Hi, my name is Ahlena Davies and I can’t wait to study abroad in Italy! I am planning on graduating from Pitt with a major in marketing, a minor in Spanish (not the right language for this trip, I know), and a certificate in international business. When I first learned about the Plus3 program while visiting Pitt, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. I’ve always dreamed of traveling the world, but this trip will be my first chance to leave the country and I intend to make the most of it.
However, before I leave for another country for the first time, there was some preparation to take care of. In the weeks leading up to the trip, I attended four pre-departure meetings. These meeting gave me the chance to meet and get to know the two instructors and 19 other students I’ll be traveling with. In the first meeting, each of us gave a small presentation to introduce ourselves so we won’t feel like we’re traveling with strangers. After that, we got lots of tips and rules to remember while we are abroad. Then, we got started with learning about supply chains, an important part of the fashion industry, with our groups.
In our second meeting, each group gave a presentation about how the supply chain works for various different industries. Then we had a lecture to learn some more in-depth information about supply chains. We also talked about the activity we had done on our own in which we talked with one of our grandparents about their shopping habits so we could compare them to our own habits today. Before the next meeting, I met with my group to prepare our presentation on Italian culture. We covered the business etiquette in Italy, and the other cultural aspects were covered in the other groups’ presentations. During the third meeting, we also learned how to introduce ourselves in Italian and practiced by introducing ourselves to the other students. For the fourth and final meeting, each group researched and presented information about one of the companies we will be visiting while in Italy, so we can be ready to ask good questions. After that we got our final itinerary and were reminded of a few travel and packing tips.
At the end of our pre-departure meetings, I felt so much less nervous about my first study abroad experience. I know what to pack, how to act, the right questions to ask, and so much more. Now I can safely say “Sono pronto per Italia!”