Benvenuti a Firenze!

Hi everyone! My name is Hannah Vorndran, and I am a rising senior at the University of Pittsburgh. I am from Morgantown, WV and my favorite color is pink. 🙂 At the University of Pittsburgh, I am a Molecular Biology major on the Cell and Developmental Biology track with minors in both Chemistry and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. I have also taken classes towards a certificate in Conceptual Foundations of Medicine. Outside of school, I work as an undergraduate research assistant at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and also as an undergraduate teaching assistant for the Dietrich School’s First Year Programs Academic Foundations courses.

This summer I am participating in the Food Studies in Italy study abroad program. This program focuses on the anthropological interplay between gender and food in Italy. I will be in Florence, Italy for 3 weeks!

I chose this program because I wanted to do something fun and interesting abroad. Studying the interaction between gender and food in culture is relevant to my Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies minor, and I will also be fulfilling a general education requirement. In addition, I think 3 weeks is the perfect amount of time for me because I am able to gain the study abroad experience without losing a semester at Pitt!

There are many things I hope to achieve throughout the course of this program. First and foremost, I have never travelled internationally before, so being able to visit and study in Italy is a huge milestone for me! I also find this to be a great chance for me to work on getting out of my comfort zone and try something completely new to me. Academically, I have hopes that this program will further engage me in education outside of the STEM side of things. As a Molecular Biology major, most of my classes are STEM related, and it is refreshing to have a break from that! I also think that studying abroad will help me gain stronger communication skills as well as exposure to different cultures. Learning the Italian language is another goal I have for myself. I have been active on DuoLingo in preparation for this trip, and I’m excited to be able to practice my Italian skills in conversation with native Florentines!

Over the next few weeks, I can’t wait to experience all that Florence has to offer and document my journey with everyone along the way!

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