#StudyAbroadBecause... you'll regret missing the opportunity!

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My name is Daphne Duong and I am currently 23 years old. I studied at the University of California, Davis with a double major in Communications and Economics. The summer after I walked, I did a summer abroad in Paris studying Fashion Marketing. I currently work in tech PR and hope to one day go back abroad to get my MBA in international business!

Daphne Duong in Paris: #StudyAbroadBecause... you'll regret missing the opportunity!

What motivated your decision to go abroad? How/why did you choose where to go?
As a child, I've grown up traveling and loved being in different places. So my first goal in college was to make sure that I was able to take advantage of my university's study abroad programs. After a lot of organization and planning to figure out the longest time I could spend abroad with the right program, I ended up choosing to study Fashion Marketing in Paris. I jumped at the opportunity, as it was extremely aligned with my potential career options and it was hosted in the original fashion capital of the world!

Daphne Duong in Paris: #StudyAbroadBecause... you'll regret missing the opportunity!

What was your experience like? What is your favorite memory? What were some challenges you observed?
My experience was extremely fulfilling. The easiest way to get to know a city was to wander, so most of my memories involved casual strolls through the cobblestone streets that were surrounded by ornate Parisian balconies. I'd be able to discover a new garden or a local spot which helped me get to know the city. My biggest challenge actually came with food. Even though French cuisine is known as the foundation of cooking for some, I really just missed home cooked food. 

Daphne Duong in Paris: #StudyAbroadBecause... you'll regret missing the opportunity!

What skills did you develop from your experience? Do you feel changed from your experience abroad? 
Before the start of my program, I was actually afraid I wasn't going to make any friends to enjoy my time abroad with. But as I was there, I really enjoyed the time I had to myself. I became more confident in being alone and realized I wasn't as much of an extrovert as I had originally presumed to be. It's nice to have time to yourself to really understand who you are without other people to influence you. 

Has your experience helped you get to where you are today?
Currently, I work for a French-based PR company, so I'm still very attached to the French culture. Paris will always have a special place in my heart for the experience and character it has molded me into today. I still hope to broaden my experiences with more international relationships. 

Daphne Duong in Paris: #StudyAbroadBecause... you'll regret missing the opportunity!

What advice would you share with other students who are thinking of going abroad?
Just because you're abroad, don't be afraid to go to the grocery store and cook for yourself. Even though I was surrounded by delicious French food, I ate ramen maybe two or three times a week. It saves you a lot of money so you can splurge later on for other meals. Also, get to know the public transit in whatever country you're in. Compared to the states, public transit abroad is huge, super efficient, and relatively cheap.

Daphne Duong in Paris: #StudyAbroadBecause... you'll regret missing the opportunity!

How has international education impacted or influenced your cultural identity?
Well as an American born Chinese I've always struggled with my cultural identity on whether I'm more American or Chinese. Going abroad has exposed me to more cultures, but also has made me grateful and accepting of who I am as an individual and how that's shaped my story. 

Daphne Duong in Paris: #StudyAbroadBecause... you'll regret missing the opportunity!

Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
Go for it. Don't let anything stop you, especially not finances. Find any opportunity to do it, because it's an experience that you'll never forget and you'll cherish for the rest of your life

 

#StudyAbroadBecause... you'll regret missing the opportunity!

All photos courtesy and copyright Daphne Duong