Other than gaining worldly knowledge and experiencing different cultures, one of the best reasons to go abroad in college is for the people you meet and friends you make along the way. When I applied to study abroad over the summer, I did not know one single person applying to my program. I wanted to use this opportunity to branch out and take on this adventure on my own, and boy, am I glad I did.
Over the course of my trip, I met some of the best people I have ever met. I made strong connections and friendships that I am confident will last a lifetime. The best part is, I would have never met most of these people if I didn't step out of my comfort zone and put myself out there. Even if I had one close friend with me on the trip, it would have been nice to have a familiar face in the beginning, but I would have never become so close with all of the others.
We all shared a once in a lifetime experience together and we shared times together that no one else would understand. We took advantage of every opportunity we had and we all came out on the other side just a little bit different, in a good way.
Not only do you form bonds with the people you are on the trip with, but the people from other countries that you meet along the way can have a huge impact on your experience. While in Europe, we met all kinds of people from different cultures ranging from Germany, to Spain, to New Zealand, Iceland, Kenya, and much much more. Meeting these people and getting a small look into their backgrounds and values helped us gain an understanding of the world far past London, England.
Now, I still make an effort to see all of the close friends I made on my trip. Since we all go to school together, it makes it pretty easy. These are friends from a different part of my life, and while they may never become close with my friends I had before, I am so thankful to have these newfound relationships. Now I have a range of different friends with different interests that will keep me a well-rounded person. College is the time to make these close friends that you will remain in touch with for the rest of your life.
Overall, not only am I thankful for my trip because of the experiences that I was lucky to have, but also the people I was lucky enough to meet. One of my most important values in life is my relationships with other people and the impact I can have on them. For that reason, I would say my new relationships with all of these amazing new friends was my favorite part of my journey abroad and I encourage everybody that does take a trip during college, to go into it alone and force yourself to take a few steps out of your comfort zone.