Overall, this trip was amazing, and I’d return in a heartbeat if given the chance. There were many things that made this trip as enjoyable as it was.
Firstly, the education: as nerdy as it sounds, I truly did enjoy learning about the automotive industry. I anticipated myself enjoying learning about the chemistry and physics behind the cars and parts (which I did), but I did not foresee myself enjoying the business aspect of things. I really found it interesting to see how all the different companies supplied to BMW and how everything was interrelated, but it was also cool to see how companies had their own agendas and didn’t (for the most part) only supply to BMW. It was also cool to learn about different ways to analyze companies (such as PEST or Porter’s). Before this trip, I was completely in the dark about business, but now I feel that I know at least a little bit about how businesses operate and what works and what doesn’t. I feel this information is vital for me to succeed in the future, so I am really glad that learned about all this.
Secondly, the people: I knew absolutely nobody before I signed up for this trip. Now, I not only know, but am friends with 19 other Pitt students are a good amount of Germans as well. This trip really allowed me to meet new people and create friendships that I can see lasting a very long time. I am so glad I met all these new people, and I look forward to seeing them again in the fall semester.
Thirdly, the culture: I had never been to Europe before, so I was kind of hesitant to go on this trip. However, I am so glad that I did. Typically, I am pretty shy and would rather stick to repetition that trying new things. On this trip, I feel that I embraced the culture and broke this bad habit. I tried new foods, visited new places, and just in general, did things I would typically not do. Germany (and Austria) is beautiful, with amazing buildings, statues, food, and much more. I am really glad I was given the opportunity to experience and try all these new things, and I had a blast doing so.
For anyone who is considering travelling to Germany (or Europe in general), I highly recommend it. It is a great experience to have as it really opens your eyes to the whole world, rather than just the American bubble. I honestly had no idea that even a country as developed as Germany can be so different to the United States. There were no skyscrapers but rather historic buildings, university students don’t have insane student loans, and most importantly, there was no free still water. Going to new places really opens your eyes up to things you had no idea even existed, so that’s why I recommend traveling. Oh, and it’s also really fun!
At the end of the trip, I was very sad to be leaving as I had so much fun on the trip, but at the same time, I was ready to return home. I will cherish all the new friends I made and memories we created together. I am truly grateful for this amazing opportunity, and I will always have a smile on my face when I think back to this trip because I know this was one of the best experiences of my life! Auf Wiedersehen Deutschland!