural awareness … I’ve definitely gotten a taste of it all! I would say the soft skill I have refined and developed the most is creative problem solving and adaptability. This could be in the context of learning how to communicate with someone who cannot speak your language, in the context of figuring out how to make a tight layover that is almost impossible, or how to navigate lots of alone time. All of these situations are ones that I have found myself in during this semester and all of them have helped me learn how to problem solve when it is most necessary. It takes a lot of time and patience to handle situations like these, which I had to absolutely work on while I managed all of the moving parts. I hope to continue refining these skills, as I know I will be faced with more challenges in the last bit of time here.  

Another soft skill I’d like to touch on is time management! Although the workload has been much more straightforward and less time consuming (no “busy work” or extra assignments, just exams), I knew from the start that the months would start to fly by and I want to make the most of this opportunity. With this, I have been planning out my plans two weeks at a time this whole semester. These plans included museums, restaurants to try, new areas of Florence to explore, and international trips I was interested in doing. There is truly so much to do here, I could never be bored even if I tried! The challenge thus became fitting everything I wanted to do in a calendar as well as managing a budget for everything I wanted to try. 

I know that I will carry all of the skills and knowledge I have gained through this experience with me into the rest of college, in my career, and in all other aspects of my life for years and years to come.

This has easily been the best two and a half months of my life so far! I feel very ready to tackle the last month here in Florence with the knowledge that I have already gained and continue to learn and grow as a person throughout the rest of my time in Italy. Ciao!