Danya Carithers is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A marketing major at the University of Pittsburgh, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.
In this week's post, Danya talks about academics abroad and what her classes are like in Italy.
So far, it’s been wonderful traveling, eating at fantastic restaurants, and aimlessly walking around Florence with my friends, but I’ve actually had to do some school work in this beautiful city as well. Yeah it’s been hard to remember that I’m studying abroad. But, I won’t have trouble remembering this week because I have midterms and now is my time to buckle down and study… in a library. While it’s easy to complain about studying text books instead of pretending that I’m on vacation, I honestly really enjoy my classes here at CAPA and I've found a few ways to make studying more fun in Florence.
Because I’m pursuing a certificate in International Business, I’ve had to complete a lot of required classes here. To be specific, I am taking "International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior", "Global Workforce Management", "International Economy", "International Marketing", and "Understanding Modern Italy" (taught in Italian). So in case you don’t know what some of those lengthy titles mean; I’m taking a bunch of business classes. I’m not going to lie to you and say my two and a half years of business lectures have been exhilarating because those lectures can get so dry. But, I honestly think CAPA does a good job at keeping me interested and motivated.
In my "Global Workforce Management" and "International Marketing" classes, we are using a program called GNL (Globally Networked Learning) for our semester-long projects. GNL connects our group to other CAPA student groups based in either Sydney, Australia or London, England. At first it was intimidating to have the responsibility of contacting people in different countries and relying on them to contribute to my projects. But using today’s technology such as WhatsApp and Google Docs makes communication and collaboration a lot easier. I’ve already started collaborating with people in London and Sydney for both classes and so far we are successful. In "Global Workforce Management", my class skyped a class in London in order to present the progression of our project. I am really glad to have an opportunity to try this in a classroom because I know it will be useful for future jobs. My mom works at a major global pharmaceutical company and regularly uses Skype for world-wide meetings. So, it’s really cool that CAPA has been able to implement technology in a useful way other than “death by PowerPoint” lectures. I don’t believe my university or many other universities use this program, which will hopefully give me a competitive advantage (look at me! I used a business term!) as a prospective employee.
Overall, my professors are great and I am learning a lot of information that I know I will be using later in my career. Taking classes that are interesting and taught in a stimulating manner makes taking a heavy course-load while abroad a lot more feasible. Oh, I’m also going on spring break after these midterms are over, so maybe that serves some motivation too…
Danya's journey continues every Thursday so stay tuned!