#StudyAbroadBecause it's one of the best decisions you'll ever make

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Danielle Corcione graduated from Ramapo College of New Jersey in May 2015. She studied abroad in Bangalore, India and Prague, Czech Republic. Now, she is located in Omaha, Nebraska.

Danielle Corcione: #StudyAbroadBecause it's one of the best decisions you'll ever make

What motivated your decision to go abroad? How/why did you choose where to go?

I studied abroad over the summer between my junior and senior years of college. I'd always wanted to do it, and with a generous scholarship, I was finally able to financially. This lead me to pursue a semester-long opportunity. Unlike Prague, I wanted to experience a less-Westernized city. This lead me to Bangalore, since my school had a program there every spring.

What was your experience like? What is your favorite memory? What were some challenges you observed?

I have an endless amount of feelings about my semester abroad. However, my first foot down in Bangalore city stands out the most, although it's not my favorite. I'd only been in India for a few days. I had to cover my shoulders. It was hot. Sidewalks pretty much didn't exist. I almost stepped on a rat covered in oil. Everything moved so quickly. I was nervous about oncoming traffic, including pedestrians moving past me. Despite the stress, I was able to adapt to this environment and soon enough, was excited to return. This flexibility helps me adapt to new situations and cultures I encounter.

What skills did you develop from your experience? Do you feel changed from your experience abroad?

I questioned my political identity while in South India. Previously, I was pretty loyal to who I was. However, I learned to question who I was, even parts I am most certain about. I was a loyal political activist to certain politicians before my trip, and now, I question these politicians and challenge their foreign policy stances before pledging allegiance (if at all).

Has your experience helped you get to where you are today?

My semester abroad absolutely helped me get to where I am today. Over the summer, I accepted a job offer in the Midwest, after living in New Jersey for twenty years. I don't think I would have successfully adapted to a new place so quickly if I didn't spend four months in India.

Danielle Corcione: #StudyAbroadBecause it's one of the best decisions you'll ever make

What advice would you share with other students who are thinking of going abroad?

Keep track of your finances. I kept a log of every rupee I ever spent and added it up every month. I thought about the gifts I brought back to friends and family -- were they mass produced or were they helping locals get business? Jump into it. Embrace your fear. Face new experiences with enthusiasm.

Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

I feel like I never stop talking about my trips abroad. Indian cuisine is one of my new food groups. Plus, I have this new feeling that I can do the same job in a different country, which I want to do in the future -- so it could impact my cultural identity when I face a new place abroad again.

Danielle Corcione: #StudyAbroadBecause it's one of the best decisions you'll ever make

 

#StudyAbroadBecause it's one of the best decisions you'll ever make

 

Find Danielle online: daniellecorcione.com

All photos courtesy and copyright Danielle Corcione

 

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