Stefania Corrado is an International Admissions Counselor at John Cabot University. She is a native Philadelphian who graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from American University in Washington, D.C. During her own study abroad experience in St. Petersburg, Russia, Stefania fell in love with international education and, upon graduation, moved to Rome to pursue a career in this area where she has been living for the past two years.
Did YOU study abroad?! If so, where and what inspired you to go?
Yes, I had a wonderful study abroad experience! When I started University, I really wanted to challenge myself and learn a completely new language.
So, I registered for Basic Russian 101 and two years later I found myself in chilly St. Petersburg, Russia. Once I started learning the language, I became so much more intrigued with Russian culture and history which inspired me to jump out of my comfort zone and do something different.
Which study abroad destination is most underrated? Conversely, which is most overrated?
This is a very interesting question for me as my opinion on the subject has changed throughout my years of living in many different places. During my experience in Russia, my classmates and I were proud of ourselves for venturing into the cold, unknown of Russia while our University friends were all going to the same, typical locations in Europe.
However, after living in Rome for two years now, I can easily say that there is no such thing as an "over rated" destination. Every study abroad destination from Barcelona to Zanzibar can offer something new and inspiring to students.
However, students must remember that studying abroad is meant to be a learning experience. They should choose a location that will offer them exactly what they are looking to learn and explore while, of course, always enjoying themselves in the meantime.
Why is language learning and cultural immersion important to you?
Growing up in a trilingual family, language and culture have always been big parts of my life. However, I never realized their true importance until my first social studies class on ancient civilizations in 7th grade.
That was the moment that I learned how important other cultures are in the growth of my own culture and identity through the exchange of ideas and tools. It inspired me to focus my college career in intercultural communication because I love the idea of bringing cultures and people around the world together.
I believe I have learned the most outside of my country immersing myself in the ideas of different peoples and cultures and this has become something I strive to pursue in my career working with international students from around the world and bringing them into one classroom. The learning possibilities become endless!
What was your favorite traveling experience?
To date, I have traveled to 47 countries either on my own or with friends, colleagues, and family which I consider a small indent on the world.
However, despite all the irony, my favorite traveling experience has been my first time in California where I recently just road tripped from Portland, Oregon to San Diego, California with a stop at the Grand Canyon with my all-time best and oldest friend.
After being away from the US for so long, it was such an amazing feeling to reconnect to my country and explore a side of it I didn’t know.