Rita Allen

Rita is an Ambassador who studied abroad in India

Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you decide on this program?

I knew coming in to college that I wanted to prioritize study abroad, but I was not completely sure in which program I was interested. India is a dynamic nation at a turning point in their history, and their culture was completely foreign, intimidating, and exciting to me. I wanted to go someplace I might never again have the opportunity to go, and India fit that perfectly.

Briefly describe a specific cultural experience you had on your trip that made a lasting impression.

The whole trip was a cultural upheaval, but daily transport was a glimpse into the lifeblood of the city. Through our commutes, we got to see the city, meet with the locals, learn how to navigate, become more at ease with ourselves, and see how society pulsed.

Describe your overall study abroad experience.

India is not your typical study abroad experience. It is extreme, it is a challenge, and I can't imagine anything better. It feels incredibly arbitrary to not give this question a full essay, so I will give an inadequate few highlights: We got to travel an absurd amount, which was awesome. My host family became a real family to me, I made lots of friends at school, and I learned to think in a completely different worldview. India, though it constantly shocked us, became home, a part of us. Soon we found ourselves acclimating to the rhythm and the differences we never thought we'd be able to think past started becoming unnoticeable.

Based on your experiences abroad, what are some of the benefits of spending a semester abroad? How has studying abroad contributed to your personal, academic, and professional development?

I have become more independent, assertive, open to new ideas and experiences, and convicted about the need to take action in this world. The changes I found myself going through during study abroad are shaping how I picture my future.

What advice can you offer for CSB/SJU students who are considering or planning to study abroad?

First and foremost, DO IT! But before that, create a four-year plan right away so you can cordon off a semester for study abroad and won't miss out on the opportunity.



Do you have questions about studying abroad in India? Email Rita at abroad@csbsju.edu