Comparative Economics in Prague and Kraków!

Hello! My name is Sydney Kelley, and I am an Economics and Political Science double major with a History minor. I’m a rising senior with aspirations to attend law school after graduating next Spring. This May, I participated in the Comparative Economics of Central Europe program, which took place in Prague, Czech Republic and Kraków, Poland. This program was a “Maymester” course, meaning it condensed a semester’s worth of information and coursework into a three-week international experience. I love that Pitt offers Maymesters because it offers the opportunity for an abroad experience that doesn’t conflict with internship opportunities, since many Summer internships haven’t started yet. This has been my second study abroad experience at Pitt, the first being an International Internship Program I completed last year in Dublin, Ireland. I was so excited to go abroad again, this time to a different region, to see more amazing cities and have more culturally-enriching international experiences!

This program was a fascinating culmination of so many of my academic interests. While it was an economics program and primarily focused on the economies of these two Central European countries, we also talked about the governments and histories of each country. I decided to do this Maymester because of my interest in International Economics. I really enjoy learning about economics and politics with an international and comparative lens. This past Spring Semester, I took an Economics of the European Union course where we learned about the history of European integration. 

Prior to this trip, I had never been to Central Europe, so it was really interesting to learn about the region from a firsthand perspective. The Economics of the E.U. course, as well as an International Capstone in Economics course that I took in a prior semester, made me interested in economics of this region in particular.

This experience will enable me to develop cultural competencies and learn more about economic systems around the world. I’m excited to bring my newfound perspective from this experience back with me to Pittsburgh in future Economics and Political Science courses, and eventually in my future studies and career.

I am so excited to continue sharing more information about this trip since it was so impactful and interesting! I’d like to extend my gratitude to the Honors College for supporting me in this endeavor through a generous scholarship. This scholarship helped me to fund this incredible opportunity, and I am so glad I was able to participate in such an amazing program!

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