Jumping In

I experienced a lot of growth personally, academically, and professionally throughout my time in Berlin in a short period of time. For me, I learn best when I’m put into new situations. Although stressful at times, I almost like that feeling of being “thrown into the fire”. This program was the perfect balance of being thrown into an uncomfortable foreign environment without feeling like I was completely on my own. Sure, I was in Europe the furthest I’ve ever lived from home working my first ever internship, but at the same time, I was with a group of students all in similar situations.

"Rodeo of Berlin"

My Berlin accommodation is a cozy European-sized apartment at the Citadines, an apartment hotel located in Kurfürstendamm. If you go on Google Maps, it’s southwest of the word Berlin. Our in-country advisor arranged for all IIP students to stay here, and so far, it’s been great and I absolutely love the area that we’re in. There are lots of restaurants and small shops, and it’s close to bus stops and train stations that can take you anywhere in the city. It’s on a street we call the “Rodeo of Berlin,” so we’ve seen a ton of supercars. I have one roommate who is also in the IIP program.

Berlin vs. Bank Account

Throughout my time studying abroad in Berlin, I encountered many challenges I had never faced before. This was my first time in Europe and my first time living in a foreign country so I had to work to adapt to the culture. Overall, I feel like I did a good job overcoming the challenges I faced in Germany. I went into the program having completed cross-cultural training which helped with the cultural challenges, and it sounds dumb but my positive attitude helped me with all the other challenges.

Putting Expectations Behind

For the past few days, I shut off my phone, lived with no electricity or soap, and opened my heart to the amazing Waorani People. When preparing for Ecuador, the concept of being a flexible traveler was stressed above all else. With almost no itinerary, my expectations for the trip were formed off of my own imagination. My group is the first ever to take the Plus3 program to Ecuador, so our advisors could not exactly tell us what to expect either.

A Vast World

Studying abroad has made a big impact on my career goals and how I see my future. Staying in Austria was such a great experience, and it made me want to go back for a longer period of time. I had always wanted to go to a German-speaking country for at least a few weeks to experience the culture and practice German, but I thought that would be good enough. I stay very busy with my academic pursuits and have a lot of plans for myself once I graduate, so I thought this might me my only trip to Europe for a long time. This study abroad experience, however, has made me prioritize going back.

Something New in Salzburg

My daily life in Salzburg was pretty busy because of the intensity of classes and how short the program was. With four hours of classes a day and only four weeks in Salzburg, there was a lot I wanted to do in a short time. My first class started at 9 am, so I would wake up at 7:30 to get ready, make breakfast, pack lunch and walk to the bus stop by 8:25. Making my own breakfast and lunch was a big part of how I saved money during my time in Salzburg. We would normally go out for dinner most nights to see new parts of the city, so I needed to make up for the money spent there.

Staying at St. Sebastian

During my time in Salzburg, I stayed at the St. Sebastian Institute. There were dorms there for students, but the institute also functioned as a hostel, so travelers were always coming and going. I shared my dorm with two other students from my program. Though it would have been interesting to live with someone from Austria, it was nice to come back at the end of the day to people I knew and could study with. We had our own bathroom, but the kitchen was in a common space shared with everyone else living on the floor.

Business in a Global Context

During my time in London, I took an international finance class through CAPA, which is the program that coordinates study abroad with Pitt. This class was similar to my classes at Pitt in terms of things like class structure and assignments and I really enjoyed learning about international finance in a different country as it allowed me draw upon differences between what the finance world looked like in London and in America.