Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

What They Don’t Tell You About the People You’ll Meet Abroad

They say that you’ll make the best friends you’ll have in life during college.  Naturally I assumed that this meant the people I ended up living with or going to class with at Vanderbilt.  It never crossed my mind that there would be a whole separate category of college friends that I would make during my semester abroad.  Having met two girls who I considered my best friends in the world during high school, I was pretty skeptical about being able to find anyone I felt like I could connect with on the same level, but in the last few months I have been proven wrong.

Everyone talks about how their semester abroad was ‘the greatest 6 months of their life’ and they ‘wouldn’t trade the experience for anything in the world’.  While these statements a are accurate, no one talks about the difficulties associated with leaving your country to embark on a journey with a group of strangers.

Our program to the University of Edinburgh has 93 students, a number that I found incredibly overwhelming.  How was I to choose a group of friends when there was a seemingly endless number of people to meet?  What if I never crossed paths with the girls who I would really like?  What if I became stuck spending time with girls I was uncomfortable with?  So many questions ran through my head as I considered all the possible negative outcomes the semester could hold.  Little did I know, I was moments away from meeting some of the greatest who would change my life forever.

Maybe it was the looming February break trip in the back of our minds that almost forced us to make good friends as soon as possible, or maybe it was the fact that we just had so much in common that it was inevitable.  Either way, I became close with these girls in a way that I never imagined I would.  

Of course we’re happy and smiling in all these photographs, but there is so much more than meets the eye.  I’ve had some of the greatest laughs and most honest conversations of my life with these girls.  I don’t know if it’s the fact that we can proudly blurt out spongebob references in the Paris airport or wander the streets of Rome singing Bohemian Rhapsody together, but either way there is no shame in being 100% ourselves around each other.  I can honestly say that during this semester, I have been the most confident and genuine version of myself, something that I had often lost track of.

Maybe it was a stroke of luck, or maybe it was one of those things where everything happened at the right time for a good reason.  Regardless, I need to thank Edinburgh for providing me with relationships that have changed my life, and will last a lifetime.


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