My international experience was truly amazing, and I am so thankful to have gotten this opportunity! To sum it up, I was in Florence, Italy for three full weeks. The first week I was there, I spent the first few days to settling into my new apartment and starting to explore the city. That Monday, we had our first day of class! I was enrolled in two classes: Politics of Food and Gender and Anthropology of Food. Both were super interesting and engaging. Class was supplemented with many field-trips that really made the experience and tied everything together. Our first week of class we had two field-trips: the first was to a Parmigiano Reggiano factory, a traditional balsamic vinegar vineyard, and the city of Bologna; the second was to a pecorino cheese farm and olive oil farm. The next week we took a program-wide trip to Orbetello, where we saw truffle hunting and visited a fish hatchery. And the last week we did some wine tasting at two different wineries in the Chianti region of Tuscany. In between weeks full of class and field-trips, I was able to do some independent traveling each weekend. I went to Venice, Cinque Terre, and Rome! Overall, I learned so much both in the classroom and outside, and the hands-on experience is something I will never forget.
I am very proud of myself for being brave enough to embark on this journey at all, as well as the way I have grown as a person because of this experience. Personally, I find myself struggling with change and wanting to stay with what I know is comfortable. Studying abroad is the exact opposite, so traveling to a new country with new people and staying for nearly a month was a big goal for me to accomplish. I also was able to grow academically and professionally, with regards to the specific courses I took as well as communication and global awareness.
After participating in this program, I feel I have a greater awareness broadly, of cultural differences and more specifically, implications of gender in food systems. As a result, I am striving to be more mindful about these things in the Pitt Honors community and my future career. I am so grateful to have received funding through Pitt Honors to be able to engage in a program as unique and inspiring as Food Studies in Italy and have enjoyed logging my experience on this blog. Ciao for now Pitt Honors Blog! <3