10 Reasons Study Abroad Friends are the Best Kind of Friends
When it comes to traveling the world, one is pretty much guaranteed some delicious food, fascinating history lessons and breath-taking views. And also, some near death experiences. But it's not always that a person gets to share that with someone else, let alone a fat group of amaztastical people.
Just as I have come to know all the beautiful cities that I have visited and even lived in, I've also had the honor of growing closer with more awesome peeps than I can count on both hands (& feet). And here's just 10 (of approx. 1,392) of the reasons why I think the people you meet abroad are some of the best you may ever encounter in your lifetime:
1. They're adventurous.
What other type of person would choose to drop their life at home—their friends, family, football season, Chipotle—and travel halfway across the world? Study abroad students are pretty much all the kind of people who will wake up at 4am to do a sunrise hike or go cliff jumping just because...you can.
2. They're committed.
Do you have any idea how many hoops needed to be jumped through in order to get here? Unless their parents did the work for them, these students have more than likely bent over backwards for the establishment of travel visas, classes, health insurance, scholarships, and of course, travel arrangements. They know how to set a goal and do whatever it takes to make sure it's accomplished.
3. The experiences you share with them are unique by default.
You haven't really bonded with someone until you've spent the night with them in a foreign airport where no one speaks your language...or until you've eaten foods you would never try in the states and visited places that carry more historical value than you can wrap your (newly realized) naive mind around.
4. They come from different backgrounds.
Meeting curious minds from all over the world is an incredibly special feeling—it's sort of indescribable. It's crazy how the crossing of paths can completely change the one you thought was ahead of you. I already have a feeling that I'll be visiting Washington, Nevada, South Carolina, Arizona, and more in the years to come.
5. They have strong character.
They're not afraid to step outside their comfort zone, they're eager to see and try new things, and they're open minded. If you study abroad, plan to have a lot of deep conversation with a lot of deep people.
6. They still tolerate you even at your worst.
When you're broke and need to borrow some money, when you're tired and moody, when you're hungover and whiney, when you're homesick, when you look homeless because you haven't slept/showered in a few days (which, by the way, seems to be standard for way too many Europeans)...THEY STILL TALK TO YOU. Like, nicely. As if they're still enjoying your company. There's no judgment on your food/drink choices or any life choices, really.
7. They create a perfect melting pot of personalities.
You've got the tomboys, girly girls, athletes, super smart people, class clowns, frat stars, southern belles, & even the token Australian (hi Maricris). Even though everyone individually is SO different, it's so easy to get along with everyone...probably because we all have the common interest in the city we chose to live in. Bilbao 5ever.
8. You will literally never laugh so hard in your life.
I'm sure all the wrinkles I'll have when I'm 30 will be 500% worth it.
9. They give you a chance to start over.
It's like freshman year all over again...the new faces, questionable food and alcohol consumption choices, and relatively easy classes. The only difference is, there's no Target. I miss Target. But seriously, it's so much fun, and who can say they got to do freshman year twice?!
10. They're there when you realize how big the world really is.
No one will EVER be able to fully understand how special that time abroad was to you. These friends help you adjust to the new culture; you lean on them and them on you. Your experience might as well be melted into a precious lil' stone dropped into the ocean, Titanic style, to be appreciated only by those who knew and loved it.
So, in conclusion, if you're contemplating studying abroad but waiting on your BFFFFFFFF(s) to turn in their forms first, DON'T. Going on this adventure alone is the perfect way to experience studying abroad, and I promise that the bonds you make here will fulfill, if not surpass, the ones you're temporarily leaving at home.
Well, that was a fun walk down memory lane. Am I approaching a quarter life crisis? Can 23 year olds still study abroad? Lmk.