I can’t believe that I’ve reached the end of my time as a study abroad student in Florence! So much has happened in so little time and I am so grateful to have experienced it all. I came to Florence as a curious, open-minded, and nervous traveler with no idea of what to expect. Met a lot of people, ate a lot of new foods, and saw so many sights. Every moment of my time abroad offered a new learning experience, and I was able to grow a lot throughout both the good and the bad.
After returning to Pittsburgh for the rest of my academic career, I will be able to transfer a lot of my skills and experiences into my studies. Gaining cross-cultural perspectives allows me to approach my studies with a deeper understanding and approach. Specifically referencing my Urban Studies class on globalization, I have a wider understanding of modern business and ethics, which will prove to be very beneficial in my academic and professional efforts. Seeing how people of the world influence business practice was really interesting and inspiring when looking from a marketing perspective. My Global Marketing class gave me a hand-on approach to market adaptations and solidified my understanding and professional interests in global business endeavors.
From a professional standpoint, I believe that my global experiences will give me the competitive boost on my resume and in the workplace. Having a global perspective and understanding is very important in the modern world, and studying abroad in Europe has allowed me to gain soft skills and insights that will benefit me for the rest of my life.
On a personal level, studying abroad has changed me on so many levels and I will be forever grateful for that opportunity of growth. I have noticed a difference in my overall self-confidence and self-sufficiency, and I feel like I am capable of anything I would have originally been unsure of. I truly don’t have to wait for anyone to join me for me to be able to go to and enjoy a restaurant, event, or vacation. I have always valued my sense of independence, but reestablishing myself in Europe has solidified my confidence in a beautiful way. I was granted the opportunity to be myself in a new environment, and figure out for myself what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be. I have also reignited my passions for art and fashion while abroad. In the U.S., I didn’t have the time or inspiration to focus as much on these childhood interests, but being in a world-renowned city of Renaissance and fashion gave me the fire I needed to prioritize my passions. While studying abroad, I had more time to breathe and relax, and to really focus on things I enjoyed. The effects of this change of pace could really be seen at a personal level.
I will always remember Florence as the place where I learned, loved, shared, enjoyed, and blossomed.