GBI Florence: Week 0

Hi, I’m Alexis Hammer, an incoming junior at the University of Pittsburgh. I’m majoring in Marketing, minoring in Administration of Justice, and completing the Certificate in Leadership and Ethics. I have been a member of Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity on campus, since my first semester freshman year, and I will be serving as chapter President this academic year. I also play the alto saxophone and enjoy learning my favorite songs, and I’m an avid thrift shopper. Additionally, about one year ago I started my own business, ALH Beads, where I sell handmade jewelry, and I also work seasonally at Gap. I like to keep myself busy and constantly explore new places, meet new people, and experience new things. When choosing a university, I knew Pitt would provide me with all of these opportunities and more. Exploring the world is something that both Pitt and I value greatly, and I’m grateful that I have the chance to study abroad this summer.

In just a few days, I will be flying to Florence, Italy where I will be studying abroad for six weeks in the Global Business Institute. Following the program, my family is coming to visit me for another week, and we will be celebrating my mom’s 50th birthday and I will be meeting some family members that live in Italy for the first time! When I started college, I planned on being a Finance major and Spanish minor, and I was set on studying abroad in Spain for a semester. However, I switched around all my areas of study, and I decided it would be best to study abroad over the summer instead. I chose Florence in part because Spain was not an option this summer, but also because I have never been to Europe and it is somewhere I have always wanted to explore. I took AP European History in high school, and I became fascinated with the culture, history, and art of Italy. I knew that whenever I had the chance, I had to see it for myself, as well as immerse myself in the culture as much as possible. 

I hope to achieve lots of things throughout this program. Academically, I hope to advance my knowledge about Florence and Italy as well as Renaissance art throughout my course work. As someone who sometimes struggles with stepping outside of their comfort zone, this trip will push me in positive ways and challenge me to do things I may initially be uncomfortable with. By the end of this program, I hope to eat new foods, explore new places, meet new people, converse with locals in Italian, check out some vintage shops and shoe stores, spend less time on my phone and more time in the moment, and continually practice gratitude. I cannot wait to see what this program has in store for me, and I am excited to be blogging throughout my time in Florence!

Leave a Reply